The Milwaukee Admirals dropped their third straight game on Saturday night against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 2-1 loss in Grand Rapids also dropped Milwaukee from the top spot in the AHL.

The start of Saturday’s game was the third-straight lackluster first period in an Admirals game. Neither team scored as Milwaukee goaltender Troy Grosenick turned away 12 shots. Grand Rapids goaltender Harri Sateri also stopped 12 shots in the first.  Milwaukee had the only two penalties of the period when at 12:06 Alexandre Carrier was whistled for high-sticking and at 18:29 Jeremy Gregoire was called for interference.

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Milwaukee opened scoring at 5:33 into the second period when Jeremy Gregoire scored off a pass from Tyler Gaudet. This was Gregoire’s second goal of the season for the Admirals. Grand Rapids center Christoffer Ehn scored his first goal of the season about two-minutes later at 7:46 through Milwaukee goaltender and Wisconsin native Grosenick. Both clubs committed two penalties each during the second. The Admirals were called for a too many men on the ice penalty at 1:27. Grand Rapids’ Ehn took a slashing penalty at 8:18. Emil Pettersson for slashing at 10:35. Lastly, Grand Rapids’ defenseman Dylan McIlrath was called for roughing at 19:50.

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The third saw the Admirals starting on the powerplay, which has proven to be meaningless for the Admirals so far this season. The Admirals were 1 for 25 on the powerplay in their last several games by the time a McIlrath penalty ended. Grand Rapids had one more penalty at 12:39 when Vili Saarijarvi was called for tripping.

At 16:16, McIlrath beat Grosenick’s left shoulder with a slapshot from the right point. Matt Puempel and Ehn had the assists.

This was only Milwaukee’s second loss in regulation this season. The Admirals are now 8-2-3 on the season. Milwaukee still leads the Central Division with 19 points. Chicago sits at second in the Central with 15 points. Milwaukee returns to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena at 10:30am (you read that right) against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday.

Game Notes:

  • It’s beginning to feel cliché discussing the lackluster power play units throughout the Nashville Predators organization. Three of the four Milwaukee losses this season have had only a one goal margin. A single power-play goal in any of these contests would have been the difference for the Admirals to win. It is
    worth noting that the Admirals scored a power-play goal in the OT loss on Tuesday, October 30.
  • The Admirals dropped to 18.0% on the power play this season.The Admirals penalty kill percentage has increased to 92.0%. I keep revisiting this statistic because it showcases how impressive it is that the Admirals losses have mostly only had a one goal margin. Milwaukee goaltending has been impressive between Grosenick and Tom McCollum.

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  • Milwaukee goaltenders both have over 90 SV%. Troy Grosenick is 92.2% after four games. McCollum is 91% after nine appearances with the Admirals. McCollum took all the starts while Troy Grosenick was filling the backup spot in Nashville during Pekka Rinne’s injury.

  • The Admirals have struggled with consistency so far in this young season. Defenseman Matt Donovan leads the team in total points (12). Rocco Grimaldi is still sitting at second for the club with 11 and defensemen Frederic Allard rounds out the top three with 10 points. Top Predators prospects Eeli Tolvanen and Emil Pettersson have 7 and 9 points, respectively. Both have a negative +/- rating so far. Tolvanen is at -4 and Pettersson is -1.

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