The Milwaukee Admirals have had a great start to 2019 after two victories to open up the year. On Wednesday January 2nd, the Admirals won against the Rockford IceHogs 2-1. On Saturday night they had one of their very few matchups with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. With a dominate showing by Milwaukee’s offense, it’s possible that the Admirals are now being profiled as the Scranton Strangler… Now that we have The Office reference out of the way, here’s what happened.
Action started at about 6:45 into the first period with Mathieu Olivier and Penguins rightwinger Patrick McGrath dropped the gloves (and their helmets). Both received fighting majors along with two-minute minors for unsportsmanlike conduct a la removing their helmets. At 11:04 Milwaukee’s Jeremy Gregoire was given a four-minute double minor for high-sticking which allowed the Penguins to go on the powerplay and capitalize at 13:39 when Anthony Angello (11) was able to push the puck past Milwaukee netminder Troy Grosenick to give the Penguins their only lead of the night. Chad Ruhwedel (4) and Ryan Haggerty (12) had the assists on the powerplay goal.
The second period is where the Admirals really broke out in this one. The Admirals took a two-minute bench minor at 2:40 in the second for too many men on the ice; this penalty was served by Zach Magwood. The Admirals were still able to tie the game with a shorty from Emil Pettersson who scored his eighth goal of the season against Penguins’ goaltender Anthony Peters. Alexandre Carrier (11) had the lone assist on the goal.
Milwaukee took another penalty at 6:34 when Frederic Allard was called for hooking. Milwaukee was able to kill the penalty. The Admirals were able to take the lead at 8:47 when Nicholas Baptiste scored his seventh of the season off a pass from Emil Pettersson (14). Frederic Allard (16) had the secondary assist on the play.
The Admirals had one more powerplay opportunity in the period at 11:23 when Angello was called for cross-checking. There was also a brief stint of 4-on-4 at 12:30 when Justin Kirkland was called for cross-checking and WBS’s Macoy Erkamps was called for slashing.
Admirals captain Jarred Tinordi scored his third goal of the season at 14:03 with help from Joe Pendenza (2) and Yakov Trenin (7). Tinordi’s goal gave Milwaukee a two-goal lead. The Admirals also led shots on goal 15-10 in the second.
Milwaukee got an early powerplay opportunity in the third period when Sam Lafferty was given a double minor for high-sticking. Tanner Jeannot was able to take advantage at 1:04 and score his fifth goal of the season with assists from Anthony Richard (10) and Alexandre Carrier (12).
WBS began mounting a comeback at 3:22 when Jean-Sebastien Dea scored and again at 5:01 Teddy Blueger scored on Grosenick to bring the Penguins within one goal.
There was one more fight in the game at 11:14 when Jeremy Gregoire dropped the gloves with Macoy Erkamps. Both were sent to the box for five. WBS took two more penalties in the period. At 18:19 Chad Ruhwedel was called for slashing and at 19:22 Kevin Czuzman was also called for slashing.
Rewinding a bit, Milwaukee was able to extend their lead at 5:38 when Emil Pettersson scored his second goal of the game for his ninth of the season. Richard (11) and Frederic Allard (17) had the assists. The Penguins led 16-9 in shots on goal in the third.
The Admirals won 5-3.
Since the last game recap I posted before the holidays the Admirals were clinging on to first place, but were being seriously challenged for it. Since then, they’ve fallen down into fourth in the Central division. The Admirals currently have 42-points in the standings behind Grand Rapids (44), Chicago (46), and Iowa who is sitting in first with 47.
The Admirals’ offense has struggled a bit since Eeli Tolvanen was loaned to Team Finland for the World Juniors. That ended last night with Finland winning gold. It is safe to assume that he will be back in Milwaukee soon enough.
Milwaukee’s powerplay also hasn’t been helping in their offensive struggles. They currently sit at 14.8% for the season. Their penalty kill still remains very high at 86.3%, which is top of the Central devision and third in the entire AHL.
Up in Nashville, Colton Sissons was reactivated from IR. This leaves Kyle Turris still on IR, along with Miikka Salomaki. I wouldn’t think there would be much player movement between Milwaukee and Nashville anytime soon.
On that topic, Rocco Grimaldi, who started the season in Milwaukee, seems to have secured a solid role on the Predators roster. He had a four game point streak ahead of the game against Toronto.