It was a rough weekend for the Nashville Predators organization; at least until the Milwaukee Admirals snapped their five game losing streak in a 4-0 victory against Central division rival, the Chicago Wolves.
Brookfield, Wi native Troy Grosenick was in goal for the Admirals and posted his first shutout of the season, stopping all 16 shots from Chicago. This was after giving up four goals in Saturday’s contest against the Manitoba Moose. This was also Grosenick’s 100th AHL win in his career.
Four Admirals took part in scoring for the Admirals. More impressive, the Admirals scored two powerplay goals throughout the matchup. Scoring started in the final seconds of the first period when Nick Baptiste scored his tenth of the season against Chicago netminder Zachary Fucale. Admirals leftwinger Cole Schneider got his first point as an Admirals on the goal (his 13th assist of the season). Schneider was part of a trade with the Rangers for Colin Brickley earlier in the week. This was Schneider’s third game as an Admiral.
Anthony Richard tacked on his 14th goal of the season at 8:16 in the 2nd period with a second assist from Schneider who is now sitting at 14 assists on the season and Frederic Allard (20).
The Wolves only tallied 12 shots on goal through the first and second periods and things were not going to get much better for them in the 4th. They were only able to put four shots on goal in the third period. Yet, the Admirals were able to extend their lead by two more goals. Defenseman Vince Pedrie scored his first goal of the season at 8:36 of the third with assists from Justin Kirkland (10) and Richard (12) on a powerplay after a slashing call on Chicago’s Erik Brannstrom.
In the last five minutes of the game, Chicago pulled Fucale in favor of an extra attacker to try mounting a comeback. At 16:06 Mathieu Olivier scored his third goal of the season on an empty net, making this the first time the Admirals have scored more than three goals in a game since January 5th’s contest against the Wilkes/Barre Scranton Penguins.
This was a great showing by the Admirals and I’d love to see more domination like this from them. They played well and made sure to control the flow of the game. That is something that has been lacking from the Admirals for most of this month.
It was also good to see a dominate offensive performance from the Admirals after Colin Blackwell’s call up to Nashville early on Saturday. Blackwell was the offensive drive for the Admirals since his return a little over a week ago. He scored both of Milwaukee’s goals on Saturday January 12th against the San Diego Gulls.
While Milwaukee has sunk down into 5th place in the Central division, they are tied in points with 4th place Texas Stars with 47. 2nd and 3rd place have 51 points (Chicago & Iowa). Grand Rapids has shot up into 1st place with 53. The top spots in the Central are tight and it is still anyone’s season.
Congratulations to Troy Grosenick on being selected for the AHL All-Star Game. Grosenick is sitting at 4th in the league in Save percentage with .923.
The Admirals play again on January 22nd versus the San Antonio Rampage at 7:00pm Central at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. This is the start of a nine game home stand for the Admirals.