The Milwaukee Admirals are in the heat of their run to make the Calder Cup playoffs and they were given a great opportunity to move up in the standings this weekend. The Admirals had a game Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but unfortunately were not up to the task. Milwaukee was only able to exit the weekend with 1 point in the standings after an OT loss to Chicago on Sunday. They also lost Friday in a 4-1 decision to Chicago and then were shutout at home on Saturday 4-0 against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Friday March 8th vs. Chicago Wolves (Home)
Friday night’s matchup seemed like it was a good start for the Admirals. At 5:45 in the first period Alexandre Carrier scored his fourth goal of the season against Chicago netminder Max Lagace. Lagace was able to stop the other 25 shots that Milwaukee put on net throughout the game.
The third period was a catastrophic mess for the Admirals defense and goaltending. At 1:28 in the third Keegan Kolesar (13) scored. At 7:05 Brooks Macek (24) scored off of a penalty shot he was awarded after a questionable hooking call. Curtis McKenzie scored two empty net goals good for his 12th and 13th goals of the season. 4-1 was the final score.
Saturday March 9th vs. Grand Rapids (Home)
The loss on Saturday was a combination of the Admirals offense just not showing up and Griffins netminder Patrik Rybar being spot on. The Admirals did manage 30 shots on net through the game, but Rybar was up to the task. Grand Rapids managed two goals in the first period, both within 20 seconds of each other. Matthew Ford (9) scored at 7:35 and Dominik Shine (5) scored at 7:52.
The second period was silent for both teams, but the Griffins managed two more goals late in the third. At 15:13 Chris Terry scored his twenty-seventh goal of the season and at 16:27 Martin Frk (4) was able to beat Troy Grosenick.
This was a bad showing by the team, I’m sure they would just like to move on from this one… One final note on Saturday’s matchup, Duncan Siemens and Dylan McIlrath dropped the gloves with one another and then Siemens seemed to have given up.
Sunday March 10th vs. Chicago Wolves (Away)
The Admirals played an all around better game on Sunday. Their defense was more crisp, goaltending was better, there was just not enough offense.
The Admirals scored early again in this game. At 2:16 Adam Helewka scored his eighteenth goal of the season with assists from Alexandre Carrier (22) and Eeli Tolvanen (12). Helewka’s goal came on the powerplay after a Nic Hague holding penalty. Milwaukee did seem to have scored a second goal in the period that was waved off by the officials due to goalie interference.
Chicago had a rebuttal goal at 7:23 in the second period by Curtis McKenzie (14) to tie the game. Neither side was able to win during regulation. It did not take Chicago long into the Overtime period to earn the second point as Tye McGinn scored his fifth goal of the season to win the game.
That was definitely a frustrating weekend for the Admirals. They began in a three-way tie for fourth at the beginning of the weekend. They ended the weekend tied for fifth with Rockford. Texas, who was the other team of the three-way tie, has taken a solid hold of fourth place with 67-points. Milwaukee and Rockford have 64.
The Admirals have the fewest number of games left in the Central division with 13. Rockford has 15 and Texas has 14.
Milwaukee’s next three games are against Cleveland, Grand Rapids, and Rockford.The four games following are against Rockford (twice), Chicago, and then Grand Rapids. All are teams that the Admirals have struggled with this season.
The Admirals play again on Wednesday March 13 at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena at 10:30am against the Cleveland Monsters.