Milwaukee went undefeated this past week, outscoring the Rampage and Monsters 6-1 skating into the Christmas break with the league’s least amount of regulation losses (4).
The break will hopefully serve the Admirals well as they face a three-in-three this weekend. On Friday, they travel to Grand Rapids, host the Griffins in Milwaukee on Saturday night, and then travel to Chicago for a Sunday afternoon matchup.
- On Friday, Nashville returned forward Yakov Trenin to Milwaukee; he’s skated in six games for the Predators this season.
- On Monday, Nashville returned forward Colin Blackwell to Milwaukee for the duration of the holiday break.
- Milwaukee is now riding a nine-game winning streak at home.
- After Wednesday’s victory, Head Coach Karl Taylor clinched his spot as the coach of the Central Division at the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic.
Stats and Standings
Milwaukee’s offensive vanguards have remained constant this season. Even with Blackwell and Trenin in Nashville, the offensive talent of Laurent Dauphin, Eeli Tolvanen, Anthony Richard, Rem Pitlick and Daniel Carr has yet to break out of its middling relative goal-scoring rates.
Alexandre Carrier and Jarred Tinordi have improved their defensive shutdown abilities lately as Matt Donovan has struggled despite his regular partner Frédéric Allard remaining Milwaukee’s smartest option on the blue line.
December 18 vs. San Antonio Rampage
Wednesday night’s contest against San Antonio featured a vintage Anthony Richard show. The speedy winger scored twice for Milwaukee as they held off the Rampage despite a last-minute push in the third period.
December 20 vs. Cleveland Monsters
Connor Ingram was excellent as Milwaukee paced the Monsters throughout Friday’s contest. The Admirals penalty kill was stellar yet again, preventing a goal on all of Cleveland’s six chances.
Miikka Salomäki, Rem Pitlick and Anthony Richard scored at even strength and Tommy Novak added a power play goal, leading Milwaukee to its ninth-straight home win.
Players of the Week
Connor Ingram: As Ingram and Troy Grosenick continue to split starts, they continue to play elite hockey. He stopped all of Cleveland’s 32 shots on Friday to record his first shutout of the season and improved his save percentage to 0.931 on the season (third among all AHL goalies).
He’s been so technically sound, covering rebounds with ease and moving post-to-post without a sweat. Ingram now has 11 wins on the year and an exceedingly good 12.51 goals-saved above average (GSAA). [RK]
Brandon Fortunato: I’m touching more on the Everblades this week and for good reason. Fortunato has been excellent skating in limited minutes with Florida this season; in three games this past week, he had six points, including a five-point outing last Wednesday.
Through 17 games, Fortunato has 11 points and has contributed directly to 42.86% of the even-strength goals he’s been on the ice for with the Everblades. [ED]
When gathering notes for this week’s column, I was particularly touched by a story from a corner of the ECHL. Defender Brandon Fehd of the Rapid City Rush opened up extensively about his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and how it affects his daily life as a semi-pro hockey player.
Brandon Fehd is easy to spot on the ice while playing for the Rapid City Rush.— Rapid City Rush (@RapidCityRush) December 18, 2019
What you haven’t seen is his constant battle off the ice, a battle that has followed him for his entire life.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Read the full story HERE: https://t.co/FrQrPnPioi pic.twitter.com/JoPJ7LzLKd
OCD is something that touches my life—through a variety of avenues—quite personally. It’s a disorder that’s often misunderstood or swept aside as a simple daily hiccup; it can be unhelpful how it’s entered our regular lexicon without a proper understanding of its effects.
There isn’t much I can say that does Fehd’s story justice; the detail in which he expands on his day-to-day struggle is profound and undoubtedly worth a read.
Musings and Observations, courtesy of Rachel and Eric:
- Last week, I touched on Anthony Richard’s struggles so far this season. This week, he kicked it into high gear: three goals and four points in his two outings this week.
- Rem Pitlick is also starting to improve his even-strength production. He’s now recorded a primary point on 43.75% of the even-strength goals he’s been on the ice for.
- Milwaukee’s penalty kill is now up to eighth in the AHL at 84.3%; the power play sits second behind Stockton at 26.2%.
- Frédérick Gaudreau has had a slow start since his return from injury: just one point in four games on nine shots on goal.