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Milwaukee Musings: Admirals Rattle Off Three Straight Wins

Tomasino, Afanasyev shined in Milwaukee’s dominant week.

Milwaukee Admirals

After dropping games two and three of the season, the Milwaukee Admirals turned their ship around in an impressive way. They opened the week outlasting Texas in a 6-5 shootout win and then dominated Belleville in a rare showdown with an Eastern Conference foe.

The Admirals finished their week with a 4-3 overtime win over rival Chicago, improving their record against the defending champions to 2-0 this season.

Milwaukee will visit Rockford tomorrow for a mid-morning game before heading west to California this weekend for a back-to-back against San Diego.

Quick Hits

  • Yesterday, the Nashville Predators recalled defender Jordan Gross from the Admirals after placing Mark Borowiecki on injured reserve
  • Last week, the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired defender Luke Prokop’s WHL rights from the Edmonton Oil Kings; the draft picks exchanged in the deal are conditional on Prokop leaving the ECHL
  • Missing out on AHL Player of the Week honors, Phil Tomasino has scored four goals in his last three games

Milwaukee Admirals (6) vs. Texas Stars (5)

After two losses for Yaroslav Askarov, Devin Cooley returned to the net last week to take on the Texas Stars. The first period was largely uneventful, but the Admirals came out flat offensively other than a brilliant individual effort from Markus Nurmi to drive to the net and draw a penalty late in the period.

In the second frame, Texas struck early as Cooley couldn’t track a rebound off a point shot. 20 seconds later, Tanner Kero doubled the Stars’ lead as Jordan Gross let Mavrik Bourque chase his own rebound and deposit a backdoor pass to his teammate.

The Admirals finally responded with about eight minutes to go in the period thanks to Mark Jankowski scoring off a three-on-one chance. Marc Del Gaizo then evened things up with his first of the season, but the Stars escaped the period with a 3-2 lead due to a failed net-front clearing attempt from Roland McKeown and Spencer Stastney.

The final frame was the Admirals’ best as they rattled off three straight goals from Jankowski, Egor Afanasyev, and Phil Tomasino (thanks to maybe the assist of the season from Juuso Pärssinen):

Texas squeaked two softer goals past Cooley to force overtime, but Jordan Gross and Tommy Novak ultimately delivered in the shootout to secure an extra point for the Admirals.

Milwaukee Admirals (4) vs. Belleville Senators (2)

On Friday, Milwaukee welcomed Belleville to town and gave Askarov his third start of the season. The Admirals poured on the offensive pressure in the first period, and Askarov made a few notable saves.

Jachym Kondelik used his massive frame to screen Mads Sogaard and pick up his first professional goal on the power play, and Egor Afanasyev added his second goal of the season later in the period with a lethal wrist shot from the top of the circle. Afanasyev has emerged early this season with more consistency to his game and stronger play along the boards to win more puck battles.

In the second period, Tomasino ripped a shot on the power play for his second goal of the season. The coaching staff is giving him what they promised—playing time in all situations and trust to close out tight games—and he delivered last week.

The Admirals let Belleville back into things with two goals, but they ultimately held the lead before Mark Jankowski sealed Askarov’s first AHL win with an empty-net goal late in period three.

Milwaukee Admirals (4) @ Chicago Wolves (3)

On Saturday, Milwaukee traveled down the interstate to take on the Wolves, and Karl Taylor gave Askarov another back-to-back start. Trusting the young goaltender against top opponents is a good sign of the confidence the coaching staff is trying to instill in Askarov. This team’s goaltending duo should stabilize well throughout the season.

The Admirals opened this one with another ridiculous Pärssinen-Tomasino connection before giving up two first-period goals to a relentless Chicago team:

The second period was much quieter despite the Admirals dominating scoring chances; they failed to convert on any of their three power-play opportunities.

In the final frame, Afanasyev and Tomasino gave Milwaukee their lead again with both highlighting their cases for this squad’s player of the week. Afanasyev’s goal was set up by a dazzling display of skill and skating from Spencer Stastney. Karl Taylor is excited to get the young defender, who we agree is the best skater in the pipeline, more ice time in critical situations, and he delivered here:

But midway through the period, a miscommunication behind the net between Del Gaizo and Askarov led to a turnover that the Wolves converted into the tying goal.

In overtime, Jordan Gross delivered the game-winning goal thanks to Tommy Novak and Mark Jankowski, completing the latter’s scorching week of three goals and two assists in three games.


The Week Ahead

  • Wednesday, November 2 @ Rockford IceHogs
  • Friday, November 4 @ San Diego Gulls
  • Saturday, November 5 @ San Diego Gulls

All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com, theAHL.com, or manually tracked.