In what may end up being Milwaukee’s most critical week to date, the Admirals got done what they needed to against two division rivals. Connor Ingram backstopped the team to a 3-0-0 record, extending their win streak to six games and their points streak to eight.
With that, the Admirals are up to fifth in the Central Division with a 0.512 points percentage, but their divisional opponents have three to eight games in hand on them. If Milwaukee wants to make a serious push for the playoffs, this week will be even more crucial; four to six points out of Rockford and division-leading Chicago would be massive for this team’s postseason hopes.
- Last week, forwards Cole Smith and Matt Luff were returned to Milwaukee by Nashville as well as defender Matt Tennyson
- Milwaukee returned defender Jake McLaughlin to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades
- Connor Ingram was named the AHL’s Player of the Week after stopping 92 of 93 shots, winning all three games, and posting two shutouts
- Yesterday, Nashville traded forward Anthony Richard, who recently moved to third on the Admirals’ all-time games-played list, to Tamp in exchange for forward Jimmy Huntington
Milwaukee Admirals (1) @ Grand Rapids Griffins (0)
The Admirals didn’t turn in their best performance to kick off the week and were up to some of their old antics. Matt Donovan notched the game’s only goal on the power play well into the first period, and Milwaukee then went into lockdown mode.
The Griffins peppered Connor Ingram with 24 shots over the final two periods while the Admirals took seven minor penalties (and nine total over all three periods). The penalty kill was perfect largely thanks to Ingram who stopped all 30 shots he faced.
Milwaukee’s top defensive pair of Jeremy Davies and Frederic Allard even had some uncharacteristic issues at even strength in this one; Davies posted a 46.2% Corsi rating, and they did allow a few high-danger scoring chances. However, both were good at shutting down controlled zone entries, allowing opposing forwards to succeed on just 37.5% of attempts.
Regardless of a less-than-stellar performance in front of Ingram, Milwaukee left Michigan with two points, extending their win streak to four games and their point streak to six.
Milwaukee Admirals (2) vs. Rockford IceHogs (1)
The Admirals came out of the gate better in this one than they did on Wednesday but did suffer a few defensive lapses early, and eventually, Connor Ingram was beaten by a laser shot from Andrei Altybarmakian to open the scoring.
Milwaukee played a sound second period, and Rocco Grimaldi nearly had a highlight-reel chance that was mitigated by the IceHogs challenging Josh Healey to a fight after a huge open-ice hit. Marc Del Gaizo and Dylan Blujus gave up a glaring breakaway chance late in the period, which ended up being no problem for Connor Ingram; the netminder stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced.
Early in the third period, Cody Glass drove hard to the net and lost possession in the slot, but Del Gaizo was there to clean things up with his shot deflecting off Graham Knott on its way in. Heading to overtime, all the momentum was with Milwaukee, and thanks to an impressive backcheck and stretch pass from Cody Glass, Anthony Richard got behind the Rockford defense and buried the game-winner.
Milwaukee Admirals (5) vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (0)
On Saturday, Milwaukee’s offense exploded for five goals, but the story of the night was still Connor Ingram. He turned aside all 42 shots he faced to secure his league-leading fourth shutout, and he’s now saved 17.376 goals above average this year. Ingram was perfect on the six power-play opportunities the Ads afforded Grand Rapids, and it was Milwaukee who struck first on the man advantage thanks to Anthony Richard’s seventh of the season.
Ingram’s performances all week were an excellent display of his preferred goaltending style. Despite his height, he plays a very compact game that relies on his core strength to cover his crease laterally and from front to back; his lower body is disciplined and neat in that way while he can get caught moving his upper body more than necessary.
In the second period, Milwaukee added goals from Cole Smith and Marc Del Gaizo. In the third, Smith cleaned up his own rebound for his second of the game and the Admirals’ fourth of the night. Ingram stood stall, turning aside several chances on a Griffin’s 5-on-3 power play, and Matt Luff scored his tenth of the year to ice the game.
The Week Ahead
- Wednesday, February 2 @ Rockford IceHogs
- Friday, February 4 vs. Chicago Wolves
- Saturday, February 5 vs. Chicago Wolves