With just 21 games remaining in their season, Milwaukee went 2-0-1 last week, including a big shootout win over the division-best Chicago Wolves. The Admirals have a similar week ahead, traveling to Chicago, then hosting Texas, and then traveling back to Rockford.
While catching second-place Manitoba seems unlikely, Milwaukee, which has just a +1 goal differential this season, will need another winning week to expand their lead on Grand Rapids for third in the Central.
- On Monday, Milwaukee loaned forward Zach Solow back to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades
- Cole Smith is tied for 22nd in AHL rookie scoring (27), and Egor Afanasyev is tied for 34th (23)
- As of last night, Milwaukee’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is any combination of 29 points gained by them or lost by their rivals currently outside of the playoffs
Milwaukee Admirals (3) vs. Iowa Wild (2)
Starting the week on a two-game winning streak, Milwaukee hosted Iowa for a day game last Wednesday; Connor Ingram started in net.
In a low-event first period, Cole Schneider tipped in a Dylan Blujus shot to take an early lead just two minutes into the contest. The remainder of the first half of the game was dotted more with penalties than offense for either side; Milwaukee had seven power-play opportunities but converted on just one of them. Ingram, who stopped 30 of 32 shots, turned aside several high-danger chances for the Wild.
Dylan Blujus and Matt Donovan failed to clear the traffic in front of Ingram, allowing Nolan Stevens to tie the game halfway through the second period. Just a few minutes later, Turner Ottenbreit was able to walk into the slot uncontested and fired a wrist shot past Ingram to give Iowa their only lead of the morning.
Through periods two and three, the Wild controlled much of the game’s pace; Milwaukee’s third line of Smith—Huntington—Olivier was particularly poor, combining for just a 44.8% Corsi rate at even strength and three total shot attempts. Regardless, Cole Schneider scored his second of the day, rebounding on another point shot, and Jeremy Davies ended things in overtime with a brilliant individual effort:
Jeremy Davies is today's MVP. pic.twitter.com/O0WqrdYjoF— Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) March 9, 2022
Milwaukee Admirals (3) vs. Rockford IceHogs (4)
On Friday, with Devin Cooley in net, Milwaukee took on their temporary Fish Fry moniker and donned some sweet new threads. Jeremy Davies stayed hot and opened the game’s scoring with a point shot just 45 seconds into the contest. But, just a few minutes later, the Admirals’ penalty kill—which went just 50.0% on the night—gave up a soft power-play goal to Evan Barratt. Nevertheless, the first period was highlighted by Mathieu Olivier’s brutal takedown of Kurtis Gabriel:
In the second frame, Davies kept rolling, scoring his sixth of the season on the power play after a slick toe-drag into the slot. Rocco Grimaldi added another power-play marker later in period two with assists to Matt Donovan and Tommy Novak.
While Cooley was largely sound—stopping 20 of 23 shots (including a dangerous chance from Lukas Reichel early in period three)—he let in a weak bank shot from Brett Connolly to make things 3-2, and Mike Hardman later tied the game with an excellent deflection near the crease.
Jeremy Davies, Rocco Grimaldi, and Cody Glass were all stopped in the shootout, ending Milwaukee’s three-game winning streak.
Milwaukee Admirals (2) vs. Chicago Wolves (1)
In what was the week’s most critical matchup, the atmosphere was nothing short of a playoff game against division-leading Chicago. Connor Ingram was back between the pipes, and Joseph LaBate returned for his second straight game after an injury absence.
Late in the first, Stefan Noesen was able to cut into the slot between LaBate and Jimmy Huntington to receive a pass and put one past Ingram. In the middle frame, Tommy Novak tapped the puck home off a rebound from a Jeremy Davies-to-Rocco Grimaldi chance, tying things up at one.
Milwaukee’s penalty kill was perfect, quashing all three of Chicago’s opportunities, and Ingram stopped 32 of 33 to take the Wolves to a shootout. Cole Schneider and Graham Knott scored for the Admirals, both with backhanders, and Ingram watched on as Maxim Letunov lost control of the puck on the Wolves’ final attempt, deploying his Fish Fry celebration after the big win:
The Week Ahead
- Wednesday, March 16 @ Chicago Wolves
- Saturday, March 19 vs. Texas Stars
- Sunday, March 20 @ Rockford IceHogs