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Milwaukee Musings: Ads Rebound after Four Straight Losses

Milwaukee got back on track with a shootout win over Iowa.

Milwaukee Admirals

January has been a mediocre month for the Nashville Predators' AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals as they’ve posted a 4-4-1 record; luckily for them, five of those games have been against non-division opponents. After a 1-1-1 week, where Milwaukee snapped a four-game losing streak, the Admirals remained second in the Central Division with a 22-14-3 record and 47 points.

With reinforcements in town in the way of Michael McCarron, Milwaukee has another four points on the board this weekend with games against Rockford and Grand Rapids.

Quick Hits

  • Last Wednesday, defender Roland McKeown was reassigned to Milwaukee from Nashville
  • On Thursday, forward Michael McCarron was reassigned to Milwaukee after exiting the NHLPA’s Player Assistance Program
  • Forward Luke Evangelista sits third in AHL rookie scoring with 30 points in 39 games
  • Goalie Yaroslav Askarov is tied for first in the AHL in shutouts (2) and ninth in save percentage (0.902)

Milwaukee Admirals (1) vs. Springfield Falcons (2)

After dropping the final half of their four-game road trip in Texas, Milwaukee returned home last Wednesday to host the Springfield Falcons. With Yaroslav Askarov in net, the Admirals came out of the gates extremely flat. They generated few offensive chances in the first period, totaling just five shots on net, but the game remained scoreless at the end of 20 minutes.

In the middle frame, Martin Frk beat Askarov over his glove as the goalie was just slightly out of position at the top of his crease. Despite starting to counter more, a bad double pinch by Adam Wilsby and Spencer Stastney sprung Hugh McGing on a breakaway, and he beat Askarov glove side once again.

Later in the period, Jordan Gross cut the Falcons’ lead in half with a shorthanded blast. He finished the game with a 59.1% Corsi rating, added four shot attempts, and recorded two primary shot assists—all at even strength.

While Milwaukee finished the game as the better team, they couldn’t beat Joel Hofer a second time, dropping their third straight game.

Milwaukee Admirals (2) @ Iowa Wild (3)

Traveling down to Iowa, Yaroslav Askarov led the Admirals in taking on the Wild last Friday. Milwaukee controlled period one, outshooting Iowa 13 to 8 and staying mostly out of the penalty box. Askarov was at his best, drumming up jaw-dropping saves to save the Ads in front of him—particularly on the penalty kill.

Regardless, Damien Giroux cashed in for Iowa off a weird bounce early in the second period, giving them a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, Phil Tomasino tied things up by tipping in a Jordan Gross point shot on the power play. Nashville’s 2019 first-round pick has totaled 28 points in 31 games this season, including 11 in his last 10 games.

Adam Beckman helped Iowa retake the lead a few minutes later after he was left alone in the high slot during a four-on-four shift. But, Kiefer Sherwood responded early in the third period, banking in a rebound on a power play that’s really been clicking lately. The Admirals’ setup on the man advantage starts with a traditional umbrella, but both flanks have the liberty to contract and expand either side of the ice with the QB and the slot shooter, forcing defenders to move more and clear out of the low slot in front of the netminder.

Milwaukee generated plenty of chances in the third period, but Jesper Wallstedt stonewalled them and dragged Iowa to overtime, where the Wild converted on the power play, handing the Admirals their fourth-straight loss.

Milwaukee Admirals (4) @ Iowa Wild (3)

On Saturday, Devin Cooley led the Admirals in a rematch with Iowa and starred, stopping 43 of the 46 shots he faced. After Marco Rossi scored first for Iowa on an opening-frame power play, Spencer Stastney responded early in the second period with a subtle wrist shot from the point.

Dakota Mermis answered back later in the middle frame, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead. A few minutes after that, Jachym Kondelik tipped in an Adam Wilsby shot for his fifth goal of the year. Milwaukee’s fourth line of Kondelik, Navrin Mutter, and Tommy Apap was responsible for their first two goals but were badly out-possessed for 65 minutes—indicative of the rest of the team’s woes on Saturday night; that trio posted a 39.1%, 48.0%, and a 42.9% Corsi at even strength, respectively.

Nashville Forward Prospects | Possession Play
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In period three, Zach Sanford lasered a shot from the top of the left circle past Zane McIntyre to give Milwaukee its first lead of the night; Sanford is finally delivering some veteran scoring for the Admirals, posting eight points in his last ten games.

Iowa tied things up with just 15 seconds left in regulation, but the Admirals didn’t stay demoralized, finishing off the Wild in a shootout for a critical two points.


The Week Ahead

  • Friday, January 27 vs. Rockford IceHogs
  • Saturday, January 28 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins

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