After an unsteady January to date, the Milwaukee Admirals’ offensive weapons ignited in last week’s two-game series against Rockford and Grand Rapids. The Admirals total 12 goals across both games and picked up four out of four points, improving their record to 24-14-3.
Maintaining their place in second in the AHL's Central Division, Milwaukee begins a four-game homestand this evening.
- Last week, defender Kevin Gravel was quickly recalled to fill in during Nashville’s last game before the NHL All-Star Break
- The next day, Gravel and Tommy Novak (F) were reassigned to Milwaukee, presumably for the duration of the break
- The AHL recently announced that Luke Evangelista (F) will fill in for Novak at the 2023 AHL All-Star Game
Milwaukee Admirals (8) vs. Rockford IceHogs (4)
Playing in front of Yaroslav Askarov on Friday, the Admirals got off to a roaring start against the Rockford IceHogs. Six minutes into the affair, Zach Sanford poked home a rebound on the power play to open the scoring, and later in the period, the Admirals doubled their lead again on the power play. This time, Egor Afanasyev demonstrated a great individual effort, driving to the net, faking a shot, and wrapping around the net to set up Jimmy Huntington:
Excellent fake and set-up by Egor Afanasyev here.#Smashville #MILHockey https://t.co/mOFfgTq1ng— OTF: Preds Prospects (@OnTheFutureOTF) January 28, 2023
Rockford took control of period two early, striking on the power play a few minutes into the frame. The rest of the period was filled with scoring with goals coming from John Leonard and two from Kiefer Sherwood. Milwaukee headed into the final period with a 5-2 lead.
In the third, both teams ping-ponged goals beginning with Sherwood notching his hat trick marker on an early man advantage; the Admirals’ power play—which sits ninth in the league at 22.0%—went three-for-three on Friday night. The rest of the night resulted in an 8-4 win for Milwaukee and milestones like Adam Wilsby’s first North American goal. Sherwood and Marc Del Gaizo both recorded four points, and the latter has posted ten points in his last ten games.
Milwaukee Admirals (4) vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (2)
On Saturday, Milwaukee turned to Devin Cooley between the pipes and got out to another fast start, peppering the Griffins with 19 shots in the first 20 minutes. Zach Sanford opened the scoring again with a goal eerily similar to his Friday night marker; the veteran is staying hot with goals in his last three games.
Egor Afanasyev doubled the Admirals’ lead with a long-range power-play wrist shot, and Roland McKeown made it 3-0 thanks to a lay-up pass from Afanasyev himself.
In the second period, Cole Schneider scored off a fast break, making it 4-0. Grand Rapids picked up two goals in the final period, but Cooley was fantastic, stopping 28 of 30 shots. The Admirals’ power play kept it up too, converting on two of their four chances. The Griffins could never claw their way back into this one as Milwaukee’s best players were dominant at even strength. Their top line of Afanasyev, Sanford, and Phil Tomasino recorded a 55.2%, 53.6%, and 50.0% Corsi respectively, and they combined for 12 shot attempts, including five from high-danger areas.
The Week Ahead
- Tuesday, January 31 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
- Friday, February 3 vs. Manitoba Moose
- Saturday, February 4 vs. Manitoba Moose
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com, theAHL.com, or manually tracked.