After a 2-1-0 stretch last week, the Milwaukee Admirals have pulled within two points of the Texas Stars for the division lead. With 28 games to go, this will be a dogfight to see who comes out on top in the Central.
As reinforcements head back to Nashville in Tommy Novak and Kevin Gravel (and maybe soon Michael McCarron), Milwaukee will tango in a home-and-home with Rockford this weekend
- Last Wednesday, Milwaukee released forward Cam Hausinger from his professional tryout contract
- On Sunday, Nashville recalled Tommy Novak (F) and Kevin Gravel (D) from Milwaukee
- Forward Luke Evangelista finished the AHL All-Star Classic with one goal and one assist in three games
- Milwaukee is tied for fourth in the league in goals scored (157) and has allowed the tenth fewest (130)
Milwaukee Admirals (1) vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (2)
To wrap up the month of January, the Milwaukee Admirals hosted the Grand Rapids Griffins and welcomed Michael McCarron back into the lineup on his conditioning stint. After an evenly matched first period, Yaroslav Askarov fell victim to a strange bounce off a stanchion and Jakub Vrana opened the scoring on a mostly empty net.
The Griffins limited the Admirals’ offensive pressure for the rest of the night and added an empty-net goal with a few minutes to play. With Askarov pulled, Cole Schneider banged home a loose puck half a minute later, but Milwaukee couldn’t tie things before the buzzer.
Milwaukee Admirals (3) vs. Manitoba Moose (1)
On Friday, the Admirals welcomed rival Manitoba to town and gave Yaroslav Askarov the start once again. As both teams garnered a few chances in the first period, the Moose broke the ice when Roland McKeown failed to defend two passes on an odd-man rush, giving Kristian Reichel an open net to score in.
Late in the second period, McKeown made up for it by capitalizing on a scramble in front of Arvid Holm and notching the tying goal thanks to a setup from Luke Evangelista.
Askarov continued to be stellar, turning aside 28 of the 29 shots he faced. John Leonard potted the go-ahead goal halfway through the third period, tapping in a backdoor chance off a power-play pass from Egor Afanasyev. And with a second to play, Leonard sealed things with an empty-net goal.
Despite the win, Milwaukee went with some lineup changes that didn’t quite work at even strength. Their fourth line of Leonard, Tim Schaller, and Navrin Mutter was a great example as all three were outplayed possession-wise. Leonard, for instance, recorded a 37.5% Corsi, and the trio combined for just three shot attempts. But Milwaukee made the most of their chances and stayed out of the box to get themselves back in the win column.
Milwaukee Admirals (5) vs. Manitoba Moose (4)
If Friday was a quiet, disciplined affair between the Moose and the Admirals, Saturday was anything but. With Devin Cooley between the pipes, Manitoba got out to an early start, peppering him with 17 shots on goals and scoring within the first two minutes. Later in the period, Wyatt Bongiovanni doubled the Moose’s lead with a power-play goal from the high slot. Just before the end of the frame, however, Kiefer Sherwood pounced on a won faceoff by Phil Tomasino and ripped a shot past Oskari Salminen (sending the teddy bears flying onto the ice). Both clubs were successful with a man advantage in what was a penalty-filled affair.
In the second period, the two teams went back and forth with the scoring: Zach Sanford tipped home a Keaton Thompson shot to tie the game before Manitoba responded and regained their two-goal lead.
8 goals in the last 12 games for Zach Sanford, including the overtime winner tonight. 12 total points for him during that stretch too.#Smashville #MILHockey— OTF: Preds Prospects (@OnTheFutureOTF) February 5, 2023
In the third period, the Admirals orchestrated a remarkable comeback. Luke Evangelista executed a great shift before finding Jimmy Huntington on the Moose’s doorstep, who banged home Milwaukee’s third goal. And just 50 seconds later, Sherwood put home a rebound, his second of the night and 20th of the season, to send things to overtime.
OT WINNER FOR SANDY pic.twitter.com/zm3cfBX3P8— Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) February 5, 2023
In the extra frame, Milwaukee controlled much of the possession. About two minutes in, Zach Sanford catalyzed a nice give-and-go play through the neutral zone; Evangelista dished a great saucer pass, and Sanford buried the game-winner.
The Week Ahead
- Friday, February 10 vs. Rockford IceHogs
- Saturday, February 11 @ Rockford IceHogs
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com, theAHL.com, or manually tracked.