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Milwaukee Musings: Ads Split Weekend with Gulls

In their first two games of the new year, Milwaukee split a back-to-back weekend with San Diego as each team posted five goals on the other. The Admirals responded well to a poor Friday-night effort with a definite rout of the Gulls on Saturday, improving their record to 19-11-2. Milwaukee sits second in the Central in points percentage (0.625) and third in actual points (40) as they head into a four-game week on the road in Arizona and Texas.

2022-23 Nashville Predators AHL/ECHL Stats

Quick Hits

  • Last Tuesday, Milwaukee signed forward Cam Hausinger to a professional tryout
  • Forward Zach Sanford has missed the Admirals’ last three games
  • Forward Luke Evangelista remains tied for third in rookie scoring across the AHL with 25 points in 32 games
  • The Milwaukee Admirals have allowed the seventh-fewest goals (91) across the AHL/

Milwaukee Admirals (0) vs. San Diego Gulls (5)

The Admirals had a short week, hosting San Diego for a back-to-back in Wisconsin; Yaroslav Askarov got the nod in Friday night’s contest. Milwaukee got off to a stunning start, peppering Lukas Dostal with 16 shots in the first period compared to the seven Askarov faced. But the former remained perfect and the latter struggled in one of his tougher outings of the season.

San Diego opened the scoring six minutes into the first when Nathan Beaulieu beat Askarov with a weak shot glove-side off an odd-man rush. In the second period, Glenn Gawdin lasered a shot past Askarov from the high slot (again on the glove side) to double the Gulls’ lead. In the final frame, San Diego pounced on an Admirals’ turnover with Rocco Grimaldi feeding Benoit-Olivier Groulx, who beat Askarov glove-side on a shorthanded breakaway. The Gulls added two more, including a power-play marker, to take this one by a 5-0 final.

Despite the outcome, Milwaukee was dominant possession-wise in this game; the Admirals’ fourth line of Jachym Kondelik, Navrin Mutter, and Tommy Apap epitomizes that perfectly. Even with being on the ice for the first goal, this trio posted a 73.68%, 73.91%, and 70.59% Corsi at even strength, respectively. They also combined for ten shot attempts and ten primary shot assists. But regardless of these more advanced metrics, a poor Askarov performance and key defensive mistakes dashed Milwaukee’s hopes in Friday night’s game.

Milwaukee Admirals (5) vs. San Diego Gulls (1)

Looking for revenge on Saturday, Milwaukee turned to Devin Cooley in the crease; meanwhile, Xavier Bouchard took Spencer Stastney’s spot on the blue line. Halfway through the first period, Jimmy Huntington faked San Diego into a line change with some cheeky puck possession. That allowed Luke Evangelista and Kevin Gravel to jump into the offensive zone on an easy two-on-one, which the duo executed without hiccups to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.

In period two, Jordan Gross doubled the Ads’ lead with a one-time slap shot from the top of the faceoff dot, and Phil Tomasino added another, pulling a puck off the wall and dancing his way to the low slot. While Tomasino may not be recalled to Nashville anytime soon, he’s demonstrating exactly what he needs to in the AHL with 19 points in 24 games, including eight in his last ten outings.

Later that period, on the power play, Cole Schneider scored from exactly where he makes his living: at the net front. Schneider and Markus Nurmi then combined for a nice little tic-tac-toe goal to put up five on the Gulls. Milwaukee’s captain has continued his ageless offensive production, adding 13 goals and 23 points in 32 games this season and proving to be an invaluable asset for this roster.

Glenn Gawdin added one for San Diego late in the second period, but Milwaukee held tight defensively. Devin Cooley faced just 16 shots all game and Milwaukee put the Gulls on the power play just three times on their way to a 5-1 win.

The Week Ahead

  • Tuesday, January 10 @ Tucson Roadrunners
  • Wednesday, January 11 @ Tucson Roadrunners
  • Saturday, January 14 @ Texas Stars
  • Sunday, January 15 @ Texas Stars/

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

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