Milwaukee Musings: Admirals Dispose of Moose, Split Rockford Series
The Admirals remain atop the Central Division.
In a three-game week, the Milwaukee Admirals stayed atop the Central Division by collecting four of six possible points against Manitoba and Rockford. With reinforcements in the lineup in the form of Zach Sanford, the Admirals’ lineup is as complete as possible—even with an injured Phil Tomasino.
This high-scoring offensive machine will undergo another three-game week this week with contests against Texas and Manitoba.
2022-23 Nashville Predators AHL/ECHL Stats
- Milwaukee sits second in the AHL with 69 goals scored
- Forward Phil Tomasino has now missed the last five games with a lower-body injury
- Forward Zach Sanford was assigned to Milwaukee last Wednesday and played in his first two AHL games of the season
- The Admirals’ 25.5% power-play success rate currently ranks first in the Central Division/
Milwaukee Admirals (5) vs. Manitoba Moose (1)
Last Tuesday, Yaroslav Askarov led the Admirals to a 5-1 win over Manitoba with one of his best performances of the season. Stopping 30 of 31 shots face, Askarov was beaten only by a first-period power-play marker.
In the middle frame, Jordan Gross tied the game with a slapshot goal on the man advantage before Milwaukee took things over. Despite surrendering 20 shots in the third period, the Admirals took a two-goal lead thanks to two scoring shifts from the Cole Schneider-Tommy Novak-Luke Evangelista line.
Later in the period, Tim Schaller cleaned up a John Leonard shot from the half-wall, and the latter set up rookie Markus Nurmi for an empty-net goal to close out a complete victory.
Milwaukee Admirals (4) @ Rockford IceHogs (6)
After a routing of the Moose, Milwaukee traveled to Rockford on Friday to take on the IceHogs with Devin Cooley in goal. Zach Sanford entered the Admirals’ lineup on a unit with Tim Schaller and Markus Nurmi.
The Schneider-Novak-Evangelista line got things started again just over two minutes into the game with Novak deflecting an Adam Wilsby point shot past Cooley. Rockford tied the game on the power play before Novak struck again on a high-slot slap shot from Evangelista and Schneider.
Minutes later, the Kevin Gravel-Jordan Gross pairing left a juicy rebound free for collection, which Bobby Lynch gladly put past Cooley. But, the Admirals left the first period with a 3-2 lead thanks to a Cole Schneider power-play goal.
Milwaukee let Rockford dominate the final two periods, giving up 29 shots and allowing three power-play goals on five opportunities. Cole Schneider added his second of the night on the man advantage halfway through the third, but the Admirals ultimately fell to the IceHogs on a bad night for the blue line and goalie.
Milwaukee Admirals (5) vs. Rockford IceHogs (3)
After dropping the first game, Milwaukee set out to enact revenge on Rockford with Askarov back between the pipes. The Admirals cleaned up their stick infractions, taking just one minor penalty all game, and peppered the IceHogs with a consistent offensive attack each period.
This time it was the Egor Afanasyev-Jimmy Huntington-Markus Nurmi that took the game over, opening the scoring just two minutes into the contest. After notching zero points in his prior four games and just four in the previous ten, Afanasyev had a big night, recording two goals and one power-play assist. Despite being split up late in the second period, this unit impressed; Huntington, Nurmi, and Afanasyev recorded 57.1, 57.1, and 52.6% Corsi ratings at even strength, respectively, and generated a combined nine shot attempts, including three from high-danger areas.
Nurmi in particular was dynamic and dominant in transition, putting up a 100% controlled zone exit success rate and an 85.7% controlled zone entry success rate, including five-for-five on carry-ins.
Milwaukee got out to a 3-0 lead, including a marker from Roland McKeown—the blue line’s eighth goal of the season; that’s not a lot, but it is one more than the Admirals’ defenders had scored through 17 games last season.
Tonight's Save of the Game ft. Yaroslav Askarov. #MILhockey | @LandmarkCU pic.twitter.com/0uuicE1Xri— Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) November 27, 2022
Unfortunately, Milwaukee let their foot off the gas pedal, and the IceHogs had this game tied just seven minutes into the second period. Despite that, Askarov remained settled, pitching a third-period shutout and stopping 23 of 26 shots total. Meanwhile, Afanasyev delivered a wraparound goal early in the final frame, and Markus Nurmi iced this 5-3 win with a power play goal five minutes later.
The Week Ahead
- Tuesday, November 29 vs. Texas Stars
- Thursday, December 1 @ Manitoba Moose
- Saturday, December 3 @ Manitoba Moose/
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com, theAHL.com, or manually tracked.