As the schedule goes, the Admirals and Grand Rapids will be the first teams to play a regular season game in the 2012-2013 season.
The Admirals opened the 2005-06 season in Grand Rapids and lost 6-3. Admirals president Jon Greenberg can tell you that Jiri Hudler scored twice and added two assists in that game. Pekka Rinne made his North American debut as he relieved Brian Finley in goal. Brandon Segal, Libor Pivko and Kris Beech scored for Milwaukee.
The next season’s opener was a disaster. With Rinne out of the lineup due to injury, Admirals goalies Karl Goehring and Scott Reid allowed seven goals on 31 shots in losing 7-1 to the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights at the Bradley Center. It was 7-0 before Alexander Radulov scored on the power play with assists from John Vigilante and Rich Peverley.
In 2007, the Admirals opened the season with a 4-2 loss at Peoria. Mike Santorelli and Josh Langfeld scored for Milwaukee as Jason Bacashihua bested Rinne in goal. That game was the last opener Milwaukee lost.
In 2008, the Admirals opened in San Antonio with a 3-1 win over the Rampage. Goalie Drew MacIntyre stopped 39 shots while Antti Pihlstrom, Josh Gratton and Santorelli scored the goals. Geoff Peters spent nine minutes in the penalty box.
In 2009, Milwaukee opened with a 3-2 win at Chicago. Triston Grant, Mark Santorelli and Ian McKenzie scored the goals. McKenzie was the game’s first star. Mark Dekanich earned the win over former Admiral MacIntyre.
The Admirals posted a 6-2 win against Abbotsford at the Bradley Center in 2010. Down 2-0 after the first period, Milwaukee capitalized on misplays by Heat goalie Leland Irving and went on to victory. Matt Halischuk and Linus Klasen each scored twice. Nick Spaling and Mark Van Guilder scored the other goals.
Last season, in Kirk Muller’s debut as head coach, the Admirals won at Peoria, 4-1. Michael Latta scored the first goal of the season on a penalty shot. Ryan Thang tallied twice and Juuso Puustinen added the other.
The AHL is certainly getting a bump in coverage due to what’s happening in the NHL. Here’s a nice article on the boost that Oklahoma City is experiencing during the NHL lockout. Milwaukee visits OKC Nov. 16 & 17. The Barons come to Milwaukee Jan. 5 & 25.
You may have heard that professional hockey will be back on ESPN. Well, it’s the KHL, but it is pro hockey.
You probably know Admirals forward Austin Watson is the oldest of 10 kids. Here’s an article about him from the year he was drafted.
Remember, you can listen to every Admirals game this season in Milwaukee on Sportsradio 1250, WSSP. Listen online. You’ll hear our weekly show, Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice there every Monday at 6pm.