Pihlstrom Helps Admirals Sail Past Griffins
Dec 18, 2007
The Griffins struck first when Mattias Ritola notched his second goal of the season at the 5:29 mark of the first period. Behind the Milwaukee net Grand Rapids center Mark Cullen fired a pass to Ritola, who was positioned at the bottom of the left circle and beat Admirals goaltender Pekka Rinne to the glove side.
The score would remain 1-0 after the first period in spite of the combined 21 shots on goal between the two clubs. The Griffins had a golden opportunity when they had spent nearly four straight minutes on the power play, including 22 seconds of 5-on-3 time, but Milwaukee managed to kill off the PPs, including a save by Rinne on a point-blank shot by Carl Corazzini.
Pihlstrom finally cracked Howard's spell when he cleaned up the rebound of an Alex Sulzer shot at the 10:27 mark of the second. The first-year Finn would put the Admirals up 2-1 just 14 seconds later when Rich Peverley fired a cross-ice pass from the right corner that found a streaking Pihlstrom on the left post and he tipped a shot past Howard.
Kelsey Wilson gave the Admirals a two-goal lead when he posted his second goal of the season with just 1:42 left in the second period. Janne Niskala led the Ads into the Grand Rapids' zone and fed Mike Santorelli, who fired a shot at Howard. The Griffins netminder made the save, but couldn't control the rebound and Wilson flipped a backhand over the prone goalie and into the net. Just when it looked like the Admirals would have an easy go of it in the third period, the Griffins stormed back with a pair of markers, including the game-tying goal by Sheboygan native Brett Engelhardt at 8:23 of the third.
But Grand Rapids’ Brad Ference was whistled for a hooking call with 2:22 left and on the ensuing power play Peverley sent a pass from the left point to a wide open Franson on the far post and all the rookie defenseman had to do was redirect the puck for the game-winner.
The goal for Franson was the third consecutive game that he has lit the lamp and the Pihlstrom’s back-to-back markers set an Admirals AHL record for fastest two goals by one player. Rinne had his streak of five straight games giving up just one goal ended, but he did extended his winning streak to five consecutive with his 31 save performance.
The Admirals are back in action this Friday night when they travel to Quad City before finishing their pre-Christmas schedule with a 7:05 pm game in Rockford, their first-ever match-up against the IceHogs.
Milwaukee’s next home game will be on Tuesday, December 27th at 7:00 pm when they take on the San Antonio Rampage at the BC. The first 3,500 fans will receive a pizza cutter, courtesy of Palermo’s Pizza. Fans can purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (414) 276-4545 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of ten or more people receive a minimum of $2 off of each ticket. For more information or to order group tickets call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550.