Niskala, Admirals Stop Rampage in Overtime
Jan 23, 2008
Milwaukee, WI - Over the past four games, the Milwaukee Admirals’ power-play had fallen onto hard times. While they had not cashed on a man-advantage in their last sixteen opportunities, that changed Wednesday night when they notched four power-play tallies in their 5-4 overtime victory over the San Antonio Rampage at the Bradley Center.
Janne Niskala would even score the extra period game winner on the man-advantage. Center Cal O’Reilly would lead the way in scoring for the Admirals with three assists and forward Matt Ellison would get a goal and an assist of his own.
Milwaukee got on the board early capitalizing on a power-play opportunity after the Rampage’s Chris Durno took a boarding penalty just 2:34 into the game. Milwaukee didn’t waste any time as just 30 seconds later defenseman Cody Franson blocked a Rampage clearing chance and fired a shot on net that was deflected past Rampage netminder David LeNeveu by Kelsey Wilson.
It only took San Antonio four minutes to answer back after a long breakout pass from blueliner Brandon Bell jumped the stick of an Admirals player and settled on teammate Curtis Frasier’s. Frasier bolted down the ice for a two on one. Frasier faked a pass and took a shot that flew just past Pekka Rinne’s outstretched glove.
Milwaukee would regain the lead after LeNeveu could not control defenseman Niskala’s shot before Ellison would poke the puck into the net at the 10:26 mark of the first.
Milwaukee’s power play continued to roll on all cylinders as they converted yet again just five minutes later to take a 3-1 with 4:45 left in the first. Winger Andreas Thuresson scooped up another errant rebound left by LeNeveu and reached around LeNeveu’s stick before the puck slowly rolled across the goal line.
The Rampage would end the first frame with momentum as they made it a one goal game on a Jon DiSalvatore goal with just five second remaining in the period. DiSalvatore capitalized on a loose puck in front of the Milwaukee goal when he put a shot into the top corner of the net past and outstretched Rinne.
Frasier would tie the game for the Rampage at the 13:12 into the second frame after forward Josh Gratton picked off a Milwaukee clearing pass and delivered the puck to Frasier standing unguarded in front of the Milwaukee goal. Frasier tipped the pass between the legs of Rinne and into the back of the net.
San Antonio scored their third unanswered goal at the 8:17 mark of the third period as David Spina finally broke the Admirals penalty-kill which had defended 21 straight. Spina poked in a rebound after Rinne made a sliding leg-split save on Durno.
Three minutes later, the Admirals would counter back and tie the game at four. O’Reilly skated the puck from behind the Rampage net and delivered a backhand pass to Ellison, who sent one of his own to defenseman Brian Schmidt. Schmidt released a wrist shot through traffic and over the shoulder of new netminder Josh Tordjman, who replaced LeNeveu after the first period.
The Admirals power play came through in the end as Niskala converted Milwaukee’s fourth power play goal with one minute remaining in the overtime session. Milwaukee went on the man advantage with Rampage forward Joey Tenute slashed Alexander Sulzer breaking out of the zone. With Milwaukee working the 4 on 3 Niskala received a pass from Sulzer between the hashmarks. After a quick hesitation, Niskala let go of a quick wrist shot that zipped by Tordjman’s stick.
The last time the Admirals scored four power play goals in a single tilt was on December 17, 2006, when they defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 8-5.
The Admirals will try for three straight wins as they return to the Bradley Center to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins this Friday at 7:00 pm. The first 5,000 fans will receive an Admirals T-Shirt courtesy of Express Promotions. Fans can purchase tickets for Saturday or any Admirals game by calling Ticketmaster at (414) 276-4545 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.