Admirals Win See-Saw Game
Feb 16, 2008
The Admirals scored five goals on seven shots in the first period, then weathered a four goal onslaught from the opposition, en route to a 6-4 win at Grand Rapids against the Griffins.
A sellout crowd of 10,834 was silenced as Griffins goaltenders stopped just two of seven Milwaukee shots in the opening stanza. Meanwhile, Admirals goalie Maxime Daigneault saw 17 first period shots and was able to stop all of them.
Cal O’Reilly had a four point period as he assisted on the first two goals, both by Milwaukee defenseman Janne Niskala. Niskala’s first came at 5:32 with a wrist shot from the left point that beat starting goalie Adam Berkhoel over his left hand. It was Niskala’s 15th goal of the season. O’Reilly notched the lone assist.
Niskala’s second came at 10:46. O’Reilly passed the puck from the half wall on the right to the corner for Jason Guerriero. Guerriero found Niskala crashing to the net. The tap in was Niskala’s second goal of the night and 16th of the season. The tally gave Niskala his third two-goal game of the season, the other two were against Quad City. Guerriero and O’Reilly recorded the helpers.
O’Reilly scored his 11th goal of the season at 15:46 with a shot from the slot that got past Berkhoel. James Sixsmith and Cody Franson notched assists.
Matt Ellison gave the Admirals a 4-0 lead with his 14th goal of the year, tying his career high. O’Reilly and John Vigilante got the assists. The goal also chased Berkhoel in favor of relief goaltender Cody Rudkowsky.
Rudkowsky fared no better as Kevin Ulanski scored his first AHL goal with a wrist shot right before the horn sounded to end the period. Kevin Klein was able to stickhandle away from the Griffins defenders at the Milwaukee blue line and make a pass to Ulanski with seven seconds left in the period. Ulanski’s wrist shot from the right circle went in at 19:59. Klein and Alex Sulzer were given assists.
As great as the first period was, the second period was a Milwaukee nightmare. The Griffins, a team that ranked dead last on the power play, scored three power play goals in the period, four in all, to close to within one.
Ryan Oulahen scored on the power play at 1:56 to put the Griffins on the board.
Evan McGrath scored with a shot along the left goal line that went between Daigneault’s right skate and the goal post at 3:01 to make the score 5-2.
With Grand Rapids on a 5-on-3 power play, Garrett Stafford fired a slapshot from the left circle that beat Daigneault over his left hand, and sent the Admirals goalie to the bench in favor of Pekka Rinne. The goal was scored at 9:02 of the second period.
Still on a 5-on-4 power play, Jamie Tardif was able to tap in a rebound past Pekka Rinne at 9:33 to make the score 5-4.
Tempers heated between the teams. Kelsey Wilson of Milwaukee and Grand Rapids defenseman Jonathan Ericsson both were hit with fighting majors at 15:24. Only 23 seconds later, Darren McCarty and Alex Henry were involved in a true heavyweight tussle.
Jason Guerriero scored the lone goal of the third period, his sixth of the season, to give the Admirals a 6-4 lead. The goal, at 10:50, was scored on the rebound of a shot by Vigilante. O’Reilly also picked up an assist, his fourth of the game.
O’Reilly’s five-point night was Milwaukee’s first such game this season.
The Admirals host Rockford Sunday at 4 p.m. The first 2,500 fans 14 & under will receive an Admirals placemat courtesy of WM Recycle America. Plus, fans can purchase 4 ($16) tickets, 4 hot dogs & 4 soft drinks for only $40. Fans can skate on the Bradley Center ice surface following the game, courtesy of Foley & Lardner.