Rinne Ties Record in Admirals Win
Apr 11, 2008
For two teams that have seen a lot of each other this season and will face off twice in as many days, the tone was set quickly, with bodies flying everywhere and a fight breaking out in the first five minutes. The game featured 58 total penalty minutes, the most for Milwaukee this season.
Milwaukee was able to get on the board first with 8:11 remaining in the first period when Matt Ellison centered a pass that deflected off of a Houston defender in front of the Aero net. Admiral winger Antti Pihlstrom circled around the goal, and with his back to the net, shot the puck between his legs that Areo netminder Nolan Schaefer did not see until it was in the back of the net. The goal marked Philstrom’s 26th of the season.
The Admirals would tack on another goal at the 11:52 mark of the second frame as Mike Santorelli picked a Houston defender’s pocket as he was breaking out from behind the Houston net. Santorelli pulled a quick deke and stuffed it between Schaefer’s legs before the goalie could get into position. Houston would get a goal of their own just five minutes later as Danny Irmen fired a one-timer from the left face-off dot that slid under Rinne’s right leg pad.
After five previous power-play opportunities, Milwaukee would finally cash in on number six. The goal came with 11:24 left in the third period when winger John Vigilante passed the puck back to blueliner Janne Niskala. Niskala backpedaled to the center of the ice before rifling off a slap shot that deflected off an Aeros’ defender and into the back of the net.
Houston would tighten the game as they converted with an extra attacker with just 57.9 seconds remaining in regulation. A slap shot from defenseman Jon Awe snuck between Rinne’s legs and bounced off the left post. Before Rinne could fall back on it, the Aeros’ extra attacker, Justin Noreau, corralled the rebound and stuffed it into the open net.
Houston never got another chance to even the score in the last minute, as Milwaukee gained two more important points in their push to improve seeding with only two games remaining in the regular season.
Pihlstrom led the scoring for the Admirals as he scored a goal and picked up another assist. Rinne stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced on the night.
Milwaukee will close the regular season with games in Houston tomorrow and Sunday. Because the race for seeding in the West Division has still to be decided, the Admirals will have to wait until the end of the weekend before they will know who their first round playoff foe will be.