Admirals Strike First with Game 1 Win
Apr 16, 2009
Milwaukee, WI—Cal O’Reilly scored two third-period goals and tallied an assist, while Drew MacIntyre had a phenomenal night in net stopping 31 shots to lead the Milwaukee Admirals to a 3-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs Thursday night. The win gave Milwaukee a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven West Division Semifinals against Rockford.
With the score tied, the first half of the third period featured hard, gritty play at both ends of the ice. Several bodies were banged up, big saves were made, and posts were rung. But, to the fans objection, the score remained deadlocked at one until 2:52 left in the game.
With pressure increasing in the Rockford zone around Rockford netminder Corey Crawford after a slapshot by Cody Franson, a loose puck came out to Patric Hornqvist. Rather than take the shot for the possibility of his second goal of the game, he chipped it over to Cal O’Reilly who shoved it in back door for his second point of the night, and ultimately the game winner.
“I kind of fanned on it,” noted O’Reilly. “It found its way in though, luckily.”
Milwaukee hit first, at the 6:41 mark of the opening period, when Robert Dietrich one-timed a pass right into the slot for Patric Hornqvist to deflect under the pads of Crawford. The second assist on the play was given to Cal O’Reilly, the second highest point-getter for the Admirals in the regular season.
However, Rockford struck back when newcomer Akim Aliu batted in a rebound on the leftwing side off of a shot from the defenseman at 9:14 of the first.
Although the scoreboard said that no goals were scored in the second period, the action on Rockford’s part would argue that they deserved one or two. Drew MacIntyre objected, though, as he stopped all 14 shots that came his way; some with outstanding diving saves.
“I think he’s the reason we won the game, plain and simple,” said Admirals Head Coach Lane Lambert. “He was outstanding. Some of the saves he made were big time saves, and if he doesn’t make those we’re probably looking at a different outcome.”
Rockford had a 6-on-4 with an empty net after a delay of game call on Nolan Yonkman with 43 second left in the game, but Cal O’Reilly sealed the deal with nine seconds left by throwing the puck into an open net.
Despite is two goals on the night, O’Reilly gave all the credit to MacIntyre:
“Drew kept is in and that’s the reason that it was 1-1 going into the third,” added O’Reilly. “We’re not very happy with our first two periods. We thought we picked it up in the third, but without Drew we probably would have lost that game by two goals.”
The Admirals and IceHogs hit the ice for game 2 of the series on Saturday night at 7:30 pm at the Bradley center. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices for the post season start at just $10 and 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.