Ads Make First Period Stick
Milwaukee, WI—The Milwaukee Admirals made five first period goals stand up as they took a 5-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday afternoon at the Bradley Center to snap a brief two-game losing streak. Chris Mueller and Mark Van Guilder each tallied a pair of goals in the opening stanza to pace the offense, while Mark Dekanich turned aside 28 shots for his 20th win of the season.
The five-goal first was the most goals the Admirals have recorded in a period since they put up a five-spot on the Chicago Wolves in the third period of a 5-3 win on December 17, 2008.
The Ads started out the first with an opening goal from Chris Mueller 3:08 into the game. Matt Halischuk forced a turnover at the red line and then gathered the puck moving on to a two-on-two skating into the Hogs third with fellow Admiral Chris Mueller. Halischuk then ripped a shot off by the near circle, which Muller followed the rebound and put the puck past Rockford’s netminder Alec Richards.
The Admirals Mark Van Guilder put the second goal on the board at 7:29. The Ads started the attack by coming this time from behind the net. Kelsey Wilson and Van Guilder were both behind the net and the two took multiple shots from both sides of the net before Van Guilder finally got the puck past Richards.
After Van Guilder’s goal, Mueller tallied his second goal at the 14:56 mark. Just like the first, Halischuk earned an assist on the goal as he stick-handled the puck around the Hog’s defensemen at the near circle and found Mueller at the dot. Mueller settled the pass and blasted a shot that went by Richards for his second of the evening.
Followed up by the third goal, Richards goaltending duties were over for the moment and as Hannu Toivonen checked in for the Hogs.
However, just 37 seconds later the Ads put up another goal as Van Guilder earned his second of the night. Teemu Laakso generated the first pass from the near side on the goal line to Gabriel Bourque. Bourque stood in front of the crease and took a shot the bounced softly off the far post where Van Guilder was able to the puck in for the Admirals fourth of the game.
The scoring frenzy continued for the Ads, as Jonathon Blum scored a power-play goal at 16:45. Roman Josi and Linus Klasen got the puck moving on the outside by the near boards. Klasen received a pass from Josi at the blue line where he connected a pass to Blum, cushioning the pass, he fired a slap shot past Toivonen for what turned out to be Milwaukee last goal of the night.
The Hogs got on the scored card in the first period as Kyle Beach answered with a goal at the 17:45 mark. The Hogs controlled the puck in the Ads zone, Beach collected the puck from Mathis Olimb from a 50-50 battle with Klasen at the near circle. Beach won the battle, he then released a shot that went past Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich, making the score 5-1.
The second and third periods were much slower than the first as the Hogs were the only team to post a goal. The Hogs’ Jeff Taffe went in one-on-one with the Ads defense and skated directly at Dekanich before chipping it past the Ads netminder just prior to crashing into him. The goal made it 5-2 Milwaukee and completed the scoring for the evening.
After their hot start to the game, the Admirals cooled considerably, tallying just three shots on goal in the second and third periods combined to give them 16 on the night, their lowest total of the season.
The Admirals return to the ice on Friday February 18 at 7:00 pm when they play host to the Houston Aeros. Fans can purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to milwaukeeadmirals.com. Group discounts are available starting with just ten people and get a minimum of $2 off the face value. For more information or to purchase group tickets fans can call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550 or visit milwaukeeadmirals.com. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!