Admirals Upended by Charlotte
Milwaukee, WI– The Admirals lost 8-2 Saturday night against the Charlotte Checkers at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. It was a game defined by a Checkers power play that scored five power play goals on the evening, which was one shy of the Admirals team record of six, set back in 1989.
The visiting Checkers opened the scoring on the man advantage. Brett Sutter threw a puck to the net and received the deflection he was looking for. The redirected puck was tipped by Riley Nash to the left of a sprawling Jeremy Smith. It was Nash’s tenth goal of the year.
The rest of the opening frame was tightly contested. Both defenses took away shooting lanes, denying quality scoring opportunities, and both teams tallied five shots a piece.
The second period went sour fast. The Checkers scored three power play goals and one at even strength to stretch their lead from one to five.
The first of three PP goals in the period was scored by Chris Terry. The forward ripped a one-timer past Smith after a great cross-ice pass by Nash.
The second PP tally of the period came from a Zac Dalpe slap shot off of another rebound that escaped the clutches of Jeremy Smith. A hard shot by Nash spilled directly in the path of Dalpe who roofed the puck past Smith.
The final PP goal of the second period was created by solid puck movement and skating ability by the Checkers PP unit. The primary assist by Brett Sutter was a blind backhanded toss in front of the net to the left wing where Nash was waiting to pull the trigger, and score his second of the game.
An even strength goal would cap off the Checkers monstrous second period. Yet another puck scramble, created off of a rebound, would fall to Jeremy Welsh. The play was created off of a wicked backhander shot by Matt Beca. The loose puck was finally tapped in thanks to the persistence of Welsh sitting on the side of the cage.
Charlotte’s PP unit continued its form in the third period. Just after the Ads killed off the first half of a five-on-three, Cam Reid had a mini-breakaway straight out of the penalty box. He was unable to keep the puck, and the ensuing rush by the Checkers resulted in their last and stunning fifth power play goal of the night. Terry would take a right wing wrist shot past Smith’s blocker to score his second goal of the contest.
A three-on-two odd man rush by Charlotte overpowered the Ads defense on the Checkers seventh goal of the game. The rush, lead by Beca and Sutter, caused another loose puck scrum for Welsh to pop in his second rebound goal of the game.
With thirteen minutes left in the game, Ads forward Brad Winchester had a goal waived off due to a high stick. The Admirals flung a puck up and over the net and Checkers goalie John Muse into the net-front traffic. The puck was slapped out of the air but was judged to have been hit above the crossbar and denied the Ads their first goal.
Kevin Henderson finally solved Muse to get the goose egg out of the score column for the Admirals. Set up by Michael Latta and Mattias Ekholm, Henderson’s wrister flew past the blocker of Muse to mercifully end the scoreless game for the Ads.
Latta would also contribute with a goal of his own just minutes later. Mark Van Guilder won an offensive zone faceoff and dropped the puck back to Latta, who fired a slap shot off the far post and in.
Just a minute later, on another odd man break for the Checkers, Smith made a remarkable save to deny Justin Shugg’s snapshot attempt. The save attempt left Smith out of the cage and struggling to get back in position. The Checkers capitalized quickly, the loose puck would find the stick blade of Shugg, and he wouldn’t miss hitting the twine this time.
Of note, this was Jeremy Smith’s first game back in net for the Admirals after Magnus Hellberg started the previous three contests. Ads forward Taylor Beck was a scratch for tonight’s game after being listed day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
The Admirals finish off a three-in-three and a seven-game homestand tomorrow afternoon against the Abbotsford Heat at 5:00 pm at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
For tickets fans should call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or by logging onto www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 10 or more receive significant discounts off the original ticket price. For more information, or to purchase group tickets, fans can call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550.
Be sure to follow along with the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and Facebook.