Ads Scared Away by Monsters
Milwaukee, WI--Two goals in the final minute were not enough to bring the Milwaukee Admirals to victory as they fell to the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 Saturday night at the Bradley Center, snapping their four game point streak. In their last meeting of the season, Lake Erie managed to not get swept by the Admirals as they knocked in two power play goals on the usually strong Ads penalty kill unit.
The opening frame featured a fury of power play strikes from the Admirals as they out shot the Monsters thirteen to six, but could not manage to get a marker. Neither team found the back of the net until 14:49 in the second period where Lake Erie winger Greg Mauldin knocked in his fourteenth goal of the year. From the left point David Van der Gulik controlled the puck from Cameron Gaunce and flung a shot towards the net. Mauldin happened to be in the right place at the right time as it bounced off of his skate past Milwaukee netminder Jeremy Smith for the goal.
With less than two minutes to go in the second period Milwaukee got called for a holding penalty that put Lake Erie on the power play. With the man advantage the Monsters were controlling the puck in the Admirals zone and Vander Gulik got a shot off from the right face off dot that was initially blocked by Smith, but Justin Mercier was there to knock in the rebound for the power play tally to put the Monsters up 2-0. Ben Walter also assisted on the goal.
Lake Erie was able to find similar success on the power play later on in the third period as they seemingly put the game out of reach on a goal from Julien Brouillette at 9:46. The puck was cleared from in front of the Ads net and then gathered at right point by Brouillette where he blasted a shot over the glove of Smith for his first goal of the year.
With under a minute to play and the Ads down 3-0 they found a glimmer of hope off the stick of Brock McBride as he knocked in his first goal in an Admiral jersey. Jamie Bates took a pass from Grant Lewis and came up to the right dot where he threw the puck towards the net. McBride came through the slot and was there to steer the shot past Monster goalie Jason Grahame to make the score 3-1.
After the goal from McBride the Admirals pulled Smith for an extra attacker and put the pressure on the Monsters defense. Chris Mueller received a pass at center ice from Roman Josi and raced up the boards through the Lake Erie defense. With a defender on his back Mueller wrapped the puck to the front of the net where it bounced into the net to bring the Ads within a goal with just 13 seconds left.
The Admirals got two more good looks at an equalizer but could not manage to find back of the net as Grahame held on for his sixteenth win of the season.
Smith made his first consecutive starts in over a month and took the loss as his record now stands at 11-6-2 on the season, while Mueller remains the bright spot for the Ads offense as he has earned seven points (2g-5a) in the last four games.
The Admirals still maintain sole possession of first place as they hold on to a one point lead over Houston with 87 points.
The Admirals continue their three game homestand this week as Oklahoma City comes to town on Tuesday March 22 for a 7:00 pm contest and Chicago visits on Friday March 25 at 7:00 pm to wrap up the Amtrack Rivalry. 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.