Admirals Turn Back Barons in Shoot-out
Milwaukee, WI--In their final meeting of the season on Tuesday night at the Bradley Center the Milwaukee Admirals outlasted the Oklahoma City Barons winning in a shootout 4-3, behind another multi-point night by Chris Mueller.
The Admirals jumped back to the top of the standings in the West Division as their win, coupled with Houston’s loss to Texas puts them one point ahead of the Aeros in the race for the division crown. The win also breaks a recent 1-5 slump on home ice.
Milwaukee got out to a first period lead for the first time since March 4 14:36 into the opening frame on a goal from Ryan Thang, his first goal at home since February 9th. Thang took a pass from defensemen Chris Mueller and raced up the near boards where he got off an uncontested shot on Barons goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers that slid between his legs to light the lamp.
Oklahoma City took advantage of their power play opportunities going 2-for-4 on the night. Their first marker on the man advantage came with just :20 left in the first period after a flurry of saves from the Admirals defense. Milwaukee netminder Jeremy Smith turned away two quick shot attempts, and with a pile of skaters in front of the net, Barons defensemen Anthony Aiello found the rebound and chipped it in the net to even the score.
Halfway through the second period Milwaukee was able to capitalize on a perfect pass from Roman Josi to Mueller. From his own zone, Josi found Mueller streaking towards the far blue line and hit him in stride to send him free on the breakaway. With a defender draped on his back Mueller stick handled in front of the net and beat Drouin-Deslauriers under his glove for the goal. Teemu Laakso also earned an assist in creating the play.
The Barons once again answered back, this time from former Admiral Andrew Lord. Lord was positioned in front of the net screening Smith and when Jason Gimblett let go a wrist shot Lord was there to re-direct the puck for his first goal of the season at 13:47 of the second period.
The Admirals did a little screening of their own as Kelsey Wilson notched his ninth goal of the year just four minutes later on the power play. Andreas Thuresson took a pass from Laakso and skated to the left point where he saw Wilson positioned in front of the net. Thuresson slid the puck across the zone to Wilson who then wrapped the puck around and snuck it under Drouin-Deslauriers’ pad to put the Ads up 3-2.
Later on in the third period the Admirals were called for two quick penalties and put them down two skaters. Fighting for their playoff lives the Barons took advantage of the penalties and found the equalizer with just 3:27 left in the third period. Three quick passes around the Ads zone left Mark Arcobello wide open on the back post where he knocked in the one-timer, assisted by Brad Moran and Aiello.
Neither team could notch a game-winner in regulation so the game headed to overtime. In the extra frame there were four penalties and the Admirals found themselves with a 5-3 man advantage twice but could not manage to end the game so each team lined up their best five for a shootout.
The Admirals were unstoppable in the shootout as all four skaters scored. Mark Santorelli, Mark Van Guilder and Gabriel Bourque all got attempts past Drouin-Deslauriers, while Smith stuffed 2-3 Barons attempts. The Ads needed one more goal to put away the Barons and Thang faked out Drouin-Deslauriers and put the puck top shelf to seal the victory.
Mueller paced the Admirals offense as he notched a goal and an assist to give him nine points in his last five games.
Smith earned the win stopping 35 of 38 shots, including two shootout attempts, to improve his record to 12-6-2, while Droiun-Deslauriers took the shootout loss and his record stands at 13-12-3.
The Admirals return to action on Friday night when they host Chicago at the Bradley Center at 7:00 pm in the final game this season of the Amtrak Rivalry. Fans can purchase tickets for Tuesday, any remaining home game, 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.