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Goalie Scott Darling stopped 30 shots to lead the Milwaukee Admirals to a 5-1 win over the Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon in Toronto, ON.
Darling won his 10th game of the season and, in the process, lowered his goals against average to 2.02.
Milwaukee improved to 15-4-1-2 lifetime against the Marlies, 7-3-0-1 in Toronto. The Admirals also strengthened the team’s hold on sixth place in the Western Conference. The top eight teams will make the playoffs.
The Admirals took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 10:03 of the first period. Antony Bitetto fired a slapshot to the net that grazed the stick of Marlies goalie Christopher Gibson. Miikka Salomaki was there to put the losse puck into the net for his 17th goal of the season, sixth on the power play. Bitetto and Bryan Rodney recorded the assists.
The Admirals grabbed a 2-0 lead at 14:18 of the first period. Taylor Beck crashed alongside Marlies defenseman T.J. Brennan in the right wing corner of the Marlies zone. Brennan tried to clear the puck off the wall, but Austin Watson intercepted the pass. He found a wide-open Salomaki in front of the goal, then followed his pass. Salomaki waited for the goalie to commit then slid a pass to Watson who planted it for his 16th goal of the season. The goal extended Watson’s point-streak to six games.
Admirals captain Scott Ford scored his third goal of the season to give the Admirals a 3-0 lead at 10:25 of the second period. Joonas Rask skated into the offensive zone and dropped a pass from the right circle to the trailing Ford. Ford’s wristshot cleared the left glove of Gibson. Rask and Mike Liambas recorded the assists. After Ford’s goal, Toronto switched goalies.
Milwaukee made it 4-0 with 1:46 left in the second period. Mark Van Guilder dumped the puck behind new Marlies goalie Garret Sparks. The puck hopped Sparks’ stick and came to Patrick Cehlin who fed a quick pass to Filip Forsberg in the left circle. Forsberg had a mostly-empty net and scored his 10th goal of the season.
The Marlies finally got on the scoreboard just 11 seconds into the third period. Off the period-opening faceoff, Trevor Smith, who won the draw, was sprung by a long pass from defenseman Korbinian Holzer on a breakaway. His backhander lifted over Darling’s left glove to make it 4-1.
Van Guilder made it 5-1 with a goal at 4:22 of the third period. Cehlin’s shot from the slot missed the net but Forsberg made a quick pass from behind the Marlies goal to find Van Guilder for the tally.
The Admirals continue a four-game road trip with the team’s first-ever game in Utica on Sunday afternoon.
Milwaukee returns home to host the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday, March 28th at 7 pm. Fans can order tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by logging on to the Admirals website at www.milwaukeeadmirals.com. Groups of ten or more receive a minimum of $2 off each ticket. For more information or to order group tickets fans should call (414) 227-0550.
Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook.