Ads Make History With 40th Win
Milwaukee, WI-- The 2-1 victory on Sunday over the San Antonio Rampage was a historical win for the Milwaukee Admirals franchise. The win gave Milwaukee its 40th win of the season making the Ads the only team in the 75-year existence of the AHL to have at least 40 wins and 90 points in eight consecutive years, dating back to the 2003-04 season.
Over the past eight seasons the Admirals have accumulated 357 wins, and with two weeks left in the regular season, they need just two points to clinch their ninth straight appearance in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Milwaukee can earn those two points on Wednesday night when they host the San Antonio Rampage at 7:00 pm at the Bradley Center.
Currently the Admirals have also tied the AHL record for most consecutive road games earning a point with 15, and will have one more opportunity to break that record this season when they travel to Peoria on April 9. The remainder of the season will keep the Admirals at the Bradley Center for six of their last seven games, including a match-up with the Houston Aeros, who are tied in first place in the division, on Friday, April 1.
The Admirals success this season starts with the strong play in net by the duo of AHL All-Star Mark Dekanich and rookie netminder Jeremy Smith, who have combined for 37 of the teams 40 wins so far. The two are also responsible for the Admirals allowing the fewest total goals in the Western Conference thus far in the 2010-11 campaign.
On the offensive front, the Admirals have used a scoring by committee to get the job done as they do not have a skater in the top 20 in scoring. With injuries and recalls to Nashville of team offensive leaders Linus Klasen (45 points), Blake Geoffrion (37 points) and Jonathan Blum (34 points), Milwaukee has seen many players step up to fill the void. Players such as Chris Mueller (42 points) and rookies Ryan Thang (35 points), Roman Josi (34 points) and Gabriel Bourque (33 points) have risen to the challenge and filled the offensive void.
The memorable eight-year run for Milwaukee started in the 2003-04 season where they took on new leadership under head coach Claude Noel. The Admirals finished the season as Calder Cup Champions with 102 points and a 46-24-7-3 overall record, for the franchise’s first and only professional championship. They were led by the three-headed scoring monster of now NHL’er Mathieu Darche, current Chicago Wolf Darren Haydar and Admiral legend Tony Hrkac, who all led the team with 59 points each.
Noel was at the helm for three more seasons with the Admirals, where he guided the team to West Division and Western Conference championships and back to the Calder Cup Finals in their highest scoring season in 2005-06 where they notched 108 points and 49 wins, which was the same number of wins as they had in 2008-09, in current head coach Lane Lambert’s second season. With the win on Sunday, Lambert, now in his fourth year, has coached the team to an impressive 174 wins.
Current Nashville Predator Cal O’Reilly leads the Admirals in points over the past eight seasons, skating in a Milwaukee jersey for parts of five seasons earning a total of 253 points in that span.