Ads King Checkers Opening Night
Milwaukee, WI--Austin Watson broke a 3-3 tie just 22 seconds into the third period to help guide the Admirals to a 6-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night in the season opener for both clubs.
Pontus Aberg, Zach Budish, and Fredrick Gaudreau all tallied a goal and an assist to help Milwaukee earn their sixth win in their past seven opening nights.
Playing in his first game in North America, Viktor Arvidsson got the Ads off on the right foot with a power-play tally 4:22 into the contest. After Phil DiGiuseppe scored for Charlotte to even the score at one, Aberg put on a sensational play to put the Admirals back on top 2-1 with 7:50 left in the first. Aberg collected the puck in the neutral zone, stickhandled around two defenders, and then beat Checkers goalie Drew MacIntyre.
Another pretty goal, this one by Gaudreau, pushed the Milwaukee lead to 3-1. Budish chipped the puck behind the Charlotte defense, springing Gaudreau on a semi-breakaway and he faked forehand before sliding it by MacIntyre with the backhand 2:54 into the second.
However, Charlotte scored the next two goals to even the score with just under five minutes to play in the second period.
That set the stage for Watson's goal, which came off a feed from Miikka Salomaki from the far boards and over to Watson, who had been taken down to his knees but he managed to chip it by MacIntyre.
Budish and Felix Gerard scored later in the third to seal the win for the Ads.
Joe Piskula and Brendan Leipsic each picked up a pair of assists on the night, while Marek Mazanec stopped 24 shots to earn the win.
Milwaukee gets back at it on Saturday night when they travel to Rockford to battle the IceHogs at 7 pm.