Ads Earn Comeback Win over Griffins
Milwaukee, WI—The Milwaukee Admirals battled back from a 2-0 second period hole and a 3-2 third period deficit to force overtime and eventually beat the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-3 Friday night at the Bradley Center. The win was a season-high fourth straight for the Admirals, who still have not lost since Ian Herbers took over the reins of the team on November 28th.
Not only did the Admirals trail for most of the game, but they also fell behind in the shoot-out as Louis-Marc Aubry scored for the Griffins in the first round of the shoot-out. However, Milwaukee netminder Jeremy Smith turned aside the remaining four Grand Rapids shooters, while Michael Latta connected for the Ads in the third round and Chris Mueller, who was reassigned to Milwaukee today, beat Joey MacDonald in the fifth and final round.
For much of the game it didn’t appear that the Ads would ever get to overtime, much less win it in the shoot-out, as Grand Rapids scored twice in a 4:01 span in the second to grab a 2-0 lead.
Milwaukee finally got on the board when Ryan Thang puck up a loose puck in the slot and roofed it over the shoulder of MacDonald at the 16:24 mark of the second. Mueller and defenseman Tyler Sloan earned assists on the play.
Scott Valentine tied the score for Milwaukee at 8:40 of the third period on his first career goal, and a dazzling one at that. Taylor Beck poked the puck loose into the neutral zone before Valentine grabbed it and center ice and skated past a pair of Grand Rapids defenseman. While falling to the ice, Valentine got off a wrister that beat MacDonald high stick side for a 2-2 game.
The Griffins responded, however, as they retook the lead at 3-2 just 1:18 later when Tomas Tatar netted a power-play marker after Teemu Laakso was whistled for high-sticking.
Only 1:08 after Tatar’s goal Laakso would make up for his sin, scoring his first goal of the season at 11:06 to even the score at three. With a face-off in the Griffins zone, Michael Latta won the draw for Milwaukee over to Juuso Puustinen, who just tapped it back to Laakso at the point. Laakso threw a shot on net that somehow made it past a heavily screened MacDonald and the game was tied, setting the stage for Milwaukee’s triumph in the shoot-out.
As has been the case all season, the Admirals took a scoring by committee approach as eight different players scored for Milwaukee but no one had more than a point. In addition to the first goal of his career, Valentine also picked up his first fighting major as well. Jeremy Smith stopped 25 of 28 shots in regulation and then 4-of-5 attempts in the shoot-out to grab his 12th win of the season.
The Admirals head to Chicago tomorrow night for a 7:00 pm game before hosting the Rockford IceHogs Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm at the Bradley Center. Fans can purchase tickets for this weekend’s games, or any Admirals game, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to milwaukeeadmirals.com. Groups of ten or more people receive at least $2 off the face value of each ticket. 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!