Admirals Get Moose Off Their Back


Winnipeg, MB--Vinny Saponari recorded an assist and scored the only goal in a five-round shootout to lift the Milwaukee Admirals to a 4-3 shootout win over the Manitoba Moose Sunday afternoon.

The win was Milwaukee’s first against the Moose this season. The Moose entered the game with six wins in 22 games, three of those wins were against the Admirals.

After both teams were held scoreless through the first three rounds of the shootout, the game was set to be decided in sudden death. The fourth shooters for both teams were unable to score. In the fifth round, Admirals goalie Juuse Saros stopped former Ads forward Matt Halischuk. It was then Saponari deked around Manitoba goalie Eric Comrie and flipped a backhander into the net for the win.

Saros improved to 10-3-0 on the season with 25 saves in the game and five more saves in the shootout. Saros is also 2-0 in shootouts this season and has stopped all eight attempts against him.

Milwaukee scored the first goal of the game with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 9:45 of the first period. Admirals defenseman Trevor Murphy fed the puck to the left circle for Pontus Aberg to blast a one-timer into the net. The goal was Aberg’s sixth of the season and second on the power play. Murphy and Adam Payerl recorded the assists.

Manitoba tied the game at 12:37 of the first period when defenseman Josh Morrissey jumped into the play to finish a 2-on-1 rush along with John Albert. Albert’s pass found Morrissey at the goal mouth and he tapped it into the net for his first goal of the season at 12:37 of the first period.

The Moose took the lead at 4:47 of the second period when Ryan Olsen received a pass in front of Milwaukee’s goal from Austen Brassard in the right corner. Olsen slapped the puck into the net for his second goal of the season.

The Admirals tied the game at 19:49 of the second period. After getting nothing going on a power play, the Admirals raced out of their zone as a penalty to Brassard expired. Max Gortz fed a pass to Saponari on the right wing. Saponari reached the bottom of the right circle and put a shot on goal. The rebound spilled into the slot and Frederick Gaudreau planted it for his seventh goal of the season.

Payerl converted a 2-on-1 shorthanded break with Victor Bartley at 10:45 of the third period to give Milwaukee a 3-2 lead. Bartley raced out of the Admirals zone into the left circle. He slid a pass to Payerl on the right post and he put the puck into the net for his fifth goal of the season. It was Milwaukee’s fifth shorthanded goal as a team, tying the output for the Admirals for all of last season.

Manitoba forced the overtime when defenseman Jay Harrison’s shot from the left point bounced off the ice in front of Saros and went over the right shoulder of the goalie at 17:34 of the third period.

Milwaukee finished with 38 shots on goal and a single-period season-high 19 in the second frame

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