Milwaukee, WI— Egor Afanasyev scored a late third period goal to lead the Admirals to a 3-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
During a 4-on-4 stretch of play, Afanasyev received a pass at neutral from Mark Jankowski. Afanasyev crossed the middle of the Griffins blue line and whipped a wrist shot over the glove of goalie Michael Hutchinson for his 15th of the year at 18:14 of the final frame.
The win was Milwaukee’s third straight and moved the Admirals into a first-place tie in the Central Division with the Texas Stars. Both have 41 points. Grand Rapids’ five-game winning streak was ended. It was also just the second time in ten games Milwaukee won when trailing after the first period (2-8-0-0).
Admirals goalie Yaroslav Askarov stopped 24 shots to earn the win. Askarov entered the game with two straight shutout wins. His shutout streak was at 131:13 as the game started.
Grand Rapids started hot and scored twice in the first period. The first goal came at 2:49 when Eemil Viro’s shot from the right point sailed over the left shoulder of Askarov. Askarov had his shutout streak snapped at 134:02.
The Griffins made it 2-0 with a Carter Mazur power play goal at 14:52 of the first frame. Grand Rapids outshot Milwaukee in the first period 12-5.
Milwaukee scored a power play goal of its own to get on the board at 7:31 of the second period. Jordan Gross sent a pass from the left wing to Joakim Kemell in the right circle. Kemell’s shot clanged off the inside of the right post and into the net for his ninth goal of the season. It was his third on the power play. Gross and Egor Afanasyev recorded the assists.
The Admirals tied the game 2-2 at 8:59 of the third period. Kemell’s shot from the left circle slid through the left armpit of Griffins goalie Michael Hutchinson and Fedor Svechkov tapped it in for his 11th goal of the season. Kemell and Gross had the helpers.
Milwaukee outshot the Griffins 30-26.
The Admirals will visit Henderson for the first time ever for games Fri., Jan. 12 and Sat., Jan., 13. Milwaukee returns home to host the Texas Stars Fri., Jan. 19 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.