Des Moines, IA–Steve Santini and Miikka Salomaki scored for the Admirals, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Iowa Wild on Sunday night at Well Fargo Arena in the opening game of the 2019-20 campaign.
The loss snapped a three-game opening night winning streak for the Admirals, dating back to the 2015-16 campaign.
Playing in his first game as an Admiral, Santini got the team an early lead as he scored on a wrister from the top of the right circle at the 10:21 mark of the opening frame. He was assisted on the play by Colin Blackwell and Cole Schneider.
However, Iowa responded just 15 seconds later when Brandon Duhaime collected the rebound of a Cody McLeod shot in the slot and fired one over the shoulder of Admirals netminder Connor Ingram.
The second period would prove to be the Admirals undoing as they surrendered three goals in a 7:03 frame, including two on the power-play to give Iowa a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes. Gabriel Dumont scored the first one with a PP marker at 11:27, followed by Mitch McLain at 17:15. Gerald Mayhew scored another with the man-advantage with 1:30 to play in the middle frame.
Miikka Salomaki pulled the Ads within a goal with 2:16 to play when he converted on a wide open net, as Josh Wilkens froze Iowa goalie Kappo Kahkonen. The assist for Wilkins on the play was his first pro point.
Milwaukee pulled goalie Connor Ingram in favor of an extra attacker, but the Wild shut the door on any comeback hopes with an empty netter with 48.2 seconds to play.
Coming on in relief of Troy Grosenick, who left the game with an injury early in the first period, Ingram stopped 33 shots but suffered the loss.
The Ads finished the night 0-for-4 on the power-play as the Wild outshot the Milwaukee 39-17 in the game.
The Admirals 2019-20 regular season, presented by Landmark Credit Union, continues next Friday night when the Ads visit the Grand Rapids Griffins before opening the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, October 12 at 6 pm against the Laval Rocket at Panther Arena.