MILWAUKEE – The Admirals went 5 for 7 on the power-play enroute to Monday nights impressive 7-3 win over the Rockford IceHogs. Mark Van Guilder led the team with two goals, while Victor Bartley and Gabriel Bourque tallied three helpers each. Goaltender Jeremy Smith earned his 15th of the season, making 24 of 27 saves.
Milwaukee defenseman Teemu Laakso scored the lone goal of the first period, sending a sniper in on Rockford goaltender Carter Hutton from the near boards. Coach Ian Herbers thought his team had an exceptional first period showing when asked about it during the post-game press conference:
“I thought that was the best first period we’ve had in a long, long time. I thought we came out with a lot of energy, we were a lot more focused, a lot more detailed, more disciplined in the way we needed to play, and it was a very good period. Might have to give the guys seven days off every week.”
With very few whistles and just two penalties, the period was relatively quiet by all standards.
That changed when the puck dropped on the second period.
Combined, the two teams scored five goals in the second frame alone. Rockford struck twice in the span of :58 with goals from forwards Jimmy Hayes and Ben Smith. The goals were almost identical, as both were chipped in on Admirals goalie Jeremy Smith’s stick side.
Milwaukee scored three goals during the rest of the period, two of which were on the power-play. Mark Van Guilder poked in the rebound of a Juuso Puustinen slap shot five-hole to mark his first of two second period goals.
Kyle Wilson took a stick to the face, which got Milwaukee their fifth power-play of the game. It took Puustinen just :07 to give Milwaukee the lead, scoring his 10th of the season with help from Victor Bartley and Gabriel Bourque.
Van Guilder notched his second of the night at the 15:36 mark of the second to give Milwaukee the 4-2 lead going into the third period. Coach Ian Herbers continued to be impressed with Van Guilder when he talked about the forward’s performance:
“He’s just doing it all for us right now. He’s confident out there, and clicking with his linemates… He’s a smart, detailed guy. He knows where to go to find those loose pucks. He has a good shot, quick shot, and its finally paying off for him.”
The Admirals continued to light the lamp in the final period, seeing goals from forwards Chris Mueller, Zack Stortini and Ryan Thang. The Mueller and Stortini goals were scored just :14 seconds apart, Mueller’s of which was Milwaukee’s fourth power-play goal of the game.
Ryan Thang got his name on the scoresheet with power-play goal at the 16:12 mark. With the Thang goal, Milwaukee went an impressive 5 for 7 on the power-play, which is a season high for the squad.
Victor Bartley and Juuso Puustinen each had notable nights, as they were on the ice together for 3 of the night’s power-play goals.
“I like Puustinen and Bartley together on the power-play, they work well. We’ve talked about maybe getting a little more deception up top when we’re shooting, and I thought those two did it together. Bartley has that skating ability, he can get the puck up the ice in a hurry, so it’s a good compliment to each other.”
Herbers also mentioned that forward Joel Champagne had a good week off and a strong practice, and should be available sometime next week.
News and Notes:
- The IceHogs were without point-leader Brandon Pirri in Monday nights game. Pirri was recalled by the Blackhawks Monday morning, and leads the team with 31 points (13g-18a) through 28 games.
- Former Admiral forward Brandon Segal, who played for Milwaukee between 2003 and 2007, has tallied 10 goals and 8 assists in 29 games with the IceHogs this season. This is his first campaign with the Blackhawks organization.
- Defenseman Jeff Foss has been recalled by Milwaukee to replace the spot left void by Ryan Ellis, who was recalled by the Nashville Predators Monday morning. Ellis made his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings after Shea Weber was sidelined with an injury from Friday nights game against the Dallas Stars.
For the full game summary from the American Hockey League, click here