MILWAUKEE – The Admirals tallied their third straight win Wednesday night, beating the Chicago Wolves 4-2 at the Bradley Center. Twelve different Admirals earned points on the night, including goals from defensemen Scott Ford and Scott Valentine. The win also marked the teams ninth-straight home victory, which is one win away from a club record.
Chicago drew first blood with a power-play goal from forward Steve Reinprecht. With Milwaukee’s Scott Valentine in the box for hooking, Reinprecht teamed up with Kevin Connauton and Anton Rodin to deliver a top shelf goal at the 5:45 mark of the first period.
The Admirals evened the score with a power-play goal from forward Chris Mueller at the end of the first period. With Chicago’s Mike Duco sitting for a Delay of Game call, Mueller took a long pass from defenseman Victor Bartley and scored with a quick wrister from the near dot.
Defenseman Scott Valentine gave Milwaukee their first lead of the game early in the second peroid after firing a lamp lighter from the point past Wolves netminder Eddie Lack, marking his second goal of the season. Unfortunately for the home team, former Admiral Darren Haydar tied it up midway through the second. Haydar, who scored his 700th AHL point earlier this month, now has 29 points through 29 games this season (9g-20a).
Admirals captain Scott Ford scored his second of the season with just under 7:00 to go in the second frame, giving Milwaukee the 3-2 lead. Forwards Tyler Sloan and Mark Van Guilder got the pass up to Ford, who scored on a slap shot from above the circles.
The second period goals marked the third goals of the season for both Valentine and Ford. It was a nice change of pace to see defensemen having a big impact on the scoresheet, not just the blue line:
“We’ve just been getting the puck to the net all year, and luckily in the last couple games they started to go in. The forwards have done a good job getting the puck back to us, and we’ve been doing a better job as of late to get it through to the net. It’s tough because everyone defends hard, guys come out in lairs and block the puck, so any time we can get the puck to the net, anything can happen.”
Michael Latta and Taylor Beck combined for a beautiful goal to give Milwaukee a two-tally lead midway through the final period. Beck sent a textbook perfect pass to Latta, who chipped it in on Lack for his 10th of the season.
Chicago pulled Lack in the final minutes of regulation in favor of an extra-attacker, but Milwaukee would go on to take the win, bringing the season series between the two squads to 4-3 in favor of the Admirals.
Coach Herbers wasn’t thrilled with how the Admirals started the game, but he was impressed with the way the team regrouped and rebounded from the first Chicago goal:
“I didn’t like our start, I didn’t think we were sharp, but I like the way we responded. We got down one goal, a quick power-play goal for them, breakdown on our part… but then we were good afterwards. I liked our second and third period, and I really like the way we finished the game.”
Herbers was also asked for his assessment on Blake Geoffrion, who was sent down to Milwaukee this morning from the Predators. Although Geoffrion was held pointless in the contest, Herbers was pleased with what he saw on the ice:
“I liked his game tonight. He was strong, had some more battle to his game. He made some good plays down low, he worked the puck below the goal line, created some opportunities… It was a good first game back for him.”
The Admirals head to Grand Rapids to face the Griffins on New Years Eve before returning home to face the Peoria Rivermen on January 1st.
For a full game summary courtesy of the American Hockey League, click here