Milwaukee Admirals 3 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1
Nov. 19, 2011
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Following an early 1-0 deficit, the Milwaukee Admirals surged to a 3-1 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday at Van Andel Arena, extending their AHL-record road point streak to 23 games.
Now 16-0-4-3 away from the Bradley Center since suffering their last regulation loss on Jan. 13 at Manitoba, the Admirals improved this season’s road record to 6-0-0-1 and avenged their 5-3 home loss to the Griffins on Oct. 29, which marked their first regulation defeat of the season.
Grand Rapids (6-9-1-0) will conclude its season-high five-game homestand with Wednesday, Friday and Sunday contests next week. First up at 7 p.m. Wednesday will be the Hamilton Bulldogs, whom the Griffins have twice beaten this season by a cumulative 11-0 score.
Gustav Nyquist notched the only goal of the opening period. From the end boards, Willie Coetzee sent the puck out front to Nyquist, who rifled it into the top of the net from the slot at 3:24. The power play marker broke the rookie’s six-game goal drought.
The Admirals needed only 2:31 of the second period to go ahead 2-1, beginning when Michael Latta ripped a shot over Jordan Pearce’s glove from the right circle 65 seconds in. Less than a minute and a half later, Pearce denied both a Ryan Flynn attempt at the right post and a point-blank follow-up by Mark Van Guilder in the slot, before Ben Ryan finally put a third try past him from the left doorstep for Ryan’s first professional goal.
At the 5:25 mark, Chris Conner was awarded a penalty shot after picking Roman Josi’s pocket inside the blue line and subsequently getting hogtied by the Milwaukee defenseman. But Jeremy Smith was up to the task, denying Conner’s backhander to preserve the visitors’ lead.
History was made during a 4-on-3 Grand Rapids power play 8:48 into the third period, when Milwaukee’s Kyle Wilson covered the puck in the crease to award the Griffins a second penalty shot in one game for the first time ever. Tomas Tatar sped in wide, put on the brakes at the left post and tried to jam the puck home, but once again Smith stood his ground to keep it a one-goal game.
Coincidentally, it marked the first AHL game with two penalty shots since Milwaukee’s 4-1 home win over the Griffins on April 10, 2011. Smith also became the first AHL goalie to stop two penalty shots in the same game since Bridgeport’s Wade Dubielewicz did the deed against Hershey on Dec. 10, 2005.
The Griffins’ failure to capitalize on those opportunities proved costly a few minutes later when Josi’s slapshot from the right side at 11:18 eluded Pearce during a Milwaukee power play, boosting the Admirals to their eventual 3-1 margin.
Pearce finished the night with 24 saves, while Smith earned the well-deserved victory with 25 stops.
Three Stars: 1. MIL Smith (W, 25 saves); 2. MIL Latta (goal); 3. GR Nyquist (power play goal)