GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Milwaukee Admirals 1
Jan. 31, 2023
MILWAUKEE - Elmer Soderblom buried the game-winner in the third period to defeat the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 on Tuesday at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
Soderblom and Joel L’Esperance capitalized on an odd-man rush to allow the Swede to score an empty-net goal with 2:42 remaining in the contest to avenge last Sunday’s loss against the Admirals. After not tallying a point in his first six games as a Griffin, Soderblom has four in his last two outings (3-1–4). Alex Nedeljkovic was nearly unbeatable in net until Milwaukee tacked on a goal with 2:05 left to prevent the shutout.
Defense reigned supreme in the opening frame, with just 13 shots between the teams. Cross Hanas had the first chance of the night at 2:29, rifling a shot from the slot toward Yaroslav Askarov that he saved with his catching glove. In his third game back in the lineup, Matt Luff had an opportunity on a breakaway at 11:09. The former Admiral skated into the crease, spun and attempted a backhander towards Askarov as the net was knocked off its foundation to blow the play dead.
On a power play at 11:27 in the second, Hanas’ pass up ice from the blue line took an odd bounce off the right-corner boards and placed the puck in front of the goal. Before the disc took an unusual path, Askarov had already skated behind the net to try and take control of the play, allowing Jakub Vrana to score from the crease on an open net.
Down one tally, Milwaukee pulled Askarov at 16:59 in a last-ditch effort. Soderblom made the Admirals pay, tapping in a shot from between the circles to take a 2-0 lead with 2:42 to go. Cole Schneider was able to prevent the shutout with a goal, as the cage was left open with Nedeljkovic knocked on his back at 17:55. Milwaukee pulled their netminder again with 1:30 remaining, but the Griffins held on for a 2-1 victory.
- With a goal tonight, Vrana has five points in as many contests (4-1–5) and is riding a two-game point streak.
- Dominik Shine sat out the first contest of his two-game suspension.
Grand Rapids 0 1 1 - 2
Milwaukee 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Kampfer Gr (slashing), 13:06.
2nd Period-1, Grand Rapids, Vrana 4 (Hanas), 11:27 (PP). Penalties-Sanford Mil (slashing), 10:04; Tomasino Mil (slashing), 16:39.
3rd Period-2, Grand Rapids, Soderblom 3 (L’Esperance), 17:18 (EN). 3, Milwaukee, Schneider 16 (Gross, Evangelista), 17:55. Penalties-Tomasino Mil (high-sticking), 7:45.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 6-7-10-23. Milwaukee 7-6-5-18.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 3; Milwaukee 0 / 1.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic 5-3-2 (18 shots-17 saves). Milwaukee, Askarov 14-9-3 (22 shots-21 saves).
1. GR Nedeljkovic (W, 17 saves); 2. MIL Askarov (L, 21 saves); 3. GR Vrana (goal).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 17-20-2-2 (38 pts.) / Fri., Feb. 3 at Texas 8 p.m. EST
Milwaukee: 24-15-1-2 (51 pts.) / Fri., Feb. 3 vs. Manitoba 7 p.m. CST
Photo by Milwaukee Admirals