Two Late Goals Give Milwaukee 3-1 Victory over Iowa
By Kevin Luckow
In a game that meant so much to both teams, (Milwaukee Admirals are still seeking a Central
Division championship, Iowa Wild on the other hand are seeking a spot in the top five in the
Central to make the playoffs) it was a battle of two teams who have had their depth deleted by
their parent club. The Admirals were able to parlay two goals late in the third period to a 3-1
victory that tied them with Texas for first place with 88 points.
The Admirals have lost many of their top forwards to the Nashville Predators as they went on an
unexpected chase for a playoff spot. The Predators just fell short with Winnipeg defeating
Minnesota on Tuesday night. Iowa on the other hand, lacking forward depth were dealt another
blow on Wednesday. Nick Swaney and Sammy Walker were summoned to Minnesota to play in their season finale in Nashville on Thursday. Those two join Iowa Wild regulars Nic Petan and Marco Rossi with the big club.
Iowa had the first scoring chance early in the game as an Admirals turnover but the Wild did not cash in. Iowa then got a power play as Admiral Austin Rueschhoff took a penalty for hooking.
The Wild cashed in as Mikey Milne scored his sixth goal of the season beating Askarov short
side after a feed from Boudon at the point. The other assist went to Simon Johannson on
Milne’s 7th goal of the season at 5:26 of the first period. With a little over five minutes left in the
period, Kevin Conley took an elbowing penalty, sending the Wild’s 30th ranked penalty kill to
work. The Admirals however were not able to mount much of a threat. With 1:08 left in the first,
Isaac Ratcliffe took a roughing penalty after a dust up with Daemon Hunt putting the Wild back on the Power Play. The Wild couldn’t not score in the first half of the Power Play but took a 1-0 lead into the intermission in spite of being outshot 8-4 for the stanza.
The Wild couldn’t capitalize as the 3rd ranked Admirals Penalty Kill allowed only a single shot
on goal. The Admirals once again were sloppy in their own zone but Casey Dornbach was
stopped by Admirals goalkeeper Yaroslav Askarov. Dornbach piled on to his bad luck by taking a hooking penalty. It proved costly as the Admirals knotted the game at one as Tye Felhaber found himself alone in the slot with the puck on a rebound of a Joakim Kemell shot and made no mistake with it. John Leonard picked up the assist on Felhaber’s 7th tally of the season at 4:37.
The goal seemed to spark the Admirals as they carried play for much of the second period with
Wild goalie Jesper Wallstedt making several key saves to keep the score tied at one. Navrin
Mutter took a penalty for the Admirals with 6:25 left in the period. The Wild were unable to cash in despite of a few close chances late in the power play. With two minutes to go in the second, Wild defenseman Turner Ottenbreit took a slash that went uncalled and seconds later Ottenbreit took a roughing penalty. The Admiral Power Play was short circuited however as Jimmy Huntington took a cross checking penalty at 19:03. Huntington also took a 10 minute misconduct, leaving the Admirals short a forward for the first half of the third period. Shots for the second period were 8-6 in favor of the Admirals.
The Wild could not cash in on the power play, and both teams were playing cautious hockey. A
little more than five minutes into the third, Kevin Conley of the Wild was hooked by Jordan
Gross on a chase for the puck behind the Admirals net giving the Wild another power play.
Although the makeshift Wild power play got a few chances including an individual effort where
Milne broke into the Admirals zone where he fell approaching the net and couldn’t get off a
With a little over eight minutes left in the third, Admiral defenseman Marc Del Gaizo went on an end to end rush. After being forced to the back of the net, Del Gaizo centered the puck to the crease where Kemell poked it into the net to give the Admirals the lead at 11:53, with Leonard picking up the other assist. Just a minute later was the back breaker as Mutter was sent on a mini breakaway on a feed by Tommy Apap. Mutter slid the puck behind Wallstedt legs to make it a 3-1 Admirals lead. Iowa went for the extra attacker pulling Wallstedt with three and a half minutes left. The Wild held a distinct territorial advantage but couldn’t find the back of the net. Shots in the third period were 11-9 in favor of Iowa.
With the loss, Iowa still holds fourth place with only two games remaining (both at first place
Texas), Rockford trails Iowa by a point but have three games remaining, sixth place Chicago
also has three games remaining and trail Iowa by four points. Without getting any help, the Wild would need to garner three points to clinch a playoff spot.
Wild: 76 points ( 2 at Texas)
Rockford: 75 points ( at Grand Rapids, vs. Manitoba, at Milwaukee)
Chicago: 72 points ( at Milwaukee, vs. Grand Rapids, vs. Manitoba)
Don’t be surprised if Swaney, Walker and Petan all meet up with Iowa for their games in Texas.
I’m guessing Rossi is expected to be in the mix for 3rd line center for Minnesota in the playoff
though as of now, Sam Steel has looked the better of the two.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Joakim Kemell, Milwaukee. Game winning goal, two points
2. Yaroslav Askarov, Milwaukee. Stopped 20 of 21 Iowa shots
3. Marc Del Gaizo, Milwaukee. Assist on individual effort on the game winning goal