MILWAUKEE – Last night, the Milwaukee Admirals were riding high on Chris Mueller scoring a franchise-first two goals while having the goalie pulled in favor of the extra attacker. What a glorious feeling.
Fast forward 24 hours to the next time the team would set a new milestone. They now hold the record for most power-play goals allowed in a single game in the AHL this season… five. This, in contrast, is not a glorious feeling.
The Checkers went 5/8 on the power-play, a statistic that I am sure will bump them up from the 7th position in the AHL power-play rankings.
“Hhwwwoooofff (sp), that’s a really good question…”
What do you say to the team after a game like this?
“Nothing, not a thing… Everything was bad. The entire game was bad.”
Of course I am paraphrasing, however, I think you get the jist of it that he was not a happy camper. I guess I wouldn’t be either if my team was dangerously close to tying the team record of six power-play goals against that was set back in 1989.
Charlotte opened the nights scoring with a power-play goal from forward Riley Nash (also note that he’d later go on to score a second power-play goal for the team). Here is something to impress your dinner club guests with. Riley’s older brother, Brendon Nash, played here last night and contributed an assist on San Antonio’s third goal in Milwaukee’s 5-4 OT win. Unfortunately, I don’t believe there are any Nash’s left to make an appearance tomorrow so that we can make a weekend of it.
I digress. Mueller took a sloppy penalty hooking call on the Charlotte end, which then lead to the first of many power-play goals the 7th-ranked Checkers would score on the Admirals.
Checker forwards Chris Terry, Zac Dalpe and Riley Nash all contributed a power-play goal in the second period (Nash’s marking his second of the game, mind you), and just for good measure, Sean Nolan added an even-strength goal to make it a 5-0 game going into the second intermission.
The Checkers would go on to add three more goals (one of which was a PPG), while Milwaukee attempted to salvage something resembling pride by lighting the lamp with goals from Kevin Henderson and Michael Latta. Sure, everybody likes to see the little red light go off behind the opposing goaltender, but two goals isn’t going to make up for 60 minutes worth of sloppy penalties and poor special teams. The game ended (thank god) 8-2, which is the first time since 2008 that the Admirals gave up eight goals in a game (last time was 11/22/08 8-6 loss at Iowa).
Goaltender Jeremy Smith made 18 saves on 26 shots, which equals out to about a .692 GAA… probably not a statistic you want your name next to on a stat sheet. But at the end of the day, it was the entire team that was to blame for the loss.
So the common theme in tonight’s post-game press conference with coach Evason: Everything was bad.
And in conclusion… Adding to the growing list of fun facts to know and tell (and because we all deserve a little man candy after this brutal loss…), Checkers forward Jared Staal (wearing #22 for those of you keeping track at home) is the younger brother of Hurricanes captain Eric Staal and Hurricanes alternate captain Jordan Staal. The Checkers are the farm team for the Hurricanes, so that means the Carolina system is just one Staal away from having a 4-of-a-kind! Marc Staal, otherwise known as the odd man out, has played the last six season with the New York Rangers, three of which he served as alternate captain. Here is a picture of all four Staal brothers. Your welcome ladies.
Oh, and there is a game tomorrow. The Admirals finish out their 3-in-3 homestand tomorrow night at 5:00pm against the Abbotsford Heat. Here’s to hoping we’ll be celebrating a 2-out-of-3 weekend afterwards…