MILWAUKEE -A late overtime goal from Marlies winger Greg Scott secured the 3-2 win over Milwaukee Saturday night, snapping the Admirals five-game win streak. Brad Winchester and Anthony Bitetto scored for Milwaukee, while goaltender Magnus Hellberg made 23 of 26 saves. In total, the Admirals put 41 shots on goaltenders Jussi Rynnas and Drew MacIntyre.
This was the first, and last visit, for Toronto this season. The two teams squared off last month in Toronto in which the Admirals goose-egged the Marlies 2-0 at Ricoh Coliseum. Like the Admirals, the Marlies are on a hot streak. Their five-game win streak was snapped last night after losing 4-3 in the shootout to the Chicago Wolves.
The boys wasted no time getting on the board, scoring less than two minutes into the game with the second goal in two nights for the Brad Winchester – Craig Smith pairing. Smith, the Wisconsin native forward here from the parent Predators on a conditioning assignment, earned an assist on Winchesters empty netter in last nights 3-1 win over Peoria. Smith sent a pass up to Jarvinen from the far boards, who fired the puck on goal which Winchester stuffed in for his seventh of the season.
A little background-slash-information on the who this “other” Smith is. Friday morning, the Predators announced that they were sending forward Craig Smith to Milwaukee on a conditioning assignment (remember Matt Halischuk a few weeks back? Same thing except there wasn’t an injury involved). The 23-year old former Wisconsin Badger captain is a native of Madison, Wisconsin, making him the third Wisconsin-native on the Admirals roster (Brad Winchester is also from Madison, and defenseman Joe Piskula is from Antigo). On Wisconsin, on Wisconsin, grand old Admirals staaaaate…
Per Ryan Miller of Admirals Roundtable, Smith is here through tomorrow nights game in Chicago. Beyond that? Sounds like it’s going to be a decision made Sunday night. Smith is here to get ice time, actually I like the term Ryan used in “productive ice time”. In 25 games with the Preds this season, Smith has 6 points (3g-3a) and h -5 +/-. It’s a departure from last seasons performance, in which he average a point every two games (36 points in 72 contests). Sometimes a change of scenery and direction from a different coaching staff is just what the doctor ordered.
What are you looking to get out of this trip to Milwaukee?
“Just to get my mindset right, to make plays and create offensive opportunities, but I think everyone around me is doing a good job of making plays and getting the puck to the net.”
Has the Nashville Brass given you any timeline on when you’ll return to Nashville?
“There is a two-week max, but we’ll see what happens, and what happens with injuries or if they feel I’m ready to come back. As of now, I’m kind of in the dark, just trying to play here and have some fun, see if I can get a couple wins with the Admirals.”
With Korbinian Holzer in the box on a elbowing call, the Admirals sent the Shalla-Watson-Smith line out for duty. But it was defenseman Anthony Bitetto who converted on the power-play for his first tally of the season. The following quote is from Bitetto, but please be aware that in order to get the full Bitetto experience, you need to read it with a really (and I do mean really) thick New York accent. I could sit and listen to him read a telephone book for days.
“It was nice. Ekky (Ekholm) made a great play along the wall. Winny (Winchester) has been telling me a low wrist it to the net is gonna work, and sure enough! The big man was right!”
That reminds me, I need to compile a list of nicknames guy use in post-game interviews (because in that interview alone I can check two off the list). Nicknames are fun, I get it, but I never understood why Scott Ford’s nickname is Fordo. Isn’t a nickname supposed to be a shorter version of what your actual name is? I digress…
Goaltender Jussi Rynnas left the game in the final minutes of the second period after an awkward fall left him sprawled out in front of the Toronto net. He was helped off the ice by two teammates, and avoided putting any pressure on his right leg. Coming off the bench in place of Rynnas was former Admirals goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Mac played for Milwaukee during the 2008-2009 season, and has gone on to play for five other AHL teams since his time in the Brew City.
Greg McKegg was called for boarding after putting defenseman Mattias Ekholm into the boards head first behind the Milwaukee net. What looked like a promising way to win this thing in overtime turned out to be the prelude to Toronto’s game winning goal. Shortly after the McKegg expired, a 2-1 led by Jerry D’Amigo turned into a scoring opportunity for Greg Scott, who sailed the puck just over Hellberg’s glove.
The Admirals round out their 3-in-3 weekend tomorrow afternoon in Chicago. The Wolves were blanked by the Rivermen in Peoria this evening by a score of 3-0, so we can only hope their good fortune carries over into tomorrows contest.
And in case you missed my 56 tweets, 13 facebook posts and the smoke signals I sent out from the arena parking lot, recent Predators call-up Taylor Beck notched his very first NHL goal in tonight’s 5-2 win over Columbus. Jim Diamond, who covers the Predators for Examiner.com and AP had a chance to ask Beck about his goal, and hey! Beck party of 3, looks like owes his linemates a dinner!
Don’t forget to follow Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) on twitter for the latest and greatest on all things Predators (Nashville Predators… not to catch a predator, I think Chris Hansen has that covered).