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Admirals Capture AHL's West Division Crown

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Thang’s Goal Lifts Ads to Win over Peoria

Peoria, IL—Ryan Thang scored the game-winning goal with 6.5 seconds left in regulation to give the Milwaukee Admirals a 4-3 win at Peoria Saturday night. The win clinched the Western Conference Championship as well as the West Division title for the Admirals.

Instant Analysis
The College Connection paid dividends for the Preds AHL affiliate tonight as NCAA products accounted for three goals and four assists in Milwaukee's 4-3 win to clinch the division title. Chris Muller (Michigan State) netted the game's opening goal and added an assist, while Ryan Thang (Notre Dame) scored the game-winning goal and picked up another assist. Thang's former Notre Dame teammate, Ben Ryan, made his pro debut tonight with an assist on Ryan Flynn's (University of Minnesota) goal. Defenseman Jeff Foss (RPI) had the other assist on Flynn's goal.

Mueller, in his second season with the Admirals, signed a NHL contract with the Preds earlier in the season and has contributed 24 goals and 49 points for the Ads this season.

Thang, a Preds '07 draftee in his first full pro season, has posted 13 goals and 40 points. Fellow first year pro, Flynn, an '06 Preds draftee, turned heads with his blue-collar work in Preds training camp and has produced six goals and 12 points for the Ads during the regular season. Foss and Ryan both joined the Admirals within the last few days after wrapping up their respective collegiate career's in this year's NCAA Tournament.
-Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Milwaukee also set an AHL record by recording a point in its 16th straight road game. The Admirals haven’t lost in regulation time on the road since Jan. 13 at Manitoba.

Thang intercepted a pass out of the left corner from Akim Aliu and led a 2-on-1 out of the Admirals zone. As Thang got the left circle, he fired a wristshot between the legs of Peoria goalie Jake Allen for his 13th goal of the season.

Moments before the winner, Aliu was robbed by Milwaukee goalie Jeremy Smith. Aliu’s one-timer from the bottom of the left circle was stopped by a diving Smith.

Milwaukee struck first with a power play goal from Chris Mueller, his 24th goal of the season. Cory Conacher fed a pass to Brett Palin at the blue line. His big slapshot was stopped but Mueller, standing in front of goalie Allen, slammed the rebound between the goalie’s legs for his fourth power play goal. Palin and Conacher notched the assists.

The Rivermen tied the game at 14:50 with a power play goal from Nicholas Drazenovic. His one-timer from the right faceoff dot went just under the crossbar past Smith.

Milwaukee reclaimed the lead just 16 seconds later. The newest Admiral, Ben Ryan, moved the puck from the right corner to the point for Jeff Foss. Foss’ shot hit teammate Ryan Flynn in front of the net and dropped to the ice. Going to his backhand, Flynn slid the puck past Allen for his sixth goal of the season. The assists for Foss and Ryan were their first professional points.

Milwaukee’s second power play chance resulted in the team’s second power play goal at 17:02 of the first period. Thang fed a pass from the left wing boards to Mueller on the goal line. Mueller sent a pass to the right post for Conacher to bury. It was Conacher’s first goal as an Admiral and second in the AHL.

The second period was all Peoria as the Rivermen outshot Milwaukee 18-5 and scored the only two goals of the frame. T.J. Hensick scored a power play goal at 17:00 with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle to make it 3-2. Then, Rivermen defenseman Daryl Boyle scored his first goal of the season after Peoria’s Brett Sonne won a faceoff to him at the right point. His slapshot went over the glove of Smith at 17:41 to knot the game at three.

The Admirals return to the Bradley Center for the home finale Sunday afternoon at 5:00 pm versus Grand Rapids. Fans can purchase individual tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to milwaukeeadmirals.com, while fans looking for playoff packages, group tickets or more information should call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!
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