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Halischuk, Klasen Lead Admirals to Win in AHL Opener

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Ads Win Season Opener for Third Straight Year.

Milwaukee, WI–The Milwaukee Admirals got off to a slow start, but exploded for four second period goals on their way to a 6-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat Saturday night at the Bradley Center in the season opener for Milwaukee.

The Admirals fell behind 2-0 after one period of play, but scored six unanswered, including two each by forwards Linus Klasen and Matt Halischuk, to cruise to the victory. Mark Van Guilder posted the game-winner for the Ads on his first goal in the American Hockey League.

Abbotsford struck first with a shorthanded tally by Greg Nemicz at 6:31 of the first period. The Heat right wing and teammate Carter Bancks carried the puck into the Admirals zone two-on-one, and Bancks flipped a pass over to Nemicz, who one-timed a shot past Milwaukee netminder Mark Dekanich.

The Heat made it 2-0 with just under six minutes to play in the opening stanza with a power-play goal by Cam Cunning on assists by Jon Rheault and Josh Meyers.

Nick Spaling cut the Abbotsford lead in half with the Ads first goal of the season at the 6:05 mark of the second period. Andreas Thuresson dove for the puck and tipped it ahead into the Heat zone to Spaling, who fired a wrister over the shoulder of netminder Leland Irving.

Exactly 2:30 later, Klasen posted his first pro goal during a 5-on-3 power-play. With time running out on the first Abbotsford penalty, Teemu Laakso found Halischuk on the right post. Halischuk held the puck long enought to make Irving commit and then passed it to Klasen who had a wide open net to tie the score at two.

At 14:55 of the second it was Van Guilder's turn for his first goal as an Admiral and it gave the team a 3-2 lead. Kelsey Wilson fired a shot from the blue line that Irving stopped, but he couldn't control the rebound and Van Guilder jumped on it for the score.

Halischuk gave the Admrials their fourth on a gift from Irving with 2:10 remaining in the second. The Admirals cleared the puck out of their zone during an Abbotsford power-play and Irving stopped the puck and attempted to pass it, but he dropped his stick. Irving grabbed the stick off the ice and didn't see Halischuk closing in and the puck went right onto the Milwaukee forward's stick and all he had to do was tap it into the net.

Klasen got his second of the night 2:45 into the third period, pushing the score to 5-2. With Milwaukee on another power-play Thuresson sent a cross-ice pass through the slot and over to Klasen who roofed a one-timer.

Halischuk finished up the scoring with a breakaway goal that just trickled by Abbotsford goalie Matt Keetley, who had come on in relief of Irving, at 11:07 of the third.

Halischuk finished with a three point night (2g-1a), while Klasen (2g), Thuresson (2a), and Laakso each had two points. Mark Dekanich settled down after the first period and finished the night with 22 saves to earn the victory for Milwaukee.

The Admirals are back in action tomorrow afternoon when they visit the Peoria Rivermen at 3:00 pm. The Ads next home game is Friday, October 15 at 7:00 versus the Chicago Wolves. Fans can purchase tickets for every game by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to Season tickets for the 10-11 campaign are still on sale, starting at just $145. For more information or to purchase season tickets fans can call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550 or visit Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!

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