OVERALL…The Admirals enter this week’s action with a 2-2-0-1 record and five points, good for sixth place in the AHL’s West Division. Milwaukee will take five days off this week, tied for their longest stretch without a game all year, before playing back-to-back contests on Friday and Saturday. The Ads make their first trek down I-39 on Friday night for a 7:05 pm game against Rockford and then commence the home portion of their schedule on Saturday night at 7:30 against the Manitoba Moose at the Bradley Center.
VS. ROCKFORD…The Admirals travel to Rockford on Friday night for their first game of the season against the IceHogs. Last year Milwaukee posted a 6-3-0-1 mark during the regular season against the Hogs, including a 4-1 record in Rockford, and then swept the IceHogs in four games in the West Division Semifinals. In 20 total meetings against the Hogs, the Ads have posted a 10-8-0-2 record. The two squads will do battle ten times this season, with five games each coming on home ice.
VS MANITOBA…Milwaukee will play host to the Manitoba Moose for their 2009-10 home opener on Saturday night at the Bradley Center. Last season the Ads and Moose split four games, with each team winning once at home and one time on the road. The Admirals and Manitoba have squared off in 65 games, dating back to their time in the old IHL. In those contests, the Admirals have recorded a 36-27-1-1 record, including a 19-13-1-0 mark at home.
HOME AT LAST…After a team-record six-game roadtrip to start the season the Admirals will play their first home game of the year on Saturday night at 7:30 when the team hosts the Manitoba Moose at the Bradley Center. The Ads have posted an all-time 19-11-0-2 record in home-openers including a 4-3-0-1 mark since joining the American Hockey League. Last season Milwaukee dropped a 4-3 shoot-out loss to Rockford in their first home game of the season. The Admirals have played Manitoba two previous times to kick off their home schedule. The first was a 4-3 shoot-out win on October 4, 1996 and the last time was a 1-0 loss on October 14, 2005.
WELCOME BACK…Mike Santorelli made a great impression in front of his hometown fans in his first game back with the Admirals after being reassigned to the club from Nashville on Thursday. The Vancouver native finished the Friday’s game against Abbotsford with five points, on a goal and four assists, which left him just one point shy of tying an Admirals franchise record for points in a game. Santorelli suited up for each of the Predators first five games in 2009-10, posting no points while averaging 14:00 per game, and scored the game-deciding goal in the shoot-out during the Preds opening night win over Dallas. A season ago, he led Milwaukee in points (70) and goals (27) in addition to ranking second on the club in assists (43) and was selected to play in the 2009 AHL All-Star contest.
GETTING THE CALL…The Predators have recalled defenseman Cody Franson from the Admirals. The recall is the first of his career for Franson, who had a goal and an assist in the Admirals first three games this year. The Sicamous, BC native made his NHL debut on Saturday night in Washinton, recording 12:54 of ice time and one shot on goal. Last year Franson was third on the Milwaukee roster and first among the team's blueliners with 52 points (11g-41a) in 76 games during the regular season and notched eight points (3g-5a) in 11 playoffs frays.
WELCOME TO MILWAUKEE…The Predators have reassigned forward Ben Guite to the Admirals. In four games with Nashville this season, Guite averaged 9:07 per game and did not record a point. Before signing with Nashville, he played 168 games with Colorado over the past three seasons, registering 45 points (19g-26a) and 93 penalty minutes. In 2008-09, the 6-1, 211-pound center paced all Avalanche skaters in plus/minus rating (+2), and ranked second among Avalanche forwards in both average shorthanded ice time (2:21) and face-off efficiency (51.5%). The Montreal, Que., native posted career highs in games played (79), goals (11), assists (11) and points (22) two seasons ago, in addition to dressing in all 10 of Colorado’s 2008 playoff contests.
BACK AND FOURTH…With the recall of Cody Franson and the reassignment of Guite, five players have already made the trip between Nashville and Milwaukee this season. Among those players Mike Santorelli has the most NHL games this year, having played in five contests. Guite skated in four games for Nashville, while Triston Grant had a three game-stint with the Preds last week, and Cal O’Reilly skated in his first game with the Predators in 2009-10 on Thursday night. However, none of the five have found their way onto the score sheet for Nashville this year.
THE FIRST TIME…Defenseman Jonathan Blum and forward Ben Eaves each scored their first goal in an Admirals sweater during the team’s 5-2 win over Peoria on Wednesday night. Blum’s tally, also the first of his professional career, was a power-play marker and put Milwaukee up 1-0, while Eaves goal was an empty-netter and came in the his first game for the Admirals. Last season Blum was named the CHL’s Defenseman of the Year after recording 16 goals and 50 assists and an outrageous +53 rating in 51 games for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. Meanwhile Eaves broke a SM-Liiga (Finland) post-season record with 24 points and 20 assists for Espoo in 2009.
PETER THE GREAT…With a goal and an assist Friday night, Admirals forward Peter Olvecky registered a three-game point streak, and is tied for third on the team in both goals (2) and points (5). The Slovakia native recorded a goal and an assist on October 9 in a 4-3 shoot-out loss in Peoria and then posted an assist in Milwaukee’s 5-2 win over the Rivermen on Wednesday night. Last season Olvecky notched 23 points (6g-17a) in 41 games with the Houston Aeros and seven points (2g-5a) in 31 contests with the Minnesota Wild.
HIT THE ROAD JACK…Before the Admirals can hit the Bradley Center Ice for the first time this season, they need head out on the road for one more contest this Friday night in Rockford. The game is the last in a six-game roadtrip to begin the year for Milwaukee, the longest in franchise history. The Ads, 2-2-0-1 on the current road swing, will now play six of their next eights games at home, with the two road contests taking place in Rockford.
MAKING YOUR PRESENCE FELT…Admirals forward Dave Scatchard hadn’t played a game in almost two seasons before signing with Nashville and being assigned to Milwaukee a week into the season. However, the long layoff does not appear to have affected his scoring touch. The Hinton, AB native has picked up a goal in three out the four games he has played this season, including the game-winner last Wednesday night in Peoria. Scatchard, a veteran of over 600 career NHL games, is no stranger to the Admirals, having posted a goal and two assists in eight games for the team in 2007-08, the last games he played before this season.
OVER THE AIR AND ON THE WEB…For the third consecutive season Sportsradio 1250 WSSP will serve as the Admirals flagship station with Aaron Sims calling all of the hard-hitting end-to-end action. In addition, the team has a one-hour hockey magazine dubbed “Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice” that airs every Monday from 6-7 p.m. on WSSP. Fans can watch all Admirals games, home and on the road, live on the internet via NeuLion. Simply go the Admirals website at milwaukeeadmirals.com and click on the AHL Live banner.