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Milwaukee Admirals Update: Jan. 4

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Ads Play Three at Home this Week

OVERALL…The Admirals enter this week’s action with a 20-11-2-4 record and 46 points, which is good for a third place tie with Texas in a tightly packed West Division where first through seventh place is separated by just six points. The Admirals continue a season-long four-game homestand this week by hosting Grand Rapids on Thursday. After a night off on Friday, the Ads welcome Toronto to the BC for a 7:00 pm fray on Saturday night and Hamilton comes calling on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm, a change from the original 5:00 pm start time.

LAST WEEK…The Admirals started the week with a 4-1 loss to Rockford Tuesday night at the Bradley Center. After falling behind 1-0 after one period, Dylan Hunter scored to the tie the score for the Ads. However, the IceHogs’ Ben Smith scored with just 1:11 remaining in the second to break the tie and in the third Milwaukee managed just four shots on goal. The next night Milwaukee rebounded with a 3-2 win over Houston. Matt Halischuk and Blake Geoffrion scored just 17 seconds apart at the start of the third period to break a 1-1 tie and guide the Ads to the victory. Mark Dekanich was stellar in net for Milwaukee, turning aside 33 shots to pick up his 13th win of the season. On New Year’s Eve the Ads dropped a 3-1 decision to Peoria. The Ads outshot the Rivermen 11-2 in the first period, but were behind 1-0. Peoria built a 3-0 lead before Ryan Thang scored the only goal of the game for Milwaukee. The Admirals finished the week with a 3-1 win over San Antonio at the BC. Gabriel Bourque, Matt Halischuk, and Jon Blum each posted a goal, while Jeremy Smith stopped 24 shots to earn the win.

HEADING HOME…After spending the majority of their time on the road in the first three months of the season, the Admirals can finally settle in for some home cooking. Milwaukee finds themselves in the midst of a season long four-game homestand and has more games at home than on the road for every month the rest of the year. The Admirals sport a 9-2-2-1 record at the BC and an 11-9-0-3 mark on the road.

SO LONG 2010…The Admirals wrapped up the calendar year 2010 with a 3-1 loss to Peoria on Friday night. In 2010 the Admirals accumulated a 42-31-3-7 mark in 83 regular season games, which is good for a .568 points percentage. Defenseman Jon Blum was the team’s leading scorer over the past 12 months with 55 points on 13 goals and 42 assists, along with a +11 rating. Mike Santorelli is second on the list with 49 points (20g-29a) in just 49 games. Mark Dekanich was the team’s leading goalie with a 33-20 record, 2.09 goals against average and a .925 save percentage.

NOTHERN EXPOSURE…Beginning Thursday against Grand Rapids, the Admirals begin a stretch of five straight contests against teams from the North Division. The Ads will play the Griffins, Toronto, and Hamilton at the Bradley Center and then hit the road for two games against Manitoba. So far this season Milwaukee is 9-3 against teams from the North and 11-8-2-4 versus the West. Following this five, the Admirals play 15 of 16 games in their own division.

ITS YOUR THANG…Admirals forward Ryan Thang scored the lone tally of the game for Milwaukee on Friday night against Peoria. It was his second goal in as many games and the first time in his young pro career that he has lit the lamp in consecutive contests. The Notre Dame alum also had his first career multi-point game with a goal and an assist on Wednesday in a 3-2 win over Houston and with an assist on Sunday has a three-game scoring streak. On the year Thang has 12 points (4g-8a) and a +7 rating in 34 games.

Admirals defenseman Jon Blum went the first two months of the season without a goal, but he poured in five markers in December, including one on Sunday against San Antonio. On December 5th in Peoria he notched two assists in regulation and then tallied the GWG in overtime for his first three-point night of the season and third of his career. The Predators first round pick in 2007 has nine points overall this month, which is tops among defenseman and third on the team. On the season, Blum leads the team with 15 assists and is third on the squad with 19 points.

MAKING THE SHOW…Last Monday morning Admirals forward Chris Mueller was preparing for the team’s next game with Rockford, but before the day was over he had signed his first NHL contract and was recalled by Nashville. Then Tuesday night, the Michigan State alum made his NHL debut, with 3:17 of ice time in the Predators 4-2 loss to Dallas. With Milwaukee, Mueller is second on the team in both goals (12) and points (20) in his second season with the club. Since the beginning of December, he has ten points (4g-6a) and a +4 rating in 11 games. The West Seneca, N.Y., native has amassed 63 points (30g-33a) in 161 AHL games with Milwaukee, Lake Erie and Grand Rapids and posted 104 points (42g-62a) and 141 penalty minutes in 166 games with Michigan State from 2004-08. He helped the Spartans win the 2007 NCAA National Championship and was named to the NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament Team.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT…With Linus Klasen and Mueller both on recall to Nashville, the Admirals summoned left wing Dylan Hunter Tuesday morning and he had an immediate impact on the ice, scoring Milwaukee only goal last night versus the IceHogs. It was Hunter’s first goal in the AHL this season and his first since February 21. Hunter, the son for NHL Hall of Famer Dale Hunter, has 21 points (7g-14a) in 22 games with Cincinnati (ECHL) this season.

OVER THE AIR AND ON THE WEB…For the fourth 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 pm 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 and click on the AHL Live banner.

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