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Milwaukee Admirals Update (Jan. 6)

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
ADMIRALS RIDING HIGH AT HOME

Team Looks for 11th Straight at the Bradley Center

OVERALL…The Admirals enter this week’s action with a 24-9-1-1 record and 50 points, which puts them in first place in the West Division. The Ads are up by eight points on second place Iowa and Peoria and nine up on a trio of teams, Rockford, Chicago, and Houston, that are tied for fourth. With 35 games under their belt, the Admirals have still play the least amount of games in the division. Milwaukee has three days off to start the week before beginning a three game in three night stretch on Thursday night at the Bradley Center against Toronto. Following that game the Ads will travel to San Antonio for games with the Rampage on Friday and Saturday.

VS. TORONTO…The Admirals and Toronto Marlies square off for the second time this season and the lone match-up at the Bradley Center on Thursday night. In their first meeting of the year, the Ads topped Toronto 6-2 at the Ricoh Coliseum on December 6th. Last season the Admirals were 2-0 against the Marlies, and have now won six consecutive games against Toronto. In 16 career meetings between the Toronto Marlies/St. John’s Maple Leafs, Milwaukee has posted a 11-4-1-1 record. In eight lifetime match-ups with the Marlies the Admirals are 7-2, including a 4-0 mark at the Bradley Center.

VS. SAN ANTONIO… The Admirals make their final visit of the season to San Antonio for games with the Rampage on Friday and Saturday night, their fourth and fifth of meetings of the year. The Ads won the each of the first three match-ups, posting a 3-1 victory on opening night in San Antonio, a 2-1 shoot-out win on November 7th at the BC, and, most recently, a 6-2 victory on December 29th in Milwaukee. In seven previous years of match-ups with the Rampage, the Ads have recorded a 35-15-2-5 record with a 15-7-1-5 mark at the AT&T Center. Former Admirals Wyatt Smith has a ten points in 13 games with the Rampage.

HOME, SWEET HOME…The Admirals tied a franchise record with their tenth consecutive home win on Saturday night, a 2-0 win over Peoria. It is the longest home winning streak for Milwaukee since they posted a pair of eight-game streaks during the 2005-06 season and it equals the mark set from October 22nd to December 27th, 1992. It is the sixth time in club history that the team has strung together at least eight straight at home. Couple the winning streak with a high number of road games and Milwaukee has not lost at the Bradley Center since falling 5-2 to Rockford on November 15th. In addition, the Admirals two regulation home losses are the fewest in the AHL.

MR. DECEMBER…Admirals Center Mike Santorelli was named CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December. In 14 games in the month Santorelli posted eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points and a +2 rating. He started the month with the team’s only four-point game of the season when he posted two goals and two assists in the Ads’ 5-4 win over Hamilton. He followed that up with a three-point effort (1g-2a) against Toronto and picked up at least a point in the first seven games of the month, part of a 14-game point streak. The Vancouver, BC recorded eight multi-point games in December and capped the month off by scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over Peoria on New Year’s Eve. With an assist last night, the Northern Michigan alum now has 41 points on the season (13g-28a), which ties him for the league lead.

GOING OUT WITH A BANG…December of 2008 will go down in the record books as the most successful month in Admirals franchise history. The team won 12 games, which tied the record for most wins in a month set in February of 2004, but they did it in only 14 games, while the 03-04 squad won a dozen times in 15 chances. Milwaukee started the month with a six-game winning streak, then lost two straight to Grand Rapids, and then finished the calendar year with another six game winning streak. In addition, the Admirals did not lose a game on home ice in December and posted in impressive 6-2 record on the road. Mike Santorelli recorded a blistering 23 points on eight goals and 15 assists during the month to lead the offense, while Drew MacIntyre and Mark Dekanich provided stellar goaltending for the Ads, with each goalie posting a 6-1 record in December.

BIG CROWDS…The Admirals drew 12,444 fans to their win over Peoria on Saturday night, marking their first crowd of 10,000 or more this season and their highest attendance mark since 13,843 watched the Admirals battle the Chicago Wolves on January 3rd last year. Saturday’s crowd was the ninth time in the past three seasons that the Ads have drawn a crowd in excess of 10,000.

STREAK BUSTER…The Admirals 2-1 overtime loss Friday night in Quad City ended a number of streaks for the team. Most significantly, it stopped their six game winning streak, which tied a season high and was two short of the franchise record. It also snapped a six game overtime/shootout winning streak that had tied a club record. The Ads dropped their home opener to Rockford in a shootout, but had won six straight following that, with three wins coming in OT and three in the shoot-out. The game also ended ten consecutive wins for Milwaukee in one goal games. The Admirals dropped their first two one-goal decisions this year, but then reeled off ten in a row before Friday.

HONORABLE MENTION…While he didn’t win either award, Admirals rookie goaltender Mark Dekanich was certainly a top candidate for both rookie and goaltender of the month in the AHL. In December, Dekanich put up some impressive numbers, posting a 6-1 record with a miniscule 1.31 goals against average and a .947 save percentage in seven contests. The North Vancouver, BC native surrendered two or fewer goals in each of his starts and in his only loss of the month he allowed just one marker, but the Ads were shut-out. On the season, Dekanich is 8-4 with a 1.98 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN…Admirals defenseman Alexander Sulzer also put together a notable offensive month in December. The Kaufbeuren, Germany native more than doubled his season point output in 14 games last month, recording 18 points (6g-11a), including the game-winning goal in OT last Tuesday versus Iowa, to up his season totals to 29 (7g-22a). He picked up at least a point in 12 of the 14 contests, including a three point night on December 12th against Toronto. Sulzer is currently third among AHL defensemen in both points and assists.

36 AND COUNTING…Jed Ortmeyer posted a pair of goals last Monday night against San Antonio, marking the 15th time this season that an Admiral has lit the lamp two times in one game. Ryan Jones leads the team with three two-goal games, while Ortmeyer and Nick Spaling have accomplished the feat twice. Mike Santorelli, Alexander Sulzer, Antti Pihlstrom, Andreas Thuresson, Stephen Werner, Teemu Laakso, Kelsey Wilson and Cody Franson have also done the deed, but none of them have been able to make it a hat trick. Milwaukee has had 36 players score twice in one contest since the team’s last hat trick, scored by Chris Durno against Chicago on March 10th, 2007.

OVER THE AIR AND ON THE WEB…For the second 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 milwaukeeadmirals.com and click on the AHL Live banner.

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