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Milwaukee Admirals Update: Nov. 2

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
ADMIRALS LOOK TO REBOUND AT HOME

Milwaukee Hosts Charlotte Friday, Visits Peoria Saturday

OVERALL…The Admirals enter this week’s action with a 5-2-0-1 record, good for 11 points and second place in the newly created Midwest Division. After earning points in their first six games Milwaukee now has their first losing streak of the season after dropping two in a row at home last weekend. Still in the “college phase” of their schedule, games only on weekends, the Ads host the Charlotte Checkers for the first time on Friday night before heading down to Peoria on Saturday night to battle the Rivermen.

LAST WEEK…Milwaukee completed their first of nine three-in-three this year with a 1-2 record last week. The Admirals earned their third win in three tries over the Wolves Friday night with a 2-1 win at the All-State Arena. Ryan Thang scored the game-winner with 6:27 to play in the third period, while Jeremy Smith stopped 27 shots to earn the victory. Saturday night Milwaukee dropped a 5-3 decision to Grand Rapids. Juuso Puustinen, Taylor Beck, and Ryan Ellis all lit the lamp for the Admirals, who feel behind 3-0 before mustering a third period comeback. Then on Sunday the Ads dropped another 5-3 decision, this time to Texas. The two teams were tied at three late in the third when the Stars Tomas Vincour scored the game-winner with 3:35 to play. Ellis, Mark Van Guilder, and Zack Stortini all found the back of the net for the Admirals.

UP AND BACK…It was a quick but eventful trip for Admirals forward Ryan Thang on Monday. Thang earned his first NHL recall on Monday morning and traveled down to Chicago to play for the Predators against the Blackhawks. The Edina, MN native saw 8:32 of ice time as Nashville fell to Chicago 5-4 in overtime. Following the game Thang was reassigned to Milwaukee.

WORTH THE WAIT…Almost six years after playing his first game as an Admiral, forward Zack Stortini scored his first regular season goal for Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon against the Stars. The Elliot Lake, ON native played 37 games for the Ads in the 2005-06 season and chipped in with seven assists, but didn’t register a goal of his own. Stortini left the Admirals after that season and proceeded to win a Calder Cup with Hamilton and play in over 250 NHL games before being assigned to Milwaukee by the Preds last month.

NOT SO SPECIAL TEAMS…Part of the issue the Admirals encountered last weekend in their two losses was their lack of success on special teams. Milwaukee went 0-for-4 on the power-play on Saturday night against Grand Rapids and then was 0-for-3 on Sunday versus Texas. Unfortunately the penalty kill didn’t perform any better, surrendering two power-play goals in four chances in each of the two games. On the season the Ads are 21st in the AHL on the PP and 29th on the PK. One saving grace is that the Admirals have by far faced the least number of shorthanded chances.

QUICK LEARNER…Players making the transition from the east-west style of European hockey to the more north-south version found in North America often struggle with the adjustment. It appears that Admirals forward Juuson Puustinen is a quick study. After playing the past three seasons in Finland, Puustinen has four goals already this season, including a pair of goals last weekend. Last year he finished second on the HPK Hameenlinna with 38 points (26g-12a) in 59 contests.

SHOOT EM UP…One big difference so far from last season to this season is the number of shots on goal the Admirals have produced. Milwaukee posted 39 shots on goal both Friday and Saturday night, a total that would have ranked fourth-best all of last year. The Ads have only been outshot two times in seven games thus far and are averaging almost 31 shots per game (30.9). In 2010-11 the Admirals were outshot 51 times and averaged 27.5 shots per contest.

A HELPING HAND…Admirals forward Kyle Wilson has adjusted quickly to his new club as he is second on the team with seven points and is tops on the roster with six assists. The Oakville, ON native had a three-game assist streak snapped on Sunday and he earned three helpers on October 14 against Chicago, a team season high. Wilson split last season with the Springfield Falcons (24 points in 23 games) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (11 points in 32 games).

ALL ABOUT TIMING…In just his second full season with the team, Thang has developed a knack for timely goals. Friday night the Edina, MN native broke a 1-1 tie with 6:27 to play to push the Ads to the win, already his second game-winner of the season. Thang tallied three GWGs last year, including the game-winner with less than ten seconds left in regulation in a win over Peoria that secured the West Division crown for Milwaukee. He also added a pair of game-winning goals in the post-season last year as well. So far in 2011-12, Thang leads the club with five goals and is tied for the team lead with six points.

ROAD WARRIORS…Friday night’s win over the Wolves extended the Admirals AHL record road point streak to 21 games. Over that span the Ads have accumulated a 14-0-4-3 record. Milwaukee hasn’t lost in regulation on the road since January 13th of last season, and, including the playoffs, the Ads haven’t lost in regulation in 27 consecutive games.

OVER THE AIR AND ON THE WEB…For the fifth 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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