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Milwaukee Admirals Update: Oct. 18

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
ADMIRALS OFF TO QUICK START

Ads Win First Three, Head to Abbotsford Next

OVERALL…The Admirals enter this week’s action with a 3-0-0-0 mark, which includes a pair of wins over the Chicago Wolves last weekend. Milwaukee is the only team in the Western Conference without a regulation loss and they currently sit tied atop the newly formed Midwest Division with Rockford at six points. The Admirals make their yearly trip to Abbotsford this weekend for a pair of games with the Heat.

LAST WEEK…The Admirals swept a home-and-home series with Chicago last weekend, taking a 4-2 win over the Wolves on Friday night at the Bradley Center, before earning a 3-2 shoot-out decision on Saturday night at the All-State Arena. On Friday Chris Mueller had a hand in each of the Ads’ tallies, posting a goal and three assists on the night, while Ryan Thang (1g-1a), Ryan Ellis (2a), and Kyle Wilson (2a) each posted a pair of points. Then on Saturday night the Ads converted four of their five attempts in the shoot-out to earn the win. Mueller and Wilson scored in regulation for the Admirals, while Jeremy Smith stopped 22 of 24 shots to pick up the victory.

HOT START…
The Admirals are a perfect 3-for-3 on the young season. It is just the seventh time in franchise history that the team has won their first three games and the first time since 2004-05. The most consecutive wins that the Ads have had to start a year is five, back in 1988-89 in the first year of the Bradley Center. The 2004-05 club holds the team mark for most consecutive games earning a point to start the season with ten contests (8-0-2) before falling regulation.

ROAD WARRIORS…In addition to their perfect overall record, the Ads are also 2-0 on the road for the seventh time in team history and the first since 2006-07. With a pair of road games this coming weekend in Abbotsford the Admirals have the chance to tie and break the best road start in team history of 3-0, set in 06-07 and 1988-89. In addition, the two wins thus far this year extend Milwaukee’s AHL record of consecutive road games with at least a point to 18. The Admirals haven’t lost in regulation on the road since January 13th of last season.

LEADING THE SHIP… Kirk Muller assumes the reigns of the Admirals ship this year, taking over for Lane Lambert who left to be an assistant with the Predators in Nashville. Muller has never been a head coach at the professional level, but if his pedigree as a player is any indication then the Admirals are in for big things. The 2nd overall pick in the 1984 draft behind Mario Lemieux, Muller was a six-time NHL all-star and scored over 350 goals in his career, including the Stanley Cup clinching goal for the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. The Kingston, ON native has spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the Canadiens. With his win over Peoria last Saturday night, Muller became the seventh out of the team’s last eight coaches to post a win in his first game.

ITS MUELLER TIME…Chris Mueller posted a goal and three assists Friday night, the first four-point night of his career and the first by an Admirals since Blake Geoffrion did it Feb. 4 of last season. Mueller finished last year as the team’s leading scorer with 50 points (24g-26a), in spite of missing 13 games on recall to Nashville. Undrafted out of Michigan State, Mueller was on an AHL contract until the middle of last season when the Predators signed him to a two-way deal and then recalled him to the NHL, where he registered three assists in 15 games with the big club.

IT’S YOUR THANG…Admirals winger Ryan Thang picked up right where he left off last season, scoring a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in the team’s season opening win over Peoria and then adding a goal and an assist Friday night against the Wolves. The Edina, MN native tied for the team lead with 13 points in the playoffs last year, and during the regular season he was the team’s top scoring rookie with 41 points on 14 goals and 27 assists in 78 games.

O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN…Fourth-year defenseman Scott Ford has been selected as the Admirals captain this season. Ford, who has served as an alternate captain the past three seasons, set career highs last year with 80 games played, 164 penalty minutes, and a +10 rating. Ford’s alternates will be Tyler Sloan and Chris Mueller at home and Ryan Thang and Kyle Wilson on the road.

NAME TAGS, PLEASE…While turnover is the nature of the beast in the AHL, this year’s Admirals squad is comprised of a majority of new faces Out of the 24 players currently on the team’s roster just eight of them (Chris Mueller, Ryan Thang, Roman Josi, Gabriel Bourque, Mark Van Guilder, Ryan Flynn, Scott Ford and Jeremy Smith) spent more than half of the season in Milwaukee last year.

WELCOME BACK…The Predators have reassigned forward Zack Stortini to the Admirals. Stortini, who helped the Admirals to the Calder Cup Finals in 2006, made his Predators debut last Saturday night at St. Louis, logging 4:53 and recording seven penalty minutes. He split the 2010-11 season between the Edmonton Oilers (32gp, 4 pts, 76 PIM) and the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons (29gp, 3pts, 53 PIM) after spending three full seasons with the Oilers from 2007-10. The Elliot Lake, Ont., native has suited up for 257 career NHL contests since 2006-07 amassing 41 points (14g-27a) and 725 penalty minutes including a career-high 13 points (4g-9a) in a personal-best 77 games with Edmonton in 2009-10.

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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