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Milwaukee Admirals Update: Oct. 5

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Lone Game this Week in Peoria Friday Night

OVERALL… The Admirals began their 33rd professional season and ninth as a member of the American Hockey League last Saturday night at the All-State Arena in Chicago. The Ads concluded last season with a 49-22-3-6 record and 107 points, which tied the team for the best record in the AHL and was 15 points better than second place Peoria. The West Division Title was the team’s third in the past six seasons and the Admirals became the one of just two teams in AHL history to finish with 40 or more points and 90 or more wins for six consecutive seasons.

VS. PEORIA… Milwaukee will travel to Peoria for the second game of the season this Friday night. Last season Milwaukee posted a 6-2 record against the Rivermen, including a 2-2 mark at the Carver Arena. In 34 contests since the Rivermen joined the American Hockey League, the Admirals have posted a 23-7-2-2 record with a 9-6-1-1 mark in Peoria. The two team’s squared-off in 158 games during their time in the IHL with the Ads notching an 80-66-3-2-7 record in those contests.

LAST WEEK… The Admirals began their 2009-10 campaign in earnest on Saturday night with 3-2 win over rival Chicago in what was also the first game of the Amtrak Rivalry series. Mark Dekanich stopped 28 shots for Milwaukee to earn the win, while the Admirals received all the scoring they would need in the second period on goals by Triston Grant, Mark Santorelli and Ian McKenzie. Last season Grant, Santorelli and McKenzie combined for just seven goals with the Admirals.

FRIENDS, NOW FOES… Last season they combined to make arguably the best goaltending duo in franchise history, but Saturday night Mark Dekanich and Drew MacIntyre squared-off as the starting goaltenders in the Admirals-Wolves opening night contest. In 2008-09 MacIntyre played in 55 games and led the league with 34 wins to go along with a 2.30 goals against average, a .920 save percentage, and four shutouts. His win total was the fourth best in franchise history, as were the four shutouts he posted. In his first pro season Dekanich registered a 2.09 goals against average and a .923 save percentage that belies his 15-10-2 record. Both his GAA and his save percentage are the best in Admirals history for goalies who played at least 25 games in a season. Only seven times last year did the Admirals surrender five or more goals in a game, while they allowed zero or one goal in 25 contests. On Saturday, Dekanich bested his former mate, turning aside 28 shots in a 3-2 Milwaukee win, while MacIntyre made 37 saves in the loss.

RECORD SETTER… Admirals forward Cal O’Reilly picked up an assist on Ian McKenzie’s game winning-goal Saturday night, giving him 167 assists for his career and making him the team’s all-time assist leader since the team joined the AHL in 2001. O’Reilly also has the second most points (214) and third most games played (228) since the team switched leagues. The 2009 AHL All-Star was either first or second on the team in scoring in his first three seasons in an Admirals sweater, including a career-high 79 points during the 2007-08 campaign.

FOR OPENERS… For the third consecutive season the Admirals kicked off their season on the road. Including Saturday night, the team’s record all-time in season openers stands at 19-13-0-1 record, including a 6-5 mark when they begin the season away from the BC. Saturday was the third time in franchise history that Milwaukee opened their season against the Wolves. The teams split the first two with Chicago winning 2-1 at the Bradley Center on October 2, 1999 and the Ads taking a 4-2 win in Milwaukee on October 15, 2004.

WELCOME BACK… The Admirals have 16 players on their roster who skated in the regular season with the team last year, the most returners they have had since 2005-06 which boasted 12 returnees. Those players include defensemen Cody Franson, Mark Matheson, Robert Dietrich, Scott Ford, Nolan Yonkman, and Alexander Sulzer, and forwards Ryan Maki, Andreas Thuresson, Cal O’Reilly, Nick Spaling, Mark Santorelli, Hugh Jessiman, Triston Grant, Mark Van Guilder, and Ian McKenzie and goaltender Mark Dekanich.

THE LAMBERT ERA… Lane Lambert is back behind the Admirals bench this season for his third year as the team’s head coach. In his first two seasons Lambert has compiled an impressive 93-51-7-9 record, good for a .631 winning percentage which is the third best in Admirals history. The Melfort, SK native ranks fourth all-time in franchise annuls with both 177 total games coached (regular season and playoffs) and 102 total wins. Lambert also served as an assistant coach for the Admirals in 2006-07.

WELCOME TO MILWAUKEE… Ian Herbers will serve as Lambert’s top assistant this season after Brad Lauer left the Admirals to take an assistants position with the Ottawa Senators. Herbers joins the Ads after spending the last two seasons as the head coach of the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. During his time at the helm of the Chiefs, Herbers guided the team to a 73-60-8-3 record and a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2007-08 where they lost in the second round to the eventual champions. Prior to joining the Chiefs, the Jasper, AB native spent three seasons with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, including two as the associate head coach. During those two years the Spirit compiled an impressive 80-51-2-3 record and a pair of playoff appearances.

HIT THE ROAD JACK… The Admirals will play their first six games of the season on the road, the longest roadtrip to begin a season in franchise history. After Saturday’s game the Admirals still have two down-and-back trips to Peoria before heading to Abbotsford for their first ever games with the Heat. Another quick trip to Rockford precedes the team’s home opener on Saturday, October 24 versus Manitoba. The Ads certainly hope that they can roll over some of the success they had last year away from the BC, as the team tied a franchise record with 23 road wins.

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 and click on the AHL Live banner.

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