Milwaukee, WI—Mark Santorelli and Ben Guite each posted three points to lead the Milwaukee Admirals to a 5-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins Monday night at the Bradley Center. Defenseman Alexander Sulzer, reassigned from Nashville earlier in the day, posted two points in his AHL return. Sulzer, who has been up-and-down between the NHL and AHL all season, has four points in his last two AHL games.
The Admirals dominated the special teams on the night, going three-for-three on the man-advantage and killing off both Grand Rapids power-plays.
Not until 8:33 of the first period was the first penalty called, as Grand Rapids’ Andy Delmore was whistled for interference, providing Milwaukee with its first power-play opportunity of the game.
The Admirals were able to get on the scoreboard first, converting on the ensuing power-play with a goal by Peter Olvecky. As Robert Dietrich passed the puck from the near blue line to Mark Santorelli in the slot. Parked in front of Grand Rapids goalie Thomas McCollum, Santorelli caused him to commit to the right side allowing Santorelli to find Olvecky, who put the puck between the posts at 10:19 of the opening period.
The Admirals scored again with 7:31 remaining in the first period, as Chris Mueller
beat McCollum between the legs on a breakaway, courtesy of a beautiful outlet pass by defenseman Alexander Sulzer. Mueller’s goal put the Admirals up 2-0 over the Griffins where it would stay for the remainder of the first period.
The second period opened up with another Milwaukee goal as McCollum was beat again, this time by Triston Grant at 4:36 of the first on a pass from across the slot by Ben Guite. Putting Milwaukee up 3-0, Grant’s goal would ultimately be the game-winning tally against the Griffins.
A Grand Rapids slashing penalty on defenseman Paul Crosty sent the Admirals on the man-advantage at 5:44 of the second, setting the Admirals up for their fourth goal of the game as Alex Sulzer lit the lamp on a shot from the far point, assisted by Guite and Mark Santorelli at 6:50.
With the Griffins netminder allowing four goals just halfway through the game, Grand Rapids coach Curt Fraser pulled McCollum in favor of Daniel Larsson. The Griffins seemed to draw some momentum from the change in goal and within minutes, right-winger Francis Pare scored an unassisted goal for Grand Rapids, bringing the score to 4-1 at 8:57 of the second.
Following the Griffins goal, the Admirals successfully killed off a hooking penalty that sent Scott Ford to the box, but Grand Rapids swiftly followed up with another goal as former Admiral John Vigilante deflected a Ryan Stokes shot past Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich. The goal pulled the Grifs to within two heading into the final period.
Despite a very active two periods of play, the third period featured only one goal. Milwaukee marked their final tally of the night with a goal by alternate captain Ben Guite at 8:26. Guite held the puck just long enough to get Larsson to commit and the beat the Griffins netminder glove side to put the game out of reach.
Dekanich turned aside 20 of 22 shots to earn his ninth win of the season. In his first game since being reassigned by the Predators, Sulzer notched a goal and an assist for the Ads, while Cal O’Reilly picked up an assist to run his point streak to eight games.
The Admirals return to action Tuesday night when they play host to the Rockford IceHogs at 7:00 pm at the Bradley Center.