MILWAUKEE – Another tough loss for the Admirals, this time against Amtrak Rivalry opponent Chicago, marks the third in a row for the team. Milwaukee dropped a 2-1 decision to the rival Chicago Wolves Friday night in front of a crowd of 17,386 fans, marking their highest attendance since April of 2006. Country music recording artist Dierks Bentley performed a concert after the game, which brought in 2nd largest crowd the Admirals have seen since joining the AHL, and 7th largest of all time. Chicago goaltender Matt Climie got the win, marking his 14th of the season, while Milwaukee netminder Jeremy Smith takes the loss for his 12th of the season.
The Admirals haven’t played on home ice since their 3-2 overtime loss against Lake Erie back on January 15th. The team went on a four-game roadtrip, and brought back a dismal 1-3 record after stops in Hamilton, Lake Erie, Rockford and Peoria. In fact, the team has gone just 3-8-1 in the last 12 games, and in the nine games they lost, only put 16 goals on the board.
The Wolves scored their only two goals of the game in the first period. Chicago forward Steve Reinprecht put his team on the board just :18 into the game, and went on to earn an assist on the Wolves second goal. With Admirals defenseman Taylor Beck in the box for a four-minute high-sticking call, Reinprecht and former Admiral Darren Haydar put shots on Smith, one of which bounced to forward Mark Mancari. Mancari scored from just outside the crease, marking his team-leading 18th goal of the season.
After a quiet 30 minutes of hockey spanning the second and third periods, the Admirals finally lit the lamp to cut the Wolves lead in half. With 4:21 left in regulation and 26 shots in, Milwaukee got on the board with a goal from forward Ryan Thang. Thang put away the rebound from defenseman Victor Bartley’s shot from just outside the crease, marking his 11th goal of the season.
With under a minute left in regulation, Smith was pulled in favor of the extra attacker, but then team was unable to tie up the game, handing Milwaukee their third straight loss. The Admirals play tomorrow night in Rockford before heading into the All-Star Break. Forward Chris Mueller is the lone representative for the Admirals in the event, since Milwaukee’s other nominee, defenseman Ryan Ellis, is currently with the Nashville Predators.
For a full game summary courtesy of the American Hockey League, click here
1. CHI Reinprecht, (9) (Connauton), 0:181. CHI Mancari, (18) (Reinprecht, Haydar), 17:16 (PP)3. MIL Thang, (11) (Bartley, Wilson), 15:39