April 11, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Milwaukee Admirals
Milwaukee, WI - Ryan Maki scored a pair of goals, while Hugh Jessiman notched the game-winner with just over two minutes to play as the Milwaukee Admirals picked up a 3-1 win over the Chicago Wolves in the regular season finale for Milwaukee on Friday night.
The win gave the Admirals 107 points on the season which is currently the best in the AHL. The Ads will capture the AHL regular season title if Manitoba loses on Saturday night and if Hershey losses one of their next two games.
With just 2:11 remaining in the game, Jessiman came through big for the Ads. On a 5-4 power-play, Jessiman toe picked the puck around a Chicago defenseman\'s skates and drove in down the left side all by himself. Using his size and long stick to his advantage, Jessiman cut to his forehand and shoved the puck past a diving Wolves netminder Brent Krahn, scoring his 20th goal of the season and the one that sealed the victory.
"It\'s just a big man using the body to shield the puck," noted Admirals Head Coach Lane Lambert. "When he gets a step of the defenseman, and he gets an inside shoulder on them they have a really hard time stopping him."
The only action seen in the 1st period was from the pads of Drew MacIntyre, stopping a breakaway attempt by Jordan LaVallee with just minutes left in the period by stacking the pads. The Admirals were outshot 10-5 in the 1st, but would make up for it in the second by out-shooting the Wolves 8-6.
Ian McKenzie was involved in a heated fight with Chicago Wolves newcomer Danick Paquette with 4:37 remaining in the second period to get the crowd, who was growing a bit impatient, finally on their feet.
Just over two minutes later, with only 2:26 remaining in the second period, the Admirals finally got on the board. Following Scott Ford\'s shot from the left wing circle was Ryan Maki who pulled out a backhanded wrap-around from under his cloak to make it a 1-0 game.
Chicago tied the game at 1-1 when Jordan LaVallee received a pass from Jon Insana and cut down the left wing side, sniping a wrist shot high over Drew MacIntyre\'s glove just 16 seconds into the third period. A second assist was also awarded to Steve Martins.
Penalties consumed the first 5 minutes of play in the third period, as the Admirals at one point had four men crammed in the penalty box, including Scott Ford, who received a four minute roughing infraction. In light of the amount of penalty minutes accumulated by Milwaukee, the Wolves outshot the Admirals 15-9 in the third period.
However, the Ads penalty killers were up to the task, vanquishing all nine of the Wolves power-play opportunities, including 2:23 of five-on-three time.
"The guys that were killing understood exactly what we wanted in that situation, and our goaltender played terrific tonight," added Lambert.
The Admirals have the weekend off and will begin the Calder Cup Playoffs next Thursday, April 16th at 7:00 pm at the Bradley Center against a yet to be determined opponent. Tickets for games one and two of the first round are currently on sale. Fans can buy tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of ten or more people receive a minimum of $2 off of each ticket. For more information or to order group tickets call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550.