Admirals Edged Out By Grand Rapids
Milwaukee, WI--The Milwaukee Admirals got a pair of goals from defenseman Jon Blum and goaltender Mark Dekanich made 33 saves, but they couldn't muster the game-tying goal in the final minute in a 3-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins. In the first game of a home and home series against Grand Rapids the Ads showed spurts of energy but couldn't keep the quick Griffins at bay.
The first period featured Dekanich continuing his strong play in net for Milwaukee, stopping all 14 shots he faced and keeping the Griffins off the board.
At 4:35 of the second period, Jeremy Williams captured the game's first goal with a tricky angled shot that Dekanich couldn't reach. The Griffins set up their power play with Doug Janik passing from the high slot to below the circle on Dekanichs right side and Williams one timed the shot to the back of the net.
With ten minutes remaining in the second period Dekanich once again faced a firing squad but was to the task and would draw a goaltender interference penalty on Justin Abdelkader. The ensuing power play would be the Ads first man advantage and Jon Blum would capitalize. Blum skated through the outside of the offensive zone, received a pass from Mark Santorelli, and fired a shot that was stopped by Daniel Larsson, but the rebound went right to Blum, who had an open net. Mark Santorelli and Robert Dietrich received assists on the goal at 10:34 of the second period.
Grand Rapids jumped ahead at 9:08 of the third period with Jeremy Williams redirecting a slap shot that escaped the grasp of Dekanich to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead. Williams redirected the shot that Janik shot from the point; Mattias Ritola received the second assist on the goal.
The straw that broke the Admirals back came after Abdelkader scored at 12:59 of the third period; giving the Griffins a 3-1 lead. Abdelkader streaked down the outside of the zone on a one on one with Nolan Yonkman and made a move around the defenseman, Dekanich attempted to clear the puck to corner but didn't get it out of the Abdelkader's reach and he was able to recollect the puck and shoot it past an out of position Dekanich. The game winning goal was assisted by Sergei Kolosov.
Blum did his best to rally the Ads back into contention scoring to tighten deficit to 3-2 at 15:14 of the third. Blum walked in from the blue line on the power play and attempted to pass back door to Dave Scatchard, the Griffins defense stopped the pass attempt but ended up redirecting the puck to Blum who was ready and shot and scored. Blum's second goal night was his third multiple goal game of the season and was assisted by Scatchard and Mike Santorelli.
In a last ditch attempt the Ads controlled the puck in the offensive zone taking multiple shots for the last minute-thirty of the third period including a 6-4 opportunity for the last sixteen seconds of the game. A key faceoff with sixteen seconds was won by Grand Rapids and would end any hope for the Ads.
Dekanich finished the game stopping 33 of 36 shots and handed the loss even though he continued his strong play in net for Ads. Grand Rapids goalie Larsson turned away 26 of 28.
The Admirals return to the action tomorrow, Friday, March 26 when they travel to Grand Rapids to battle the Griffins again. Milwaukee's next home game is Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm versus the Texas Stars. Fans can order 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.
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