CLEVELAND – The first period between the Milwaukee Admirals (25-13-3-0) and Lake Erie Monsters (21-14-4-3) was a solid performance for both teams.
Both teams played fundamentally well, with not a lot of turnovers or penalties that would lead to key chances for the opposing teams.
The first scoring opportunity in the game came seven minutes in when LW Ryan Craig of Lake Erie fired a bullet one timer but shot it straight into the stick of goalie Marek Mazanec (10-8-3-2).
The Monsters also gained a power play shortly after but wasted it away after a bunch of clears from the Admirals. The Admirals had their chances as well, particularly later in the first period.
Leading goal scorer, Pontus Aberg put on a nifty display of moves to beat the Monsters defense but was unable to get it past Brad Thiessen (3-1-2-1) on his first or second effort.
Center Cody Hodgson playing in just his fourth game for the Admirals had a great shot ricochet off the top of the goal post as well.
The score remained tied at zero after one period of play.
The second period was one that went one of two ways depending on how you look at. The Lake Erie Monsters won in the chances department.
They had plenty of opportunities to score throughout the entire period. T.J. Tynan had a deflection off the goalie come right to him that both the Admirals defenseman and goalie missed but shot it right off the left goal post.
The play was later reviewed and upheld. Oliver Bjorkstrand also had a good period for the Monsters. He went one on one with a defender with only the goalie to beat but couldn’t convert.
He also had a time where he made a good drive to the hole and had a pass go to a wide open area where nobody was to put in what would have been an easy goal.
The Monsters also had another opportunity go right off the goal post. For the Admirals, it was a different story. While
they didn’t have the chances Lake Erie did, they still put up 11 shots on goal compared to 4 from the Monsters.
The biggest difference was that the Admirals were able to find the back of the net. After getting a penalty for six men on the ice, the Admirals scored on the power play from D Stefan Elliott’s shot from the blue line that bounced in off the crossbar.
The third period was the least eventful of the game. Neither team did much of anything that they needed to stand out.
Michael Paliotta picked up an obvious high sticking penalty, but was relieved when Derek DeBlois forced a penalty from Stefan Elliott to even it out. After that, not many chances were there.
T.J. Tynan had one more chance off a rebound but a defender broke his stick on the shot and nothing came from it. The Monsters had the opportunity late. With around four minutes left, they were able to go 6-5 in the Admirals zone for over a minute with an Admirals penalty upcoming.
They couldn’t make anything of that or the ensuing power play and time ran out on them shortly after giving Milwaukee the 1-0 victory.
The Monsters next game is at home Friday January 29th at 7PM against the Texas Stars (21-16-3-3).