GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– The Milwaukee Admirals continued a remarkable run of success on Friday, taking a 6-3 decision over the Grand Rapids Griffins for their sixth straight victory at Van Andel Arena. They became just the third opponent to ever post six consecutive wins on the Griffins’ ice, tying the IHL’s Detroit Vipers and closing within one of the Chicago Wolves, who set the mark at seven during the 2004 calendar year.
The Griffins (12-12-2-2), who’ve been out-scored by a 28-10 margin during the Admirals’ streak, will continue their stretch of four games in five nights on Saturday, in an 8 p.m. road start against the Peoria Rivermen.
Looking to rebound from their 2-1 shootout loss to the Griffins on Wednesday, the Admirals (11-11-2-2) jumped on top during the game’s first power play with 5:05 left in the opening period. From below the goal line, Ramzi Amid sent a pass into the left circle to Mikko Lehtonen, who slapped the puck inside the left post past Jimmy Howard. A wild scramble around the Milwaukee net produced the equalizer for the Griffins at 18:18. A flurry of Grand Rapids shots were blocked by Admirals defensemen or denied by goalie Karl Goehring before Ryan Keller finally capitalized.
Milwaukee reclaimed its lead at the 7:53 mark of the second period. Seconds after the Griffins had successfully killed a penalty, a turnover in the right corner ended up in the back of their net, with John Vigilante accepting the gift and quickly scoring from the bottom of the circle. Another giveaway allowed the Admirals to build a 3-1 cushion, as Pat Leahy intercepted a lazy clearing attempt and traded passes with Cal O’Reilly before tapping a trickler under Howard at 12:10.
Continued breakdowns resulted in a pair of Milwaukee goals exactly one minute apart, as Brandon Segal banked a shot off Howard from the left goal line at 16:24, and Rich Peverley followed up with a tap-in for the Admirals’ fourth goal in 9:31.
Stefan Liv entered the Grand Rapids crease in relief to begin the third period, and the Griffins got one back at 4:21 on a beautiful sharp-angle shot by Josh Langfeld that somehow weaved through Goehring. Langfeld then helped Grand Rapids creep within 5-3 at the 10:03 mark, setting up a Keller one-timer that gave the rookie his first two-goal game in the AHL. The Griffins continued applying the pressure, building a 15-1 advantage in shots for the period at one point, but Milwaukee put the game away when Ville Koistinen finished off a 2-on-1 with a blast past Liv from the right circle at 15:46.
Howard stopped 15 shots in suffering just his second regulation loss in his last nine decisions (6-2-1), while Liv made one save in 17:49 of work. Goehring earned the win with a 24-of-27 effort.