Can't Sink the Ship
Grand Rapids Griffins 0 at Milwaukee Admirals 5
Nov. 23, 2019
MILWAUKEE – The Grand Rapids Griffins were shutout for the second time this season as the Milwaukee Admirals picked up their 10th straight victory, tying for most in franchise history, after the 5-0 win inside the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Saturday night.
The Admirals’ (14-3-1-2) defense suffocated the Griffins attack all game long, allowing only 20 shots. Grand Rapids (9-9-1-1) failed to convert on four power plays throughout the contest as netminder Troy Grosenick and the Milwaukee defense came up big.
The Griffins will continue their two-game road trip on Wednesday, Nov. 27 as they travel to Chicago to take on the Wolves at 8 p.m. EST.
Admirals Win 10th Straight Game
Both teams started the opening period well, creating quality chances on net, highlighted by Evgeny Svechnikov’s lacrosse-style wrap-around shot that was somehow blocked away by the right shoulder of Grosenick.
The Admirals scored their first goal of the contest on a power play at the 10:41 mark after Eeli Tolvanen tallied his first of the game. It was a no look backhanded pass from Yakov Trenin on the right goalpost that found Tolvanen in the left circle and his wrist shot beat the stick of Calvin Pickard.
Milwaukee held an 8-5 shot advantage over the Griffins heading into the second period and doubled its scoring just 1:12 into the frame. Cole Schneider split two Griffins defenders with his pass from the left boards toward Daniel Carr on the right wing. Carr’s one timer was able to beat the left skate of Pickard for his team-high 11th goal of the season.
Maybe the best chance of the night for the Griffins came off a shorthanded breakaway by Dominic Turgeon, but his shot between the circles was blocked away by Grosenick halfway through the period. However, Grand Rapids’ offense struggled much of the frame, recording only three shots in the first 12 minutes.
The Admirals extended their lead to three with 5:42 remaining after Rem Pitlick lit the lamp for his sixth goal of the season. Miikka Salomaki forced a Griffins turnover inside their own zone and centered a backhanded pass from the right circle that found Pitlick. From the middle of the zone, Pitlick took a wrist shot that sailed over the left shoulder of Pickard.
The Griffins failed to find a rhythm offensively in the final period after posting 13 shots in the first 40 minutes of play. Grand Rapids’ only chance in the opening 11 minutes of the frame came off a long-range shot from Filip Zadina, who saw his season-high six-game point streak come to an end.
Milwaukee’s offense found its fourth and fifth goals in the final six minutes of play. First at the 14:22 mark, Colin Blackwell made a crafty move off the left boards and zipped a pass through the Griffins’ zone toward Tolvanen on the bottom of the right circle. Tolvanen’s one timer found the five-hole of Pickard for his second of the game.
Just 29 seconds later, Josh Wilkins scored the final goal for the Admirals and his third of the year. Tanner Jeannot took an initial shot from the left side that deflected back toward the center of the zone and Wilkins’ slapshot sped over the glove of Pickard giving Milwaukee the 5-0 victory.
Three Stars: 1. MIL Tolvanen (two goals); 2. MIL Grosenick (W, 20 saves); 3. MIL Novak (two assists)
Photo by Kirsten Schmitt/Milwaukee Admirals