Not much went right for the Admirals on Sunday night as they dropped a 7-0 decision to the Iowa Wild in game one of the Central Division Semifinals at the Wells Fargo Arena.
The Admirals now trail the best-of-five series 1-0 with game two coming up on Tuesday night. It was their first loss in regulation since March 9 at Grand Rapids.
The shutout loss marked just the second time in team history, and the first since joining the AHL in 2001, that the Ads were shutout in game one of a playoff series. The last time it happened game was way back on April 13, 1990 when they lost to Salt Lake City 5-0.
The lone bright spot for Milwaukee was the play of their penalty kill unit, which successfully vanquished eight of the nine Iowa power-plays during the game. The Wild finished the season with the second-best PP in the AHL (23.8%).
The Wild controlled play for much of the first period, thanks in part to three Admiral penalties, and owned 1-0 lead courtesy of a goal from former Admiral Cal O’Reilly. O’Reilly was stationed on the right post and when Gerald Mayhew raced with the puck from the half-wall over to the slot. Ads goaltender Troy Grosenick came out to challenge Mayhew’s shot but he passed to an open O’Reilly for a tap-in. at 12:19 of the first.
Iowa scored three times in less than seven minutes to grab a 4-0 lead in the second period. Mayhew was the beneficiary of some pretty tic-tac-toe passing from Will Bitten and O’Reilly and he had an easy tap in 4:32 into the sandwich frame. Goals from Sam Anas and Kyle Rau followed at 8:30 and 11:24, respectively.
The Admirals had their best chance to get on the board late in the second period thanks to back-to-back Iowa penalties, but the Ads power-play couldn’t convert and they went into the locker room down by four after 40 minutes.
The Wild put up two more in the third period courtesy of goals from Rau, Luke Kunin, and Colton Beck to finish off the scoring.
The Admirals and Wild will take Monday off before returning to the ice on Tuesday night for game two before returning to Milwaukee for the remainder of the series beginning with game three on Thursday night at 7 pm at Panther Arena.
Tickets for game three, which range in price from $8 to $30, are on sale now either online at www.milwaukeeadmirals.com or by calling the Admirals office at (414)-227-0550.
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Photo: Milwaukee Admirals