Cleveland, OH – For their 8th match-up this season, the Milwaukee Admirals and Lake Erie Monsters played an aggressive and passionate game. Historically, these two squads have been evenly matched; this season the Monsters have won 4 and the Admirals 3. With such a close level of play, the competitive edge becomes palatable in the arena. With the win, the Admirals were able to make it an even split between the teams.
Early in the first period, there was an aggressive push from the Admirals that would show to set the pace for the rest of the game. Five minutes in, Monsters enforcer, Dan Maggio, responded by dropping the gloves with Admiral Defenseman, Jonathan Diaby. With only a couple more penalties, the first period continued with high tension, but clean play. The Admirals dominated puck possession and offensive action, but the Monsters defense was able to break up plays and keep them at bay. When the Monsters took control, they had smooth, offensive drives with crisp passing. The team’s on-ice chemistry was evident through the game.
A minute into the second, the Admirals got on the board and soon after Duncan Siemens took a penalty. The Monsters penalty kill started off a bit shaky, but they found their stride and killed it. The Admirals made it 2-0 eight minutes after their first. This sparked the Monsters’ offensive instincts; they fought for more turnovers and claimed more puck possession. Despite this, the Admirals played tough defense; they kept a focused, strong box of players in front of their net. This defensive ‘box’ limited the Monsters’ offense by forcing them to shoot from the point or battle to the net. The Admirals were able to break up a lot of good chances for the Monsters with this formation.
Coming back from the locker room at the beginning of the third, the Monsters were down two and looking to initiate a comeback. The Monsters turned up the intensity; the Admirals responded with more body checking. Middle of the period, coincidental penalties were called and the Monsters looked to use it to drive momentum forward. They regrouped and got more chances, but were not able to find the back of the net. With three minutes left, the Monsters pulled the goalie, leading to an empty net goal for the Admirals.
Monsters’ Goalie, Calvin Pickard, was a powerful asset throughout the game; saving 26 out of 28 shots, a game save percentage of .928. Monsters offense failed to capitalize on some chances and could not fully match the Admirals, who took the game, 3-0. These two teams match up again March 31st and April 1st at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH.