Milwaukee Musings: Playoffs Imminent for Ads

Mar 28, 2023 - 3:00 PM
Milwaukee Admirals

Here we are at the end of March, and the Milwaukee Admirals have rattled off five-straight wins. They’re 7-3-0 in their last ten, and that’s without Jordan Gross, Phil Tomasino, Kiefer Sherwood, Mark Jankowski, Luke Evangelista, Egor Afanasyev, and more.

The mixed bag of new players and depth guys filling roles they’re not used to has worked brilliantly, and this coaching staff has wrangled the most out of their lineup each night. This patchwork group has surrendered the sixth-fewest goals in the entire league (177), and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to just one. Here’s a look at another perfect week for the Milwaukee Admirals.

Quick Hits

  • Last Tuesday, forward Michael McCarron and defender Kevin Gravel were reassigned to Milwaukee from Nashville
  • Defenders Matthew Cairns and Chris Cameron have been released from their professional tryout contracts (PTO)
  • Milwaukee signed University of North Dakota defender Ryan Sidorski to an amateur tryout contract (ATO); he totaled 14 points in 133 NCAA games at Union College and North Dakota

Milwaukee Admirals (2) @ Toronto Marlies (1)

Kicking off a rare east-coast road trip, Milwaukee began the week in Toronto taking on the Marlies. Eight minutes into a back-and-forth first period, the line of Cole Schneider, Jimmy Huntington, and Joakim Kemell hemmed the Marlies in their own zone; after Schneider tested Joseph Woll with a few high-danger chances, Kemell pounced on the loose puck in the slot and fired it home for his first career AHL goal.

In the middle frame, William Villeneuve responded with a power-play blast from the point, tying the game at one. The rest of regulation was relatively quiet, and the Admirals' staunch penalty killers smothered three opportunities for Toronto in the final 20 minutes.

Yaroslav Askarov stopped 32 of 33 shots, and Zach Sanford scored the lone goal in the shootout to earn Milwaukee two points.

Milwaukee Admirals (3) @ Laval Rocket (2)

Traveling up to Quebec, Milwaukee returned to Askarov between the pipes to take on the Laval Rocket. Five minutes into the contest, the Admirals struck first with one of the prettiest power-play goals I’ve seen in some time; Zach Sanford pulled down from the point with a pass from Roland McKeown, faked a cross-ice pass, then extended his hands to go tape-to-tape with John Leonard, who buried the puck for a 1-0 lead.

Later in the first, former Predator Gabriel Bourque attacked a loose puck at the back door and tied the game at one. In the final 40 minutes, the Rocket really poured the offensive pressure on Milwaukee, but Askarov and their bend-don’t-break defense held steady.

In the second period, the Admirals broke the Rocket’s momentum with a glorious goal between Joakim Kemell and Anthony Angello. Kemell danced into the offensive zone, toe-dragging his way to the net and pulling two Laval defenders with him before dishing a smooth backhand pass to Angello, who deposited the puck for his seventh point in eight games for Milwaukee.

In the final frame, as Askarov’s acrobatic form was keeping Laval off the scoreboard, Kemell ripped a wrist shot from the high slot to add an insurance marker for the Admirals. Askarov was later beaten on a backdoor, power-play chance from Pierrick Dubé, but it ultimately wasn’t enough as the Russian goaltender and his 44 saves emerged victorious.

Milwaukee Admirals (3) @ Belleville Senators (2)

Milwaukee finished out their east-coast road trip with a contest in Belleville on Saturday night, and backup Devin Cooley got the nod in the net. Milwaukee controlled the pace of the first period, but both teams left the first 20 minutes without a goal.

In the middle frame, Belleville broke the ice with five minutes to play as Angus Crookshank pushed home a power-play goal at Devin Cooley’s doorstep.

Halfway through the third period, Belleville doubled their lead, but Milwaukee came roaring back immediately. Moments later, PTO-signee Tye Felhaber walked into the left faceoff circle with a pass from Cole Schneider and blasted a wrist shot past Antoine Bibeau. Felhaber is shaping up to be a critical depth piece that Scott Nichol has uncovered, scoring four goals and six points in 12 games this season. Five minutes later, Schneider got in on the action himself, putting home a rebound on the power play with Devin Cooley pulled.

Overtime solved nothing, and John Leonard scored the only goal in the shootout to ensure Milwaukee’s road trip remained perfect.

The Week Ahead

  • Friday, March 31 @ Grand Rapids Griffins
  • Saturday, April 1 vs. Laval Rocket
  • Sunday, April 2 @ Chicago Wolves

All statistics are courtesy of,, or manually tracked.

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