Admirals earn another comeback win, topping Checkers 6-3
MILWAUKEE — Adorned in Slap Shot themed jerseys to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the movie, Vladislav Kamenev picked up his first career hat trick and the Admirals scored the final four goals of the game to take a 6-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night at Panther Arena.
Down by two in the second period, Justin Kirkland finished the Admirals comeback with his fifth goal of the year to earn the game-winner with just 1:53 left in the game.
For the second straight game the Ads fell behind early, this time giving up a goal to Valentin Zykov just 1:21 into the game.
However, just like the game before, it didn’t take the Ads long to level the sccore as Kamenev converted on the power-play at the 8:38 mark of the opening frame. Kamenev came streaking into the Charlotte zone and somehow found some open space top shelf between the post and Checkers goalie Michael Leighton for his 11th goal of the season.
Charlotte responded with a pair of power-play goals of their own, the first by Andrew Poturalski at 12:56 and the second just under five minutes later by Phil DiGiuseppe for a 3-1 advantage.
Kamenev got his second of the night and pulled the Ads within a goal with just 1:25 left in the second period. The play started when Trevor Murphy took the puck hard to the net. His jam job didn’t find its way through, nor did three attempts by Adam Payerl. Eventually the puck popped loose just out of the reach of Alex Nedeljkovic, who replaced Leighton in earlier in the period, and Kamenev pounced on it for the goal.
Milwaukee knotted the score at three on a picturesque play that ended with a Kevin Fiala tap-in. Mike Ribeiro carried the puck into the Admirals zone and he dished it to Freddy Gaudreau streaking towards the net. Gaudreau immediately tapped a pass through the crease and right to Fiala, who had a wide open net for his 7th goal of the season.
Just when the game looked to be headed to overtime, Kirkland took things into his own hands and fired a wrister from the right dot that flew over Nedeljkovic’s shoulder and a 4-3 Ads lead.
Kamenev completed the hat trick with an empty netter with 1:11 left in the game.
Marek Mazanec earned his 14th win of the season with 29 saves on the night.
The same two teams will get back at it on Sunday afternoon at 3 pm at Panther Arena.