MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Admirals beat the Peoria Rivermen for the second straight night, this time 4-1, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Friday night. It was the Ads third straight win and featured a solid performance from Austin Watson and Jeremy Smith. Watson scored two goals – including the game winning tally.
Smith was solid in net once again as he stopped 29 shots in the contest, to increase his winning streak five games. In the two wins over Peoria, the Ads netminder allowed just two goals on 63 shots.
The high tempo first period went the way of the Ads. After a solid shot from Kevin Henderson near the boards, the rebound fell right to Ryan Ellis who hammered the puck home from the top of the faceoff circle. That goal was Ellis’ second goal of the season and second in as many games.
The Ads followed that marker up with another just 34 seconds later. A slick spinning backhanded pass from Cam Reid found Austin Watson breaking hard to the net and scoring before Peoria goalie Mike McKenna knew what happened.
Then came the fisticuffs. The faceoff directly following Watson’s goal saw Ben Ryan drop the gloves with Stefan Della Rovere. After the dust settled from that bought another fight broke out on the next faceoff – this time Michael Latta and Chris Bruton were involved. The two goals and two fights all occurred within 38 seconds of each other – cementing a fierce 20 minutes of hockey that saw a combined 30 penalty minutes.
The Ads extended their lead in the second frame with Watson scoring his second goal of the game. It was his eleventh of the season with a tight angle snapshot to the glove-side. The period also saw Jeremy Smith continue his solid performance – denying Peoria throughout in a period which saw the Ads get outshot 10-9.
The third period was quite tame until Peoria’s Derek Nesbitt broke up Jeremy Smith’s shutout bid with 2:17 remaining in regulation. However, only 15 seconds later the Ads answered off of a Kevin Henderson goal. The final tally of the game was set up by Latta and Henderson who worked a nifty tic-tac-toe operation to set Mark Van Guilder, who shot from the top of the crease and the puck deflected off Henderson’s skates.
The Ads will look to continue their winning ways tomorrow night on the road against the Rockford IceHogs. While this was last home game of 2012 – the first of the 2013 calendar is only days away. The pesky Ads will be back at the BMO-BC to face their Amtrak Rivals – the Chicago Wolves – Thursday January 3rd at 7pm.