MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Austin Watson’s goal with 6:23 left in the game broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Admirals a 4-3 win over the Iowa Wild on Friday night to set a new team record with nine consecutive wins in front of a season-high crowd of 11,522 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The old mark of eight wins had stood since March of 1989 when the Ads were still in the IHL.
Watson’s goal came when he and Rich Clune skated into the Iowa zone 2-on-1. Watson snapped a wrister that just trickled through the legs of Iowa goalie Johan Gustafsson. It was Watson’s AHL leading 6th game-winner of the season.
Led by goalie Marek Mazanec, the Ads defense held strong the rest of the way, including killing off a late high-sticking penalty to capture the win.
Just 52 seconds into the game, Viktor Arvidsson made it 1-0 Admirals on a beautiful individual move. Arvidsson carried the puck into the Iowa zone 1-on-3, before using a toe-drag to get around a Wild defenseman and beating goalie Johan Gustafsson just over his blocker. It was Arvidsson’s sixth goal in his past nine games.
However, the Wild tied it up when Tyler Graovac managed to find a loose puck during a scrum in the Admirals crease and push it into the net at the 3:12 mark of the first.
Another quick goal in the second period gave the Ads the lead once again. With 1:12 of power-play time carried over from a Michael Keranen tripping call, Colton Sissons found the rebound of a Kevin Fiala shot and slid the puck past Gustafsson. It was the 12th goal of the year for Sissons and the first professional point for Fiala.
Clune got the Ads a 3-1 lead at 1:35 of the third period, after Austin Watson created a turnover deep in the Iowa zone and fed a crashing Clune. It was his third goal in his past four games.
However, that lead was quickly erased as Iowa’s Zack Mitchell scored at 2:20 of the third and then Matt Dumba picked up a power-play tally just 1:16 later and the game was tied at three, setting the stage for Watson’s heroics.
The Admirals are off for the next week for the AHL All-Star break. They get back at it next Friday, January 30th when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 pm at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.