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Adirondack Drops a Tough One in Overtime

Neutral and defensive zone mistakes along with poor special teams play cost the Flames

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames hosted the red hot Milwaukee Admirals in the only game this week for the club and fourth place in the conference at stake.  This game had a playoff feel in front of a standing room only crowd at the GFCC.  The Predators farm team is one of the best defensive teams in the AHL, and a few mistakes cost Adirondack in the end - dropping the game in overtime 4-3.

The Lines:

Agostino / Vause / Ferland

Baertschi / Reinhart / Poirier

Van Brabant / Tousingnant / Hathaway

Wolf / Elson / Hanowski

The Pairings:

Wotherspoon / Ramage

Culkin / Potter

Cundari / Yonkman

Goal:

Thiessen

The Flames gave up two tough goals, one in the last 90 seconds of the first and another in the first two minutes of the second.  This put the home team in quite a hole - as the Admirals are a strong, tight checking team and have one of the best goaltenders in the AHL (Magnus Hellberg - 1.68GAA / .937 SV%).  To their credit, they rallied and tied the game in the final minute to force overtime - only to give up a goal due to poor back checking.

Observations

  • David Wolf was a beast in this game.  He had two goals and set up Micheal Ferland's game tying goal in the final minute.  He controls the puck incredibly well in the corners, using his big body to frustrate defenders and he was crashing the net very well Saturday night.
  • With Bill Arnold scratched due to an upper body injury, Max Reinhart moved to center on the top scoring line.  The line missed Arnold's grit and defensive responsibility - and was largely ineffective.
  • Tyler Vause was recalled from Colorado this week, and played a solid game.  Very interesting that the team decided to recall Vause and healthy scratch both McGrattan and Gillies.
  • Max Reinhart had a very tough game.  He was minus three, had his pocket picked at center ice resulting in a breakaway shorthanded goal, and seemed out of place much of the night.
  • Tyler Wootherspoon also had a tough game.  He made several mistakes in his own end and did not have his normal solid game.  It almost seemed as though he was pressing - perhaps trying to do to much once the team fell behind.
  • Ryan Culkin, playing with Corey Potter,  continues to gain confidence in his game - solid play in his own end and a dangerous option at the point.
  • The Flames special teams, typically a strength, was a key to the game.  The power play was, for the most part, ineffective and they gave up a power play and shorthanded goal.
  • Devin Setoguchi has been an injured scratch since the second week he has been in Adirondack.  Both Trevor Gillies and Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches, as were defenseman Dustin Stevenson, Sena Acolaste, and Patrick Sieloff.
  • As mentioned, this game had a playoff feel.  During the pre game warm up - there were several players from each team exchanging "pleasantries" at center ice.  Both sides clearly understood how important these two points were in the tight conference standings.

The Flames now find themselves in fifth place in the conference  - one point behind Milwaukee and one point ahead of San Antonio (but the Rampage have three games in hand).  Adirondack has a home and home against Rochester this coming weekend.