Box Score: theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php
Seeking to induce overtime on Thursday evening, San Antonio fell just short as Milwaukee scored with 28.6 seconds remaining in regulation to seal a 3-2 victory over the Rampage at the Bradley Center.
San Antonio, 1-3-0-0 against Milwaukee this season, entered Thursday’s matchup searching for their first victory in the “Brew City” in 2009-10 and hoped to take advantage of an Admirals roster that had been depleted as of late due to a number of recent player promotions to the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
In the opening minutes of the contest Rampage defenseman Stu Bickel was whistled for a hooking penalty. Working on the man-advantage, Milwaukee wasted little time before lighting the lamp on their first power play of the game with a goal at the 5:09 mark of the first by veteran center Dave Scatchard.
Setting up in the umbrella formation in the San Antonio zone, Milwaukee center Cal O’Reilly controlled the puck on the right half wall before finding defenseman Robert Dietrich on the right point. Dietrich then took a few crossover steps to the left, faked a shot from the high slot and sent a pass down to Admirals forward Colin Wilson on the left faceoff dot. Upon receiving the puck, Wilson immediately sent a pass to the top of the crease where Scatchard beat Rampage netminder Justin Pogge low to the glove side to provide Milwaukee with a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second frame, the Rampage tied the game at the 6:18 mark of the period, on rookie center Justin Bernhardt’s first goal of his AHL career. Entering the right side of the Milwaukee zone with speed after receiving a breakout pass from Pogge, San Antonio rookie forward Andrew Orpik fired a shot from the right faceoff circle that was deflected behind the net by an Admirals defenseman. Bernhardt then grabbed the puck, skated around the net toward the left post, and fired a shot off the leg of a Milwaukee blueliner in front of the crease. After hitting the Milwaukee defenseman’s leg, the puck bounced past a surprised Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich and into the Milwaukee net to tie the game at 1-1. Pogge’s assist represented his first helper of the season and first of his AHL career.
However, the tie did not last for long as Milwaukee regained their lead four and a half minutes later on a goal by left wing Mark Santorelli. After receiving a pass from Admirals defenseman Mark Matheson along the left boards in the neutral zone, Scatchard sent a forwarding pass to left wing Mark Santorelli at the San Antonio blueline. Santorelli then entered the Rampage zone with one defenseman to beat and used the San Antonio blueliner as a screen before firing a wrist shot from the top of the slot over Pogge’s right shoulder to give Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.
Following the second intermission, San Antonio entered the final frame of the contest trailing by a goal. Entering Thursday, the Rampage held a 1-5-2-1 record on the road when down by a goal after two sessions, while Milwaukee was 6-0-0-0 when entering the third with a lead at home.
Refusing to succumb to the Admirals, San Antonio tied the game with 1:50 remaining in regulation on 2010 AHL All-Star defenseman Sean Sullivan’s sixth goal of the season. Working the puck around in the Admirals zone, San Antonio rookie right wing Matt Watkins sent a pass from behind the Milwaukee net to left wing Brett MacLean on the left half wall. MacLean then found Sullivan in the high slot where the Rampage defenseman fired a slap shot through traffic and under Dekanich’s arm to tie the game at 2-2.
As thoughts of overtime entered the minds of the 2,583 spectators in attendance, Milwaukee left wing Peter Olvecky quickly erased those sentiments by scoring what would be the game-winning goal with 28.6 seconds remaining in the hockey game. After a Rampage defenseman broke his stick on an attempted clearing pass, Admirals blueliner Jonathan Blum prevented the puck from exiting the zone and fired a slap shot off Pogge’s chest, with Olvecky waiting on the left post to lift the rebound over the sprawling San Antonio goaltender.
Pogge made 30 saves on 33 Milwaukee shots in the loss, while Dekanich turned away 24 of 26 shots for the victory.
With the loss, San Antonio is now 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games and 3-2-1-0 in their last five games away from the "Alamo City".
The Rampage will return to action on Saturday evening when they welcome the Rockford IceHogs to the AT&T Center for a 7 p.m. West Division matchup.
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