The appearance was the first, and only, of the season for the Bulldogs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, as the two teams won't meet again until February at Hamilton. They played a similar schedule last season, in which the series ended in a 1-1 tie.
Forward Taylor Beck put Milwaukee on the board first after deflecting a puck past Bulldogs netminder Cedrick Desjardins. Beck initially missed on a wrap-around attempt, but was able to redirect the puck past Desjardins after it bounced off a Bulldog defensemans skate.
The teams traded goals in the second period, starting off with a rebound goal from forward Kevin Henderson. Henderson, who scored the game-winner in Friday nights 4-3 overtime win against Rockford, got his stick on the rebound off a Chris Mueller shot and gave the Admirals a healthy 2-0 lead early in the middle frame.
After Hamilton's Antoine Corbin lit the lamp for his first of the season, forward Mark Van Guilder scored on a rebound from a Michael Latta shot to give Milwaukee back a two-goal advantage at the tail end of the second. During his impromptu post-game interview with Matt Moore, Van Guilder talked about how tired the team was from a grueling 3-in-3 weekend. I took in a step further and asked what it was like to be on the last leg of a 3-in-3 and having to face a team for the first time this season:
"I think it was mostly tonight just taking care of what we were doing. We didn't watch as much film on them as we usually do, it was kind of a 'Let's take care of our own business and do our own thing and we'll be all right'."
Coach Dean Evason echoed the same sentiments as Van Guilder, citing that tonight's game plan was based on the Admirals, not so much the Bulldogs:
"We don't know a whole lot about this club, so what we really did was concentrate on us. Especially in a 3-in-3, you do the same video presentation for the three games, and the same preparation... it gets monotonous for them, so it was a nice change for us. We didn't show video before the game. We just went in and said 'Let's talk about us' and not so much about Hamilton, and worry more about the way we're going to play the game."
One familiar face on the Hamilton bench was twice former Admirals forward Zack Stortini. Stortini, who played for the Admirals during the 2005-2006 season, and then again during the 2011-2012 season, didn't register any points during the game, but did sit for two minutes on a roughing call in the first period. Although he was a foe on the ice this evening, Van Guilder had nothing but good things to say about his ex-teammate:
"It's funny, because he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, but on the ice he's one of the meanest guys you'll ever meet. It's a little different but I love him, we had a great time when he was here, so it's too bad he isn't still here."
Jarred Tinordi and Gabriel Dumont each scored for the Bulldogs, but ultimately it would be Victor Bartley's slap shot at the 6:39 mark of the third that would hand Milwaukee their second win of the weekend.
The Admirals host the Rockford IceHogs Wednesday night in the second of the teams five-game homestand.
Click here for the official game summary courtesy of the American Hockey League