MILWAUKEE – Playing in his first game since opening night, Daniel Bang scored the game-winning goal with 8:02 left in the third period to help the Milwaukee Admirals to a 5-4 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday Night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The five goals tied a season high and got the team out of a scoring funk that had seen them get shutout two of the past four games and score just once in their previous two contests.
Bang’s GWG came just 53 seconds after Charlotte had leveled the score at four on a Justin Faulk goal. Admirals forward Juuso Puustinen held the puck along the far boards and then sent a tape-to-tape pass that found a crashing Bang, who sent a wrister of the shoulder of Charlotte netminder Dan Ellis.
For the seventh straight game the Admirals gave up the first goal as Jared Staal, took advantage of a turnover at the Milwaukee blueline and skated in on a breakaway before lifting a backhand past Ads goalie Magnus Helberg at 6:33 of the first.
However, the Admirals responded with a power-play marker at the 8:43 mark. Defenseman Jon Blum chipped the puck from the right point down to Taylor Beck at the top of the circle. Beck drove the net before dishing to Chris Mueller, who shoveled a backhand by Dan Ellis.
For the first time all season Milwaukee took a first-period lead after Patrick Cehlin jumped on a loose puck in the crease for a 2-1 advantage at the 11:22 mark. Mueller and Beck earned assists on the play.
Unfortunately for the Admirals their lead was short-lived as just 2:10 later Drayson Bowman scored his league leading eighth of goal of the season to knot the score.
Kevin Henderson reclaimed the lead for the Ads with 5:15 remaining in the second period. Michael Latta set up Henderson for a one-timer, and Henderson’s shot went off the stick of Charlotte defenseman Justin Krueger and slipped past Ellis
Once again Charlotte tied the score, this time when Brett Sutter beat Helberg with just 3:16 to play in the second.
Milwaukee responded early in the third period with the first goal of his career for Austin Watson at the 8:59 mark. Watson was stationed right in front of Ellis and redirected a shot from Puustinen over Ellis shoulder for a 4-3 lead.
Bang (1g-1a), Mueller (1g-1a), Beck (2a), and Puustinen (2a) all posted multi-point nights for the Admirals, while Helberg turned aside 27 shots to earn his second win in as many starts.
The Admirals return to home ice on Friday night, November 2 when they play host to the Lake Erie Monsters at 7:00 pm.