Back-to-back games were no problem for rookie goaltender Richard Bachman this evening as he turned away all 26 shots he faced for his second shutout of the year.
After trading early scoring chances turned aside by Bachman and the crossbar, Texas and Milwaukee spent a lot of time on the power play. The two teams are the least penalized in the league yet combined for 14 penalty minutes in the first period.
Neither team could capitalize on the power play as the periods only goal came at even strength from Greg Rallo. Rallo skated in alone and, using the defenseman as a screen, beat Mark Dekanich gloveside high. It was Rallo's fourth of the year and was assisted by Morin and McCulloch. Texas beat the Admirals in shot count 10-4 in the period.
Texas continued its shot dominance in the early second period, leading 23-7 at one point in the frame. One of those 23 was off the stick of Ray Sawada at 3:45. After repeated Howitzer shots from Larsen on the blue line, Sawada potted his first of the year in the crease.
Milwaukee evened up the shots in the second half of the period with a 96 second long 5-on-3 power play. The Admirals could not make the power play count as Texas crushed the advantage, gaining hearty applause from the CPC crowd. Later in the period, Texas continued excellent special teams play by spending an entire power play in the Milwaukee zone. The shot count on the period closed at 24-15.
Texas shut it down in the third period and got the shutout for Richard Bachman, who was the first star of the game for the second night in the row. Bachman has allowed 1 goal in the past 120 minutes of play and 4 in the last 180. He has now dropped his GAA to 1.91 with a .937 SV% and a 5-2-0 record. "I though Bachman made the saves he had to tonight," said Coach Glen Gulutzan. "Last night I thought he won the game for us."
Texas has now won 4 in a row, a season high for a winning streak. "We're gelling more as a team," said Bachman postgame. "We know where guys are going to be and what to expect." Coach Gulutzan credited the streak to Texas's continuing maturation as a young team while tipping his hat to the veteran players who have helped to reinforce his system of play. "Our game is starting to develop an identity," added Coach Gulutzan. "I think we might have had it earlier last year, but we're certainly starting to develop it."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Chupp, King, Benn, Stephenson (scratched)
Krahn (day-to-day, lower body)
Tonight's attendance was 5,716.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - November 20 2010