Rinne, Admirals hold off Omaha

Pekka Rinne made 23 saves and Simon Gamache‘s goal 8:36 into the game stood up as Milwaukee claimed a 1-0 victory over visiting Omaha in a battle of two of the league’s top rookie goaltenders on Monday night.

With the puck on the near boards, Milwaukee forward Darren Haydar found a streaking Gamache, who buried a wrister from between the circles for his 12th goal of the season. For Haydar, it was his 76th point of the year, moving him into a tie for seventh place in the AHL’s scoring race.

Curtis McElhinney suffered the loss despite stopping 34 of 35 shots.

Rinne improved his record to 27-16-2 with his second shutout of the season. The AHL All-Star is tied for second in the league in wins.

McElhinney dropped to 9-12-2, but he ranks fourth in the AHL with a 2.37 goals-against average and seventh with his .917 save percentage.

The win pulled the Admirals to within two points of idle Houston atop the West Division, and kept the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights’ lead over fifth-place Iowa at six points.