After a great effort on Friday night against Toronto, the Admirals played like a different team Saturday night in Rockford, losing to the IceHogs 4-2.
The Admirals gave up three power play goals, and gave up a season high 44 shots to the last place IceHogs.
Rockford scored first 10:35 into the first period while Tyler Sloan was serving a cross checking penalty. Peter LeBlanc was working in front of the net, and tipped the puck past Jeremy Smith.
Jon Blum got one back on a power play for the Admirals, with a shot that was deflected over IceHog goaltender Carter Hutton’s glove.
The IceHogs outshot the Admirals 19-11 in the first period, but the second period is really where the pulled away from the Admirals, taking advantage of Admiral penalties and sloppy play in the neutral zone.
Brandon Pirri had a power play goal, just under five minutes into the second period after some great puck movement from the power play unit.
Brandon Bollig scored his first of the year with a little less than five minutes left in the second period, as a shot from the top of the left circle went over Smitty’s right shoulder.
Brandon Pirri scored another power play goal in the 3rd, but it was more like an empty net goal, as Smitty vacated the net to play a puck that he thought was going to go around the boards. Of course, it hit a seam in the glass, bounced back in front of the net, and Pirri had the cupcake.
Jon Blum scored his second goal with less than a minute remaining in the game while Chris Mueller was working down low.
Looking at the box score, people may say, hey, Blummer scored two goals, he had a pretty good game. But this was a team loss. They got away from the formula that had been successful lately, and the IceHogs got to dictate the style of the game.
So the 3-in-3 will conclude tomorrow against a Peoria team that will also be playing their 3rd. The Rivermen shutout the Toronto Marlies tonight, and are riding a three-game winning streak.
If the Admirals can play their type of game tomorrow, they may be able to continue their success against Peoria this season. If it turns into a run-and-gun game, there may be some trouble. Since Smitty played tonight, I expect Atte Engren will play tomorrow, and hopefully he’ll rebound after being pulled in his last game.