No Carter Hutton was out there for Rockford, but it was a lack of quality scoring chances that stymied the Admirals in their first game against the IceHogs since the ‘Brawl at the BC”.
The Ads picked up a crucial point and decreased their magic number to X (not sure…the tiebreakers need to be calculated…but it’ll probably be 3), but Rockford used its last man, Peter LeBlanc, to beat Milwaukee in a shootout. Final score was 2-1.
One team out-shot the other team 35-16 in the 105 minutes of play (according to the local shot counter). Which one do you suppose was the team in the thick of a frantic run to the playoffs?
The Ads could attribute much of their struggle to put the puck on net to Rockford’s 1-3-1 trap. Neutral ice was tough to cross cleanly, as for every Milwaukee forward there seemed to be two IceHogs ready to shut down passing lanes and force bad turnovers. There were plenty of the latter tonight.
Actually…Don’t call it a trap. Here’s Coach Herbers.
Our eye in the sky, Ryan Miller, pegged frustrating giveaways at about six key points in the contest, but luckily Smitty was there to clean up the mess for most of them.
Smith stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced in regulation and overtime.
Michael Latta got a little revenge, putting the Ads up 1-0 with 2:56 left in the second period. Latta got behind both Rockford defensemen and received a perfect cross-ice pass from the top of the left circle courtesy of Ryan Thang. The pass was re-directed right in off Latta’s stick.
Here’s Coach Herbers on Latta’s game.
The IceHogs tied it up after a mad scramble in front of Jeremy Smith. Victor Bartley broke his stick shooting the puck, and that prompted a breakaway in the other direction. Smith made the initial save, but couldn’t cover the puck and the Admirals couldn’t clear it. After a centering pass, Lady Byng Humanitarian of the year runner-up Rob Flick put the puck into an open net.
Here’s Smith talking about the goal from his perspective.
- The best line tonight was the Van Flynderson line, as they were the only ones that were able to get some sustained pressure for any length of time in the offensive zone.
- Michael Latta. Not a great fight against Flick. More Rocky V than Rocky IV. This was his first game back after serving his suspension and missing a couple other games.
- Holy turnovers, Batman! Latta, Beck, Wilson, Blum, Valentine, Henderson, (flipping sheet of paper over) and Wilson and Beck some more. Yeah, the ice wasn’t great, but still.
- IceHogs finish season series against Milwaukee going 10-1-0-1. Also known as pwnd.
- Ads slip to 8th in the conference with two games to go. What needs to be different tomorrow in Rosemont?
Here are Coach’s thoughts on the matchup tomorrow against the Wolves.