In a crucial home contest against the IceHogs, the Ads came out a bit flat. Ten surrendered power play chances heavily contributed to a 3-1 loss that knocked Milwaukee down a spot to ninth place in the West.
Magnus Hellberg’s three-game winning streak came to an end as the big goalie stopped 33 of 36 shots he faced. He looked solid, but as coach Dean Evason reiterated in his postgame overview, two of the goals he allowed were last touched by Admirals.
Evason felt some of his team’s ten two-minute minors were earned and others weren’t, but as a whole they kept the Ads “chasing the game.”
The Ads went on the penalty kill for the first time just 2:12 into the game after a high sticking call on Ryan Ellis.
Brad Winchester had a great chance for a breakaway shorty, but Carter Hutton got a piece of the shot and sent it over the net.
Mike Liambas tried to bait Garret Ross into an unsportsmanlike conduct call, but the refs didn’t call it after Ross dropped his gloves. Instead both players dropped the gloves on the next faceoff and Liambas dominated the ensuing fight, knocking Ross to the ice twice. Liambas would play the rest of the first and the second period wearing No. 19 due to blood on his jersey.
The Ads got 1:10 of power play after a too many men on the ice call negated another Ellis high stick. The Winchester-Zach Hamill-Juuso Puustinen line got some good chances on net, but failed to score.
The Ads got another power play chance after a Martin St. Pierre slashing call, but the Ads PP unit again couldn’t capitalize despite some good puck movement.
At the end of a scoreless first period, Rockford led 10-7 in shots. The IceHogs would outshoot Milwaukee 18-6 in the second thanks to six Admiral penalties.
After a holding call on Anthony Bitetto, who filled in for an injured Mike Moore, gave Rockford another early power play chance, Adam Clendening’s long slapper found its way into the net. It looked like it may have bounced in off Ellis.
Rockford added to its lead at 14:08 with another power play goal. This one was tipped in to an empty net by Ben Smith after a Jeremy Morin shot was initially held out by Hellberg.
At 12:47 of the third period, Klas Dahlbeck’s redirected slapper beat Hellberg five-hole to give the IceHogs a three-goal cushion.
Juuso Puustinen finally got the Ads on the board with five minutes to play, backhanding in a Patrick Cehlin rebound for his seventh point in eight games.
That would be all for the Ads, however, as 32 shorthanded penalty minutes kept them from getting into a consistent offensive rhythm.
Evason said he has no report or timetable on Moore’s return as he hasn’t been officially evaluated yet by team medical staff. He did, however, say we could see Joonas Rask as early as Tuesday. He hadn’t been cleared to play Saturday.
We caught up with Hamill and asked him about the experience of joining a team battling for a late playoff spot, and how he views his game.
The Ads are now two points behind Rockford for the eighth spot with four games left to play next week.
Saturday felt like it could have been a turning point either way for Milwaukee. After some really solid outings on the road, this one felt like a reversion. How big a blow is this to the team’s postseason hopes (if any at all)?
How many of those calls did you feel the Ads deserved? How much do you think it affected their rhythm as the game progressed?
6 thoughts on “Penalty pileup hurts Milwaukee in home loss to Rockford”
32 shorthanded penalty minutes? So Liambas’ 10 minutes of fighting majors…you’re counting those as shorthanded minutes? And other coincidental minors too?
What let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?
Penalties do hurt even if you hold them. it would be interesting to know how many shot of the 36 Rockford had, were on the power play. On the other hand we were 0-5 on the pp. We have been doing better of late as Aaron Sims said on keys of the game. But over all I don’t think we have done that well on the power play. I wish those stats were posted on the AHL site. With four games left the loss really hurt. I believe we have two left with the Wolves and although we have won the series, it doesn’t mean we can win the next two. This is much like last season, right down to the wire. Injuries have hurt and although the goal is to see these guys go up to the Preds losing some of our best players has really hurt.
The difference tonight was shots. We didn’t seem to want to shoot tonight. Rockford does do a good job of clogging up shooting lanes, but still. The only positive is Rockford only has 2 games left while everyone else has 4. They are going to have a tough time making it. This is really going to come down to the games against Chicago IMO. Oh, and Liambus broke that dude’s nose in the first fight!
The fact that Juuso Puustinen was boarded into ref Shaun Davis in the last few minutes of the game and he didn’t call it, indicates that Davis needs to be removed from his position. Thank goodness that the second referee, Jarrod Ragusin, did call the penalty.
Trey, it is still mathematically possible for the Admirals to win the division, even if it is unlikely. Yes, I think they can make the playoffs. Getting to 86 points should be enough. If they win out, they will be at 89 points and 41 wins. Rockford maxs out at 87 points, and they have the tiebreakers now. Beat Chicago both games and keep them out of the mix! Just like CreedFeed said.
Totally agree that the officiating was toilet quality. It just doesn’t make sense that Rockford, currently with 1700 PIM takes 8 penalties (which includes 1 bench minor) vs Milwaukee with 974 PIM takes 13 penalties.
Oh my, Kevin Klein got hurt yesterday so Mattias Ekholm was recalled today :(