The Milwaukee Admirals won 5-4 in a shootout on the road against the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Sunday evening.
It’s becoming a regular occurrence for the Admirals to play beyond regulation. For the second consecutive game the Admirals pick up a win in the shootout. They have won all five games played in the shootout this season.
Following a delay of game penalty against Jack Dougherty the IceHogs grabbed a first period lead on the power-play. They sustained the attacking zone for nearly the full duration of the opportunity. Before Dougherty exited the box Tomas Jurco lifted a wrister from the left wing over the glove of Anders Lindbäck for his thirteenth goal of the season.
In the second period the IceHogs power-play would get the game’s second goal. Though, this time it would favor the Admirals. The penalty kill was able to get the puck up into the neutral zone and a slick backhanded pass by Justin Kirkland allowed Mark Zengerle to pounce on a breakaway in the IceHogs zone. Zengerle snapped a wrist shot high glove-side on Matt Tomkins for his third goal and the Admirals fourth shorthanded goal of the season.
The IceHogs would get a second period response. Viktor Svedberg skated into the zone and swooped down the right wing before unleashing a backhanded shot. The puck would bank in off of the skate of Matthew Highmore who had skated behind Emil Pettersson and Petter Granberg to camp at the front of the net all alone. The goal for Highmore was his seventeenth of the season.
On Wednesday the Admirals felt hard done by a goal against that was batted in with a high stick. Today in the second period things just kind of balanced out. A shot by Anthony Richard popped up into the air around the crease. Cody Bass batted it out of mid-air and the puck flipped in past Tomkins. It was called a good goal. It looked to have been struck above the shoulders of Bass but the Birthday boy had his second goal of the season to make it a 2-2 game.
At the end of the second Svedberg would be called for roughing out of a big scrum. This gave the Admirals a power-play to start the third period and they would use it to claim their first lead of the game. Harry Zolnierczyk put a shot on target that fumbled free around the slot. Bobby Butler was able to glide over and smack it past Tomkins stick-side for his fifteenth goal of the season.
Unfortunately, that Admirals lead didn’t last all that long. Lindbäck attempted to pass from his net to Zengerle and he would instantly turn the puck over. This allowed for a quick strike by William Pelletier that provided a rebound tap-in for Tanner Kero on the doorstep. Kero’s second goal of the season made it 3-3.
The IceHogs would retake the lead with 2:52 remaining in regulation. Matt Iacopelli hit a slap shot from the point that was deflected by the net front presence of Tyler Sikura for his eighth goal of the season.
With 1:17 remaining in regulation the IceHogs iced the puck, the Admirals used their timeout, and Lindbäck would stay on the bench to bring on the extra attacker. The Admirals would get the late heroics they needed. Pettersson backhanded a shot from the left wing to the net that Zolnierczyk deflected on target. The puck pushed out to the left wing on a plate for Butler to smack home his second goal of the game to tie the game up at 4-4 on his sixteenth goal of the season.
The Admirals would play in overtime for the ninth time in their last sixteen games. And for the second time on the weekend both the Admirals and IceHogs were playing in a shootout. Kirkland got the Admirals off and running but would later be matched by Jurco. Zolnierczyk would be up in the bottom of the third round of the shootout with a chance to win it and -just as he did Friday night- he succeeded. The Admirals fight back and win in a shootout.
The next stop for the Admirals is a home game against the Cleveland Monsters on Wednesday. They will then take to the state of Texas for the weekend where they will play against the San Antonio Rampage on Friday and Sunday.
Ramblings: Since the Milwaukee Admirals played on Friday night there were no roster moves made in the organization. Today’s line combinations were: Zolnierczyk-Pettersson-Butler, Kirkland-Mingoia, Richard-Zengerle-Gaudreau, Labrie-Bass-Army, Murphy-Dougherty, Oligny-Carrier, Lyytinen-Granberg, Allard. Today’s scratches were: Tyler Kelleher (lower-body), Tyler Moy (illness), Andrew O’Brien (healthy), Trevor Smith (upper-body), and Yakov Trenin (surgery).
What is your reaction to today’s game? How has your heart been doing with all these overtime and shootout games? Are you appreciative of the gutsy late efforts by the Admirals to earn these points or is there still a lot to be cleaned up on their part?
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