The Milwaukee Admirals lost their second-straight game in overtime on Friday against the Rockford IceHogs in a 3-2 defeat.
This is also the first string of consecutive losses the team has suffered so far this season.
The first period started out with Rockford receiving a full two-minute 5-on-3 advantage. Jeremy Gregoire received a slashing penalty at 4:15 and Alexandre Carrier with a tripping penalty at 4:31. The Admirals showcased their skilled penalty kill unit, as captain Jarred Tinordi cleared the puck twice, one deflecting off a high stick of one of the Rockford skaters which resulted in an offensive zone faceoff for the Admirals.
Tyler Gaudet, who has the team’s sole shorthanded goal this season, had a nice shot on goal but was handled by Rockford goaltender Anton Forsberg. Rockford didn’t get a single shot on goal during their two-man advantage.
Immediately after the Admirals killed the two-man advantage, Eeli Tolvanen had his best attempt of the night while crashing the net Admiral righwinger Nicholas Baptiste attempted a pass to Tolvanen that was blocked by the Rockford defender. Tolvanen would tally three more shots on goal (four in total) throughout the game.
Milwaukee opened scoring 14:02 into the first period when Zach Magwood scored his first career AHL goal. Mathieu Oliver (3) and Tyler Gaudet (2) had the assists as Magwood beat Forsberg’s left side through heavy traffic in front of the net.
Rockford wasn’t far behind. They took their first penalty of the game at 14:48 from a Jacob Nilsson hooking minor. Rockford killed the penalty and as Nilsson was leaving the box, the puck slid right by him. He took possession and had a breakaway. He whiffed on the shot, but was able to regain possession behind the net and pass across the crease to rightwinger Dylan Sikura, who buried it through Milwaukee netminder Tom McCollum to tie the game. The Admirals took one more penalty at 18:53 when Justin Kirkland took a hooking minor. The Admirals led in shots on goal after the first period eight to six.
The second period saw Zach Magwood net his second AHL goal at 4:20 into the period. He had the lone goal of the period. The Admirals were unable to add to their lead despite three Rockford penalties in the period. Tyler Sikura (hooking 1:59), Matheson Iacopelli (slashing 9:13), and a bench minor for too many men on the ice at 13:22. The Admirals had two penalties throughout the period at 1:11 (Colin Blackwell, high sticking) and at 12:26 (Alexandre Carrier, holding). Milwaukee was outshot in the second period by a margin of eight to six.
Rockford defenseman Darren Raddysh scored his first goal of the night to tie the game at 11:54 of the third period. Jacob Nilsson (4) had his second assist of the night. Milwaukee failed to capitalize on another three penalties by Rockford. Henrik Samuelsson (0:31 for cross-checking, Darren Raddysh (6:24 for hooking), and Tyler Sikura (14:39 for high-sticking). The Admirals managed to not commit a single penalty during the third period. Milwaukee once again led shots on goal 9-8.
The Admirals had what seemed to be a strong start to the overtime period. Despite only tallying one shot on goal during overtime, they had a few scoring chances. Rockford’s defense read Milwaukee’s offense like a book the entire game and was able to block several passes across the crease that would have ended in goals for the Admirals.
Anthony Richard was checked hard into the boards by Rockford leftwing Terry Broadhurst about halfway through the five-minute overtime period. Richard was slow to get up but managed to skate back to the Admirals bench with minimal help. There was no penalty called on the play.
At about the 3:00 mark of overtime the Admirals drew a delayed penalty which allowed Forsberg to skate to the bench in favor of an extra attacker. At 3:33, Raddysh scored his second goal and game winner off of a slapshot from the circle that passed McCollum’s right shoulder.
The Admirals are now 8-1-3-0 for the season and added one more point in the standings. Milwaukee still sits atop the AHL with 19 points. The Charlotte Checkers are creeping up with 18.
-The Admirals penalty kill has been playing impeccably given the number of penalties they have taken this season. Milwaukee is 91.1% on the penalty kill, which is second in the AHL behind the Laval Rocket (93.3%).
Unfortunately, the power play is the opposite. Milwaukee is at 19.1% on the power play so far this season. The Admirals have scored 11 power play goals this season, which is not bad amongst AHL teams. Where the statistic stands out is that the Admirals have had a staggering 57 power play opportunities so far this season, which is the most in the AHL.
-Holding the zone was a huge problem in this match against the IceHogs. You could count on one hand the number of puck possessions that the Admirals held for longer than 10 seconds in the offensive zone. Players continuously brought the puck into the offensive zone, whiffed their shot, and lost possession only to find themselves back defending the Milwaukee goal.
-Lastly, shots on goal per game seem to be decreasing over the last several games. Neither club tallied more than 10 shots on goal in a single period. Milwaukee ended the contest with 24 SOG. Tolvanen and Frederic Allard led the Admirals with four shots on goal. For those laser focused in on the career of Eeli Tolvanen, he was -1 tonight and had very few quality chances besides the one mentioned earlier.
The Admirals play tomorrow against the Grand Rapids Griffins in Grand Rapids at 6pm Central. This will be the first match between the two teams this season.