The Milwaukee Admirals had their eight game winning streak come to an end after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Rockford IceHogs. Both teams are in the heat of an intense playoff hunt in the AHL’s Central division. Although the Admirals lost, they still picked up a point in the standings.
Rockford had a very quick start to Tuesday night’s matchup. Only 40 seconds into the game, Rockford’s Luke Johnson scored his 17th goal of the season on Milwaukee netminder Troy Grosenick. This wasn’t the first time over the last few weeks that the Admirals have given up the first goal. It seemed like they were about to pull off another comeback victory.
At 4:10 Cole Schneider, who has been incredibly strong for the Admirals since he was acquired earlier this year, scored his 22nd goal of the season with an assist from Eeli Tolvanen (18) and Colin Blackwell (10) on an Admirals powerplay.
Later in the first period, Anthony Richard scored his 24th goal of the season to give the Admirals the lead.
In the second period Justin Kirkland would extend Milwaukee’s lead with a goal at 8:08. This was Kirkland’s ninth goal of the season. After the Kirkland goal, it was all Rockford.
At 12:43 in the second Lucas Carlsson scored to bring the IceHogs within one.
Early in the third period, Dylan Sikura would score his first goal of the night (16th of the season) to tie the game and force overtime. 3:21 into the overtime session, he would score again to end the contest in favor of Rockford. Win streak over.
After the Kirkland goal, this was a tough game to watch. The Admirals struggled to ever establish hold of the offensive zone for the rest of the game. Rockford’s goaltender Collin Delia (who just a few weeks ago suffered an 8-2 loss to Milwaukee) only faced eight shots after the first period. In fact, Rockford outshot the Admirals 30-17.
The Central division’s last two playoff spots are still anyone’s to grab. The top four teams in each division make the playoffs. With that being said, 2nd place is still possible, technically speaking, but Grand Rapids most likely will land that spot. Grand Rapids would have clinched had the Admirals lost in regulation on Tuesday.
Milwaukee sits with 84-points, still sitting in third. Manitoba (who doesn’t play until Friday) has 81, as does Iowa. Iowa plays Wednesday. Texas and Rockford currently sit with 80, but Texas has a game in hand.
The earliest that Milwaukee could clinch their playoff spot now is Saturday night. If Iowa loses on Wednesday AND Manitoba loses on Friday AND Milwaukee wins on Saturday they will clinch a playoff spot.
The Admirals play next on Saturday against the Grand Rapids Griffins.