The Rockford IceHogs fell 8-4 to the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at UW-Panther Milwaukee Arena for the team's sixth straight loss and eighth out of their last nine contests.
Milwaukee wasted no time taking advantage of their power play with two man-advantage goals in the first period to take a 2-0 lead over the IceHogs. The first came when forward Zach Sanford tapped in a rebound off the stick of Marc Del Daizo to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead at 6:16 in the opening frame. Later in the period forward Jimmy Huntington got it over Rockford goaltender Arvid Soderblom’s blocker at 17:38 to give the Admirals a two-goal lead.
The IceHogs battled back in the early parts of the middle frame and gained some momentum when forward Brett Seney struck on the power play to make it a 2-1 game at 4:53.
After Seney’s goal, the Admirals began to pull away with a pair of goals from forwards John Leonard (10:14) and Keifer Sherwood (12:09). Less than a minute after Sherwood made it 4-1, forward David Gust intercepted a pass a center ice and scored on a breakaway to slice
Milwaukee’s lead down to two at the 13:06 mark in the second.
Sherwood tabbed his second tuck of the night late in the middle frame when he and forward Cole Schneider established a strong forecheck for Milwaukee and forced a Rockford turnover. Sherwood kicked a loose puck to his skates and snuck the disc past Soderblom to extend the Admirals’ lead to 5-2 with just 52 seconds left in the period.
Head Coach Anders Sorensen made a goaltending switch after 40 minutes of regulation and rolled out Mitchell Weeks to start the third period in Soderblom’s place. Soderblom ended his night with 10 stops on 15 Admirals shots.
Sherwood struck again less than a minute into the third period on the power play for his third tally of the night, giving him his first hat trick of the season (0:59).
Forward Dylan Sikura shrank the Milwaukee lead back to three goals on the power play when he netted a one-timer from the right circle (3:31). Defenseman Adam Clendening and forward Lukas Reichel got the puck to the front of the net for Rockford, and a loose puck found a way to Sikura who marked his 10th of the season.
Milwaukee defenseman Adam Wilsby scored on a sharp wrist shot from the slot to give the Admirals a 7-3 lead in the third period at the 9:13 mark.
Rockford continued to apply offensive pressure even in the face of a large deficit. At the 10:05 mark in the third, forward Josiah Slavin scored a highlight-reel goal by whipping a shot past Admirals goaltender Yaroslav Askarov while being checked down to the ice. Slavin’s third goal of the season made it 7-4.
Defenseman Roland McKeown added Milwaukee’s eighth goal of the night on a slap shot from the point that glanced off an IceHogs before it got past weeks on the blocker side.
Weeks ended his relief outing with seven saves on 10 shots. Askarov picked up the win for Milwaukee with 31 saves on 35 shots.