Milwaukee, Wis. - Frederick Gaudreau collected three goals on the night to lead the Admirals to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Rockford IceHogs. It is the third time in the last four games that Rockford has dropped a 4-3 overtime decision.
After Gaudreau forced overtime with his third of the night late in the final stanza, it was Kevin Fiala who played the hero in the sudden death period. Fiala took a breakaway pass from Cody Hodgson and tucked the puck just past the pad of Leighton to lift the Admirals to the 4-3 win over Rockford.
Michael Leighton held the IceHogs in the game for the first half of the opening frame, stopping two point-blank one-time chances to keep the Admirals off the board. Gaudreau finally solved the Rockford netminder at 14:57, however, when he picked off a clearing pass and walked into the slot to collect an unassisted tally.
The IceHogs nearly tied the game on the power play with the clock winding down in the first, but a shot from Garret Ross rang off the left goalpost as the Admirals took a 1-0 lead into the first break.
The scoring opened up in the second frame, starting when Jake Dowell tied the game at 5:57. Ross put the puck in the corner for P.C. Labrie, and he found Dowell for a one-time shot just inside the left circle for his eighth of the season.
Rockford wasted little time before taking a 2-1 lead. After Marko Dano forced the puck into a pile of bodies in front of the net, Mark McNeill flashed in from the blue line and powered a slap shot past Marek Mazanec at 7:52.
Cameron Schilling finished off the three-goal outburst from Rockford with a power play tally at 15:31 of the period. Vince Hinostroza and Tanner Kero combined to get the puck loose to Schilling at the left point, and he found a shooting lane through heavy traffic in front of the net to give the IceHogs a 3-1 edge.
Just 1:28 later, the Admirals cut the lead to a single goal. Gaudreau picked up his second goal of the night when Colton Sissons took the puck in the neutral zone and led a two-on-one rush into the Rockford end. He made a quick feed to Gaudreau in front of the net and knocked a shot off the post and into the cage to bring the score to 3-2 heading towards the third.
The IceHogs held their advantage until the final minute of the third period. Gaudreau completed his hat trick when he snapped home a rebound off the pad of Leighton with just 47 seconds left in the game to force a 3-3 tie.
Leighton finished the contest with 21 stops while Mazenec turned aside 27 pucks for Milwaukee.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Feb. 14 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins at 4 p.m. Rockford and Grand Rapids meet again for a 4 p.m. matinee matchup on Valentine’s Day. The IceHogs will look to bounce back from a regulation and overtime loss to the Griffins on Feb. 5 and 6.