Milwaukee, WI—The Admirals feel behind early, but couldn’t quite complete the comeback as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night at Panther Arena.
Despite the loss, Milwaukee still clinched at least a top-three finish in the Central Division by virtue of Iowa’s loss to Chicago. The top five teams in the division qualify for the post-season, but the four and five seeds face-off in a best-of-three preliminary round.
The Admirals have four games remaining in the regular season, which wraps up on Sunday, April 16th.
Rockford held a 2-0 lead after the first period with both goals scored by former Admiral Rocco Grimaldi.
The Admirals got on the board with a power-play goal from Captain Cole Schneider at 10:22 of the second period. Stationed in his usual spot directly in front of the net, Schneider deflected a shot from Jordan Gross past Rockford netminder Arvid Soderblom. It was his team-leading 24th tally of the season.
However, the Hogs got that one back just over three minutes later when a scrum in front of the Milwaukee ended with Mike Hardmen knocking the puck past Ads netminder Yaroslav Askarov for a 3-1 advantage.
John Leonard pulled the Ads within a goal at the 11:37 mark of the third period. The play began when the Ads came into the zone 4-on-3 and Marc Del Gaizo fired a shot on net that was saved by Soderblom. The puck was collected by a Rockford defenseman, but Leonard stripped the puck from him and fired it over Soderblom’s glove.
The Admirals had numerous chances down the stretch, including the final 71 seconds with Askarov pulled in favor of an extra attacker, but they couldn’t find the equalizer as the IceHogs grabbed the win.
The Admirals and IceHogs wrap-up their home-and-home set Saturday night at 7 pm in Rockford. The Ads next home game is Friday, April 14th at 7 pm against the Chicago Wolves at Panther Arena.