With both the Rockford IceHogs and Milwaukee Admirals fighting for playoff contention, three consecutive goals to open the contest from the Admirals proved to be too much as the Hogs fell 3-2 Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Milwaukee's first goal came just before the end of the first frame. In the dying moments of the period, the Admirals moved the puck up ice in transition. Michael Latta delivered a pass to a trailing Ryan Ellis, who one-timed his shot from the high slot into the back of the net to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.
Just 11 seconds into the second period, Milwaukee struck again when Mark Van Guilder sent a pass to Kevin Henderson at the faceoff circle, who fired the puck past IceHogs netminder Carter Hutton, increasing the Admirals advantage to 2-0.
The Ads third goal came 12:31 into the middle frame courtesy of Latta. On Milwaukee's third power-play opportunity of the contest, Hutton turned away a flurry of shots, however Latta picked-up Brad Winchester's shot attempt and potted the goal for his third point of the contest.
Rockford ceased Milwaukee's scoring frenzy when Adam Clendening picked up a rebound and sent a quick pass to Brandon Svendsen, who one-timed a shot past an out-of-position Jeremy Smith, cutting into the Ads lead, 3-1.
The Hogs pulled to within one goal when Terry Broadhurst forced a turnover in the Admirals zone and hit a wide open Martin St. Pierre in front of the net, who deked out Smith to bury his 22nd goal of the season.
A late flurry which saw the IceHogs send 18 shots in on the Milwaukee net in the final frame was not enough to draw an equalizer. Hutton stopped 41 saves in the losing effort, while Smith turned away 35 of 37 Rockford shots. Milwaukee capitalized on one of five power-play chances, while the Hogs failed on all four man-advantages.