Rockford, Ill.- After responding from a two goal deficit to send the game into overtime, the Rockford IceHogs fell to the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in the extra session in front of a sellout crowd of 6,027 on Saturday night at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Milwaukee raced out to an early lead with two goals within ten seconds of each other to start off the game. Ryan Thang rushed into the IceHogs zone and found Grant Lewis to the left of the IceHogs goal. Before Lewis continued his path to circle around the net, he dropped a no look pass to Blake Geoffrion. Geoffrion then fired a quick one-timer past Hannu Toivonen at 5:34 to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.
Then, Milwaukee extended the lead to 2-0 just moments later. Jonathon Blum crossed a pass in front of the Rockford net and it deflected off of Mike Bartlett and past Toivonen to chase him from the game at 5:44.
"We're one play away from being embarrassed again, down 2-0 five minutes into a hockey game at your own building," said IceHogs head coach Bill Peters. "You give up the next one and it's a monumental task, I think it's a bit of a wake-up call."
The IceHogs got one back midway through the middle frame with a power play tally. Mathis Olimb sent a pass to Jeff Taffe on the right hash and he ripped in his team-leading 13th goal of the season to make it 2-1 at 9:05. Peter LeBlanc was also credited with an assist.
Then with time running out in the game, the IceHogs got the equalizer to make it 2-2. Igor Makarov picked up a Kyle Hagel feed and tried to send a pass of his own but it was blocked down by an Admirals defender. Mathis Olimb found the loose puck and slid it past Mark Dekanich at 16:02 in the third period.
The IceHogs were unable to feed off the momentum as Roman Josi wristed a shot past Alec Richards at 2:23 in the extra frame to knock off Rockford 3-2. Ryan Thang also registered an assist on the play.
Richards was tagged with the loss in relief of Toivonen after making 19 saves on 20 shots faced. Dekanich earned the win, turning away 27 Rockford shots.
Next Home Game: Saturday Feb. 5, vs. Abbotsford Heat. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs Fleece Blanket courtesy of Lonnie's Carpet Max.