02/27/2008 2:39 PM - Hogs put in three in the third, but finish 2-2-0-0 in the four-game set against the Ads
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs comeback just barely fell short.
After a quiet first period, the Milwaukee Admirals broke the game open with three goals in the second period. The Ads tacked on a fourth in the third, but the IceHogs came back with three of their own against one of the AHL's top goalies.
Still, it wasn't enough as the Hogs fell 4-3 at the Rockford MetroCentre.
The lesson from the first period is if you don't shoot you can't win. The IceHogs and Admirals combined for eight shots in the first 20 minutes of hockey.
The Admirals finally took advantage of their fifth power play in the second period with a goal from Janne Niskala at 7:55 to go up 1-0. Rich Peverley and Cody Franson recorded the assists.
Then it was a game of drought-breakers for both teams.
Milwaukee's leading scorer Antti Pihlstrom ended his 12-game streak of games without a goal with a short-handed marker at 15:04 in the second period with helpers from Rich Peverley and Alexander Sulzer.
Matt Ellison made the score 3-0 at 17:27 in the second with a pass from Cal O'Reilly. With the assist, O'Reilly moves to two points behind Martin St. Pierre in the overall AHL scoring.
Pihlstrom added his second goal at 9:26 in the third period to make it a 4-0 game with assists from Peverley and Jason Guerriero.
And then the IceHogs comeback began.
Evan Brophey scored a goal for the first time since Jan. 16 with a marker at 11:16. Colin Fraser and Niklas Hjalmarsson were credited with the assists.
Mike Blunden broke his 14-game point drought with a goal at 13:48 in the third to make the score 4-2. Fraser and Brophey had the helpers.
And Jack Skille barely pushed a goal under Milwaukee's Pekka Rinne at 14:20 to put a tie within one. With a scrum in front of the net, Skille powered the puck under Rinne and the referee ruled that it crossed the goal line before the netminder pulled it back into play. Jake Dowell and Jim Fahey were credited with the assists.
But the comeback ended there as the Admirals held the Hogs scoreless in the final 14 minutes of play.
Wade Flaherty finished with 18 saves, compared to Rinne's 23. The Ads finished with 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Hogs were 0-for-5.
Next Home Game: Friday, Feb. 29 vs. Lake Erie Monsters. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. It’s Leap Day hockey for the IceHogs when the Monsters invade the big orange box. The game is the fourth and final on the 2007-08 slate between the Hogs and Monsters. The first 1,000 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs cowbell courtesy of Members Alliance Credit Union.