MILWAUKEE - After nearly 55 minutes of a scoreless game, the Milwaukee Admirals and Rockford Icehogs traded goals to send the game into overtime. Unlike regulation, it only took :52 seconds of the extra period for the Icehogs to get the game winner from forward Brandon Saad.
Perhaps it was fatigue, but both teams were uncharacteristically quiet for most of the game. Rockford certainly gave Milwaukee plenty of chances to score, as the Ads got eight chances on the power-play zero of which they converted on.
Nobody in the locker room, including head coach Dean Evason wanted to comment on the pair of separate calls that resulted in a penalty shot and a double-minor for high-sticking on Victor Bartley. From purely a spectator opinion, those calls were questionable.
Brandon Pirri was awarded a penalty shot early in the second after tripping during his approach to the Admirals net. What looked like a standard hooking call on Admirals defenseman Victor Bartley was immediately deemed grounds for a penalty shot. Fortunately for the Admirals, goaltender Magnus Hellberg turned away the attempt.
Later on that same period, Rockford forward Jimmy Hayes went down at the far boards clutching his mouth. Play continued on without a call, but eventually the whistle was blown when Hayes started crawling towards the bench. While refs convened with the captains of the respective teams, Hayes popped up and skated over to the group to show them his injury. When all was said and done, Bartley ended up with four minutes for high-sticking, a call that had Admirals fans in an uproar and me scratching my head.
Although Bartley didn't want to comment, coach Evason gave me a couple sentences. From what I gathered, it's more about concentrating on tomorrow's game instead of lamenting on tonight's calls.
"I likely can't give you any thoughts on that. You guys saw it. I don't have to elaborate on it. It is what it is."
Joonas Jarvinen tallied the goal for the Admirals, while Jeremy Morin scored the regulation goal for the IceHogs. Goaltender Carter Hutton, whose performance earned him first star of the game, turned away 24 of 25 shots he faced, while Hellberg ended the night with 32 saves on 34 shots.
The team completes their 3-in-3 weekend tomorrow evening with another match-up against the Peoria Rivermen. The two teams started off with a game in Peoria Friday night, with the Admirals falling 5-2 in that contest.