MILWAUKEE, Wisc.-The Milwaukee Admirals gained a measure of revenge on visiting Rockford at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena Saturday night. After the IceHogs rallied for a win Friday, the Admirals used a big third period to split the weekend home-and-home with the IceHogs. Egor Afanasyev led the way with a pair of goals on the night, including the game-winner, as Milwaukee defeated the Hogs 5-3. The Admirals remain atop the Central Division with a 12-5 record. Rockford, now 9-7-0-1, falls to fourth place in the division standings.
Milwaukee wasted little time in building a lead. Afanasyev pounced on a rebound in front of Hogs goalie Jaxson Stauber and flipped it into the basket 2:19 into the contest. The Admirals added tallies from Cole Schneider and Roland McKeown. Schneider attempted a centering pass to Tommy Novak in front of the Rockford net. Defenseman Adam Clendening denied the pass, but the puck came off his stick and into the goal at the 7:36 mark.
McKeown made it a 3-0 game at 10:22 of the first. Taking a pass from Kevin Gravel, McKeown launched it from the right point past Stauber, who was screened by Zach Sanford and Tommy Apap.
Midway into the opening period, the IceHogs were in a hole. Dylan Sikura started the digging for Rockford, jumping on loose pucks for a pair of goals in the last 3:53 of the first. Both were set up by defenseman Issak Phillips, who had three helpers on the night. The IceHogs were able to draw even with Milwaukee 7:04 into the second stanza when David Gust streaked to the right dot and went to the far post with his shot past Admirals goalie Yaroslav Askarov.
Milwaukee regained the lead 3:18 into the third period. With Stauber way out of his net, Afanasyev skated around the Rockford cage and completed the wraparound attempt just ahead of the stick of Hogs defenseman Louis Crevier.
STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND WATCH THIS GOAL FROM EGOR ‼️ pic.twitter.com/mP8rvqjy2Y
— Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) November 27, 2022
The Admirals lead became 5-3 after the IceHogs first penalty of the evening. Alec Regula was called for slashing 7:08 into the third period. At 8:47, Markus Nurmi , set up by Afanasyev, sent a shot over Stauber’s glove from the left circle. Rockford attempted to load up for another comeback, pulling Stauber in the final minutes for an extra skater, but Askarov kept the puck out of harm’s way for the remainder of the game.
Askarov finished with 23 saves for Milwaukee. The Admirals rookie is now 7-3 on the season with Saturday’s win. Stauber stopped 23 of 28 shots in a losing effort.
Milwaukee remains at home on Tuesday, when they host the Texas Stars before heading to Manitoba for the first of two games with the Moose. Rockford is idle until the weekend when they head East to play Springfield and Hartford Friday and Saturday.
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