By Jim Hagerty
The Rockford IceHogs fell one goal short of beginning the 2014-15 AHL season with a win Saturday, falling 3-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Rockford opened the scoring at 18:47 of the first period, sending the 5,228 fans to their feet on a goal from Ryan Hartman. Milwaukee evened the score in the second followed by another Hartman tally 16 minutes into the frame.
The Admirals added what would be the game-winner in the third on a top-shelf shot by Joe Pendenza.
It appeared the ‘Hogs tied the contest late in the third period when Matt Carey slapped a go-ahead pass past Milwaukee goaltender Marek Mazanec, sending the crowd to its feet again and the goal horn resonating through the arena. The fervor died when the goal was disallowed and Carey was called for high sticking.
The call left Rockford to kill its fifth penalty of the night before pulling goalie Michael Leighton with 1:32 left. The move nearly worked as a quick Garret Ross back-hander sailed just wide of a beaten Mazanec with 30 seconds remaining.
Rockford out shot Milwaukee 31-23.
The IceHogs face the Adirondack Flames on the road Thursday, Oct. 16. They are back at the BMO Harris Bank Center Saturday, Oct. 25, against the Chicago Wolves.
For an in-depth recap of this week’s games and highlights, see Todd Reicher’s column, “Tales from the Trough,” every Wednesday in the digital and print edition of The Rock River Times.