(Courtesy: Milwaukee Admirals)
MILWAUKEE – The Admirals’ leading goal scorer Kiefer Sherwood picked up a hat trick to help guide the team to an 8-4 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night, Jan. 27, as Milwaukee kicked off a season-long six-game homestand.
Sherwood scored his three goals in just an 8:50 span from the middle of the second period to the beginning of the third, pushing his team-leading total to 18. He also added an assist to give him a four-point night.
Marc Del Gaizo also had a four-point night as he collected four assists, while Jimmy Huntington returned to the lineup after missing the past two weeks and managed a goal and two helpers.
Yaroslav Askarov stopped 31 shots to pick up his 14th win of the season.
The Admirals got on the board first, courtesy of a power-play tally by Zach Sanford. Stationed just to the right of Rockford goalie Arvid Soderblom, Sanford found the rebound of a Del Gaizo shot and stuffed by past Soderblom’s leg for his sixth goal of the season.
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Milwaukee pushed the lead to 2-0 with another power-play marker, this one by Huntington, with 2:22 left in the first. Egor Afanasyev had the puck below the Rockford goal line and faked an attempt to go short before wrapping around the net and finding a wide-open Huntington, who potted his seventh of the year.
Rockford got on the board with a PPG of their own from Brett Seney at 4:53 of the second.
However, the Admirals responded with goals from John Leonard and Sherwood less than two minutes apart to give the team a 4-1 advantage. Leonard took a feed in the slot from Huntington and snapped one over Soderblom’s glove at 10:14. Just 1:55 later, Sherwood picked up his first of the game when he uncorked his canon of a shot from the right hash mark.
Sherwood got his second with just 51.6 seconds left in the second. Soderblom stopped Captain Cole Schneider’s shot, but Sherwood was there to kick the puck from his left foot to his stick, and he tucked it inside the right post.
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The Columbus, OH native earned the team’s second hat trick of the season just 59 seconds into the third period after he took a long outlet pass from Askarov, raced into the IceHogs zone and scored from just inside the top of the left circle to give Milwaukee a 6-2 leads.
Adam Wilsby scored his first goal for the Admirals, and Roland McKeown also lit the lamp to cap off the team’s scoring.
The Admirals continue their season-long six-game homestand on Saturday night when they play host to Grand Rapids at 6 pm at Panther Arena.
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