MILWAUKEE, WI — After coming from behind from behind to earn points in each of their past five games, the Admirals showed tonight that they could play with a lead, as they led for over 48 minutes in a 4-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs Friday night.
The win extended the Admirals point streak to seven games (5-0-2) to start the season and leaves them as the only team in the AHL without a regulation loss.
For the first time since opening night the Admirals tallied the first goal of the game. On their first power-play of the night, Scott Valentine fired a one-timer that Rockford goalie Kent Simpson stopped, but Josh Shalla was on the doorstep for the rebound and he slid it in at the 4:40 mark.
Rockford evened the score at one 3:09 later when Mark McNeil also corralled a rebound and beat Milwaukee backstop Marek Mazanec.
However, the Ads grabbed the lead back with just over five minutes to play in the period when Miikka Salomaki tallied his first goal as an Admiral on a slapper from between the dots. Jonas Rask and Austin Watson picked up the assists on the goal.
Tony Bitetto pushed the Admirals lead to 3-1 at 16:18 of the third after he managed to gain control of a loose puck in the high slot and skate to his right before sending a backhand that snuck by Simpson. It was the fourth goal of the year already for Bitetto, who totaled just one all of last season.
Rockford pulled back to within one at 3-2 at the 6:26 mark on a Alex Broadhurst power-play tally, however that’s as close as they would get. Taylor Beck got an insurance goal with an empty-netter with 37 seconds to play to finish out the scoring.
Bitetto finished the night with a goal and an assist, the only player for the Ads to manage a multi-point game. Mazanec extended his winning streak to four games with a 28 save performance.