Admirals start 2017 on winning foot; defeating Rockford IceHogs 5-2

MILWAUKEE — Trevor Murphy tallied two goals and added an assist to lead the Admirals to a 5-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Tuesday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

It was the first game of the new year for Milwaukee, who made it three straight games with at least a point.

Muphry got the Ads on the board first, courtesy of his sixth goal of the season at 8:44 of the opening period. The play started as the Ads were attempting to gain the zone on the power play. Somehow Adam Payerl and Trevor Murphy were able to get behind the Rockford D, leading to a 2-on-0. Payerl passed to Murphy in the slot and he froze Hogs goalie Lars Johansson before going backhand and sliding the puck around his outstretched leg.

The Ads made it 2-0 with another power-play goal, this one coming from Anthony Bitetto, who was assigned to Milwaukee on conditioning earlier in the day. The puck was rimmed around the boards and took a funny bounce out to Aberg, who was in front of the net. He passed left to Bitetto, who had an open net for his first goal at any level this season.

Exactly 3:30 after Carl Dahlstrom cut the Ads lead in half with a goal for the IceHogs, Aberg pushed put Milwaukee back up two when he connected from directly in front of the net.

The goal was the 50th of his Admirals career, making him just the 16th player to reach that milestone since the team joined the AHL in 2001.

Murphy ripped a one-timer from the right point 45 seconds after Aberg’s goal for his second of the night, giving the Admirals a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Justin Kirkland picked up an empty-netter, his second goal of the season, to make it a 5-1 contest.

Marek Mazanec turned aside 28 of 30 shots thrown his way to pick up his sixth win of the season.

The Admirals will head out on a two-game, west-coast road trip beginning Friday night in San Jose. Milwaukee’s next home game is next Tuesday, January 10 when they’ll host the Charlotte Checkers at 7 pm at Panther Arena.