Gaudreau’s hat trick leads to Ads win
MILWAUKEE — AHL All-Star Freddy Gaudreau notched his first career hat trick, while Kevin Fiala netted the game-winning goal 2:46 into overtime as the Admirals completed a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Fiala’s GWG came during 3-on-3 when he and Cody Hodgson come into the Rockford zone 2-on-1. Hodgson flipped to Fiala, who angled in on Hogs goalie Michael Leighton, holding the puck until the last second and flipping a forehand over Leighton’s pads.
Fiala’s heroics were set up by Gaudreau, who completed the hatty when he leveled the game at three with just 47 seconds to play in regulation. He corralled the rebound of a Stefan Elliott shot and slid it past Leighton, sending the game into overtime.
The Ads got on the board first after Gaudreau netted his first goal since December 26th with 4:17 left in the first period. Rockford’s d-man Nolan Valleau had the puck behind the Hogs net, but his break-out pass was intercepted by Gaudreau, who skated in on goalie Michael Leighton and beat him with a wrister top-shelf.
Unfortunately for the Ads Rockford scored three goals in a 9:34 span in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Jake Dowell got his eighth of the season at 5:57, followed shortly thereafter by a Mike McNeil tally at 7:52, and then Cameron Schilling’s PPG gave the Hogs a two-goal with 4:29 to play in the second.
Gaudreau’s second of the night pulled the Ads within one heading into the finally stanza. Colton Sissons fed him with a pass on the right circle and his blast beat Leighton with just 3:01 to go in the frame.
Milwaukee had little going in the third period until Marek Mazanec left the net with just over a minute to go, leading the way to Gaudreau’s third tally.
Mazanec earned the win for Milwaukee, stopping 27 shots for his 14th win of the season and his 50th in his career. He’s the fifth netminder in Ads AHL history to win 50 or more contests.
After a rare Saturday night off the Admirals will try to put together a winning streak on Sunday afternoon when they play host to the Iowa Wild at 5 pm.