Milwaukee Musings: Ads Outlast IceHogs in Shootouts

The weekend ahead will be a big test for this resilient squad.

After sweeping Manitoba the weekend prior, the Milwaukee Admirals took on the Rockford IceHogs in a home-and-home series this past weekend. Yaroslav Askarov was stellar all weekend, stopping 83 of 87 shots for a 0.954 save percentage as both games went to a shootout.

The Admirals escaped with four points and distanced themselves a little more from the IceHogs in third in the Central Division. Milwaukee remains two points behind the Texas Stars, who they’ve got a back-to-back date with this upcoming weekend.

2022-23 Nashville Predators AHL/ECHL Stats

Quick Hits

  • Last Wednesday, Milwaukee recalled goalie Tomas Vomacka as Devin Cooley was out of the lineup for a few games; Vomacka was reassigned to ECHL Norfolk over the weekend
  • On Monday, forward Phil Tomasino was recalled to Nashville and made his season NHL debut against Arizona
  • Cole Schneider is now tied for fourth on the Admirals’ all-time goals-scored list with 76; his next two goals will leapfrog him over Freddy Gaudreau for third on the list
  • On Friday, forward Michael McCarron played his 250th AHL game
  • On Saturday, defender Keaton Thompson played his 300th AHL game/

Milwaukee Admirals (2) vs. Rockford IceHogs (1)

With the IceHogs in town on Friday, Milwaukee played a fairly even first period against Rockford. But Cole Schneider did break the ice in the opening 20 minutes with a rebound goal off a low-danger Luke Evangelista shot.

Afterward, Rockford pushed back. The Admirals took a rash of penalties that night, giving the IceHogs seven power-play opportunities. Luckily, Milwaukee’s penalty killers—and more notably Yaroslav Askarov—were a perfect 100 % on the penalty kill. But the Admirals also couldn’t capitalize on their four power-play chances. Rockford ultimately tied things up after Cole Guttman blocked a Marc Del Gaizo shot and cashed in on the ensuing breakaway.

Milwaukee survived the IceHogs’ third-period onslaught where Askarov turned aside all 17 shots he faced, forcing overtime. After nothing going in the extra period, Evangelista and Phil Tomasino scored in a shootout to seal a well-earned 45-save victory for Askarov, who celebrated in style:

Milwaukee Admirals (4) @ Rockford IceHogs (3)

On Saturday, Milwaukee and Rockford took to the ice in Illinois for another barn-burning affair, returning to Askarov in the crease. Under a minute into the contest, Markus Nurmi and Navrin Mutter got caught guarding the same side of the defensive zone, allowing Isaak Phillips to walk into the slot and fire a wrist shot past Askarov.

A few minutes later, Phil Tomasino orchestrated an excellent play, navigating pressure from three opponents as he entered the offensive zone. He then set up a give-and-go play before diving into the slot and setting up Cole Schnieder for an easy tap-in goal. Rockford then closed out first-period scoring with a deflection on the power play.

In the middle period, Jordan Gross tied things up with a laser shot on the man advantage before Mike Hardman blasted a point shot past Askarov to regain the lead for Rockford. With a few minutes to play in the second frame, Marc Del Gaizo took a breakout into his own hands, setting up Luke Evangelista and John Leonard for the tying goal after a smooth transition. In three games tracked this season, Del Gaizo has succeeded on 66.7% of his zone-exit attempts but has elected to carry the puck out himself just 18.8% of the time; it’s good to see him lead the rush a bit more.

Something else that was on display this past weekend—and all season long—was Milwaukee’s success in setting up offensive-zone possession. Even after slower zone entries, Karl Taylor has this forward group providing excellent puck support as shown in the clip above. Players are holding onto pucks longer, using their bodies to protect possession, and buying space and time for their teammates; that leads to more scoring chances and more drawn penalties.

Despite that, Milwaukee couldn’t capitalize on any third-period chances. Yaroslav Askarov turned aside seven shots in the overtime period, and the Ads and IceHogs went to a shootout once more.

Lukas Reichel and Phil Tomasino scored in the opening three rounds, and then Kiefer Sherwood and Cole Guttman found the back of the net in round five. Askarov turned aside the next ten shooters and Keaton Thompson finally ended things with a goal in the 15th round to end a late night with two points.

The Week Ahead

  • Wednesday, February 15 @ Chicago Wolves
  • Saturday, February 18 vs. Texas Stars
  • Sunday, February 19 vs. Texas Stars/

All statistics are courtesy of,, or manually tracked.