Three-on-three hockey is a bit of a novelty. The Rockford IceHogs used the rare opportunity to grab a 2-1 overtime win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Kyle Beach and Joonas Jarvinen were whistled for roughing penalties with just 2.4 seconds left in regulation and the game tied 1-1. So overtime started, and eventually ended, with three-on-three hockey.
Brandon Saad led a rush for Rockford up the spacious ice surface and picked up his own rebound to the left of Magnus Hellberg and carried the puck to the front of the Admirals net where he fought through a hook from Victor Bartley and beat Hellberg under the arm for the game-winning tally 52-seconds into overtime.
The goal marked Saad's second straight game winner and eighth on the season. Saad finished the weekend with 2g-4a-6pts for the IceHogs.
In the third period, Milwaukee lit the game's first lamp 14:12 into the final frame. In transition, Ben Ryan's shot was blocked to Jarvinen and the d-man swiped a shot off of Dylan Olsen's skate and under Carter Hutton for a 1-0 lead.
But Rockford tied the game up at 1-1 just 2:20 later. Adam Clendening found Jeremy Morin wide open and all alone on the back door and the winger bagged his 13th goal of the season at 16:32.
Brandon Pirri had a penalty shot attempt at 5:34 of the second period and was denied by Hellberg. Rockford has had three penalty shots this season and have failed to convert on all three of them.
Through 40 minutes of hockey of Saturday, the Admirals had 10:09 of power play time compared to just 44-seconds for Rockford, but the Hogs outshot Milwaukee 20-16 through two periods of play. Milwaukee finished 0-8 on the advantage while Rockford was 0-3.
Hutton earned the win, making 24 saves while Hellberg made 32 saves in the loss.