SANTORELLI NETS HATRICK AS ADS SWEEP HOGS
Admirals Battle Winner of Houston-Peoria Series
Rockford, IL— The line of Ryan Jones-Jed Ortmeyer-Mike Santorelli combined for four goals and six assists to lead the Milwaukee Admirals to a 4-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs in Game 4 of the Divisional Semifinal series. Santorelli posted a hat trick to go along with an assist, while Ortmeyer scored the game's opening goal and assisted on the final three scores.
The win gave the Admirals a 4-0 sweep over the Hogs in the West Division Semifinals and marked their first playoff series win since sweeping the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Western Conference Finals in 2006. Milwaukee will face the winner of the Houston-Peoria series, which is currently tied at two games apiece. Regardless of the winner, the Admirals will hold the home-ice advantage in the series.
The hat trick for Santorelli was the first for in the post-season for an Admiral since Josh Langfeld performed the feat in game one of the first round of the playoffs last season.
Drew MacIntyre was once again stellar in net for the Admirals, stopping 25 of 26 shots in the game to earn his fourth win of the series. He allowed just four goals the entire set and stopped a combined 105 of 109 shots.
The Admirals got on the board first for the fourth straight game as Ortmeyer lit the lamp at 15:03 for his first of post-season. After the Admirals won the draw, Tim Ramholt fired a shot from the point that Santorelli deflected on net. Rockford netminder Antti Niemi made the save, but the puck trickled to the left post where Ortmeyer was stationed for an easy putback.
The IceHogs tied the score with 3:39 left in the second period on a Pascal Pelletier power-play marker that got by a screened MacIntyre.
Just over two minutes later the Admirals would get the lead back thanks to some gritty work by the Jones-Ortmeyer-Santorelli line. The trio were cycling the puck in the Rockford zone when Ortmeyer chipped the puck behind the net to Jones, who attempted to go to his right but was met by the check of Rockford’s Tim Hambly. The Milwaukee forward kicked the puck back to his left, broke free of Hambly and around the IceHog net where he found Santorelli parked in the slot and he proceeded to lift the puck over the glove of Niemi.
Santorelli got his second of the game at 7:02 of third period, this one also courtesy of some hard work by Jones. A loose puck got was swatted out of the Milwaukee zone by Ortmeyer back near the Rockford blueline that was corralled by Rockford’s Bryan Bickell. Jones applied heavy pressure to on Bickell, stripped him of the puck and flipped it to a crashing Santorelli who got off a quick wrister that beat Niemi.
The Admirals leading scorer in the regular season completed the hat trick with 4:38 left in the 3rd to seal the game and the series. Like the previous goal, pressure on the point by Jed Ortmeyer caused a Rockford turnover. Ortmeyer found the loose puck and found Santorelli, who was streaking through the neutral zone. He faked a wrist shot on Niemi that drew the Hogs’ netminder out of position and then slid the puck into the net.
Houston and Peoria play game five of their series on Wednesday in Houston with game six set for Saturday in Peoria.