The Milwaukee Admirals are playoff bound.
Controlling their own destiny, the Admirals put up a four-spot in the third period, on their way to a 6-1 win over the visiting Charlotte Checkers on Sunday evening.
As a result, the Admirals clinched the #5 spot in the conference, and will face-off against the Abbotsford Heat in the best-of-five first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. The series will open in Milwaukee Friday and Sunday, with games three through five in Abbotsford next week.
Coach Herbers isn’t surprised that this team didn’t quit.
Both Milwaukee and Charlotte were playing their third game in three days, and went with the same goaltender for the third time in three days.
Ryan Thang opened the scoring with a power play goal, putting in a rebound of a shot from Kyle Wilson.
Brodie Dupont scored what would eventually be the game winning goal at 6:35 of the second period, skating into the zone on the left wing and firing a shot from the near circle that flat out beat Justin Peters.
Coach Herbers says it was huge to get that two-goal lead.
The Checkers got one back with a power play goal from Jerome Samson, who had a shot from a sharp angle on the far side that beat Smith. It was such a sharp angle, we thought it hit the side of the net, but no, the red light went off.
Thang scored his second of the gmae with somewhat of a mirror image of Dupont’s goal. After an icing call was waived off by the linesman, Scott Valentine fed a long pass to Thang on the right wing. He skated into the zone, and his shot from the right wheel just flat out beat Peters.
Here’s Thang on the play.
I think that was really the back-breaker for the Checkers in this game. Two out of those three Admiral goals were shots from far out that didn’t have any screens or real distractions. Yes they were good shots. But those are the kinds of saves that he needs to make.
Ryan Flynn got a goal about five minutes later, after his shot went in off of Checker D-man Rasmus Rissanen. Jani Lajunen had an empty net goal nine seconds after the Checkers pulled Peters. And then Taylor Beck banged home a power play goal with 1:32 to play to complete the scoring.
– Interesting scrum in the first period that sent three Admirals to the box and two Checkers to the box….and somehow, the Admirals got to go from a 5-4 power play to a 5-3 power play? Mark Lemelin was the referee that called the penalties, and we’re not sure why there wasn’t more protest from the Checker bench. Durno was assessed four minutes, but still, I’m pretty sure the Ads shouldn’t have had an extra power play there.
– Victor Bartley left the game after that first period scrum. Day-to-day is the official word. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go next Friday, because he’s a very important piece of the puzzle for this team.
– Thang opened the season with a pair of goals in Peoria, and closed the regular season with another two goals tonight. Thang has been playing well recently, and Coach says that he’s going to need to keep that going.
– Do you like the match-up against Abbotsford?
– Tell the truth…did you write this team off in early March?
– What was your regular season highlight?