Saturday night marked the end of the regular season for both the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rockford IceHogs as the two teams met in Rockford. While both teams were still not 100 percent sure who their Calder Cup Playoff opponents would be heading into the game, it was the IceHogs that still had something to play for. It showed in a 7-1 offensive smashing by the IceHogs over the Admirals.
Admirals stumble into the playoffs
Milwaukee already knew they would be hosting in the first round of the playoffs, but it wasn’t until midway through the second period that it was known who they would host. With a 3-2 loss to the Bakersfield Condors, the Grand Rapids Griffins would be making the trip west to Milwaukee.
The game itself had a lot of action and excitement if you were one of the many Rockford fans in attendance at the nearly sold out BMO Harris Bank Center. In a nutshell, with Milwaukee needing only to survive with everyone healthy going into the Calder Cup Playoffs, their exterior motivation for a win was less than that of a high school student who already has an ‘A’ in their final class, whether or not they take the final exam. So I can’t fault the Admirals for the stinker they played.
To describe and break all the action down would be piling it on to the Admirals. Scoring for the IceHogs went like this:
- Hinostroza (Kero, Gotovets) 1st – 5:21
- Carlsson (Hinostroza, Norell) 1st – 12:57
- McNeill (Pokka, Rasmussen) 1st – 15:06
- DeSousa (Motte, Mattson) 2nd – 10:23
- Hartman (Norell, Rasmussen) 3rd – 3:21
- McNeill (2) (Carlsson, Fraser) 3rd – 3:31
- Hinostroza (2) (Pokka, Motte) 3rd – 17:37
Throw in a Max Gortz power-play goal for the Admirals between the IceHogs’ sixth and seventh goals, and there is the final score, 7-1. The best thing for the Admirals to do following this game would be to acknowledge that it happened, burn the game-tape, and get prepared for the “Second Season.”
Admirals to face Griffins in round one
With the Griffins losing to the Condors earlier in the night, it was set that the Admirals will host the Griffins in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Over the course of the regular season, the Admirals and Griffins played eight times with the Griffins having the advantage going 5-3-0 in those eight games.
The Griffins rank second among Western Conference playoff teams in total goals scored with 238 this season. The Admirals rank right behind Grand Rapids in third with 224 goals scored. On the flip-side, the Admirals rank as the third-lowest team in goals against this year, while the Griffins are the fourth-lowest team out of the eight in the Western Conference playoffs. Needless to say, this should be a tightly contested series between two rivals with no love lost between them. (Note: the San Diego Gulls and Ontario Reign played eight fewer games than the other six Western Conference teams, so take that stat for what it’s worth in the grand scheme.)
If the Admirals are able to shake off the way they finished the last two games of the season and get back to the way they had been playing just a few days ago when they had a 13-game point-streak going, they could take advantage of a fellow slumping Griffins team (five straight losses).
Puck drop for game one of the Western Conference quarterfinal between the Griffins and Admirals is set for 7 p.m. in Milwaukee on Friday, April 22, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.