Friday’s 5-3 win over the Manitoba Moose happened just like the Milwaukee Admirals drew it up.
After losing 3-2 in back-to-back games, the Admirals fired back in Game 4 to force a winner-take-all Game 5 Saturday night in the Central Division semifinal of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
“So now they’re up against it too,” Admirals coach Karl Taylor said. “Someone is going to be done tomorrow. We don’t plan on it being us and they don’t plan it being them. We know what we’re hoping for and what we’re going to impose – this is why you have the home ice for that game five.”
It was all fireworks in the first 20 minutes. Three goals were scored in the span of 13 minutes, but the Admirals took a 2-1 lead after Zach Sanford and Adam Wilsby each notched a goal after falling behind 1-0.
Then the Admirals exploded in the second period as Joakim Kemell ripped home a power-play goal from the left circle — a nice one-timer set up by patience after waiting for a pass to come his way.
— x – Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) May 6, 2023
Manitoba fired back in the third, making it interesting with a pair of goals in the opening five minutes as Jansen Harkins tallied on the power play, then Wyatt Bongiovanni — Manitoba’s Game 3 hero — got his team back to within one a few minutes later, forcing Taylor to call a timeout and regroup.
“We’re a good team, we need to get back to what we do,” Taylor told the team.
Austin Rueschhoff sealed the Ads win in the final minute, scoring an empty netter with 19 seconds left and staving off elimination.
“We didn’t give them very much until they got that push in the third early,” Taylor said. “I really liked our game, I thought we played well and didn’t give them a lot of opportunities. We’re going to enjoy this for a little bit, but then we have to get right back on it tomorrow.”
The Admirals found themselves in this very situation just last season. They won a decisive Game 5, eliminating the Moose to advance to the Central Division final against eventual Calder Cup champion Chicago. Now, they’ll see if they can do it again.
Puck drop for Friday’s Game 5 in Milwaukee is 6 p.m.
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