It came down to the wire in Game 3 of the Central Division Final between the Milwaukee Admirals and Texas Stars in Cedar Park, Texas on Wednesday night.
Isaac Ratcliffe, a trade deadline acquisition from the Philadelphia Flyer, scored twice including the game winner with 1:01 left in regulation to seal a 4-3 Admirals win.
“We’re pretty happy but we still got to get a good sleep tonight and get ready for Friday,” Ratcliffe told Admirals radio play-by-play voice Aaron Sims after the game.
In his second career AHL playoff game, Ratcliffe came up clutch. The Admirals are in a position to clinch their third trip to the Western Conference Final since joining the AHL in the 2001-02 season.
ISAAC RATCLIFFE’S GAME WINNER 🚨 pic.twitter.com/orZJTg3H8S
— x – Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) May 18, 2023
“It’s just his second playoff game, so what a great response from (Ratcliffe) to get in there and do his thing,” Ads coach Karl Taylor said of Ratcliffe’s performance. “I thought he played great, thought he responded and was ready, he got presented with an opportunity and he grabbed it. So, I tip my hat to him and he obviously did a good job in trying to secure his spot for the next game.”
Game 4 is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. CT. Nashville Hockey Now will have more coverage on the potential elimination game prior to puck drop.
Nashville Hockey Now
The Nashville Predators have an NHL-high 13 picks in the 2023 NHL Draft. Assistant general manager/director of scouting Jeff Kealty recently told reporters that while the spotlight is always on the first round, Day 2 of the draft is where the team’s scouting department really shines. Here’s a look at the Predators’ late-round draft success and how it could shape the future of the team.
In the junior leagues, Predators prospect and Halifax Mooseheads forward Zachary L’Heureux sat out Game 4 of the QMJHL Championship Series against the Quebec Remparts on Wednesday night with an upper-body injury. L’Heureux has 23 points in 18 postseason contests.
Halifax fell 2-1 and now trails in the best-of-seven series three games to one. Game 5 of the Finals is set for Friday in Quebec in a do-or-die situation for the Mooseheads.
The Seattle Thunderbirds are one win away from winning the second WHL Championship in team history after defeating the Winnipeg Ice 5-3 en route to setting up a series-clinching game on Friday at 5:05 p.m. CT. Predators prospects Luke Prokop and Reid Schaefer had assists on Dylan Guether’s game-winning goal for Seattle.
— Connor Hrabchak (@ConnorHrabchak1) May 18, 2023
Around the NHL and National Hockey Now
Florida Hockey Now: Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final is Thursday night between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Panthers. George Richards dove into how these two teams matchup against each other going into the first game of the series. These franchises have never met in the postseason until this year.
Vegas Hockey Now: There’s still one more day of waiting before the Golden Knights kick off their conference final matchup against the Dallas Stars. Some notes from practice in preparation for the series can be seen right here.
Colorado Hockey Now: The offseason is here for the Avalanche after a first-round exit to the Seattle Kraken. How did some individual players do during the 2022-23 regular season?
San Jose Hockey Now: Draft season is inching closer by the day and the San Jose Sharks hold the fourth overall selection. The latest Locked on Sharks Podcast did a profile on USHL forward Jayden Perron.