Admirals Shooting for the Stars
Milwaukee, WI--The Milwaukee Admirals just wrapped up a season for the history books as they took the West Division and Western Conference regular season title for the first time since 2003-04. In clinching their ninth straight AHL playoff appearance, they received the top seed in the West and are matched up against the lower seeded Texas Stars, who finished fourth in the division standings.
The season series versus Texas was a tough one for Milwaukee as they managed just a 1-3-1-1 record in six games, and went 0-3 at the Bradley Center. Their lone win came back in November winning 1-0 in Texas, behind one of Milwaukee netminder Mark Dekanich’s four shutouts on the season. The scoring output for the Ads struggled as well, scoring only seven goals in the six match-ups. The Ads will be without their top scorer against the Stars, Jonathon Blum (2g-1a), as he is on recall to NHL affiliate Nashville Predators. The only other skaters to tally more than one point against the Stars this season were rookie standout Roman Josi (1g-1a) and defencemen Grant Lewis (1g-1a).
The Texas lineup features eight players who have scored more than one point against Milwaukee, led by the duo of Sean Backman and Greg Rallo who both notched two goals and an assist against the Ads this year. The Stars lineup will get a boost of experience as their NHL affiliate Dallas Stars did not qualify for the playoffs and have sent down veteran Brad Lukowich (658 career NHL games) and rookie Tomas Vincour, who suited up 34 games with Dallas this year.
A reason for the low goal output against the Stars could be that the two clubs were the least penalized in the AHL this season, giving each team minimal power play opportunities. The Stars finished as the league’s best behaved team accumulating the fewest penalty minutes, and the Ads were right behind with 1,018. The bright spot during the season series for the Admirals was their ability to kill penalties against the Stars. The Ads killed 26 of 28 penalties in six games, including going seven-for-seven back in their November 26 shutout victory.
The opening round action opens up this Thursday April 14 at the Bradley Center when they two teams kick off the playoffs at 7pm. The two teams will stay in Milwaukee for game two on Saturday April 16 for another 7pm contest before flying down to Texas for games three and four. Game five, if necessary, will take place at the Cedar Park Center in Texas, and if the need be game six and seven will go down at the Bradley Center.
Tickets for the first two games are currently on sale and are priced less than regular season tickets. Fans can purchase individual tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to milwaukeeadmirals.com, while fans looking for playoff packages, group tickets or more information should call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!