Palm Desert, CA—The Admirals picked up goals from Zach Sanford, Anthony Angello, and Egor Afansyev, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped a 5-3 decision in game two of the Western Conference Finals.
Milwaukee now trails the best-of-seven series 2-0 with game three set for Monday night at Panther Arena at 6 pm.
Phil Tomasino chipped in a pair of assists as the only Admirals player with a multi-point effort. Yaroslav Askarov stopped 32 shots in net, but suffered the loss.
The Firebirds took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Alexander True just 61 seconds into the game.
Sanford leveled the score at one with a power-play marker at the 5:44 mark. With the man advantage winding down Tomasino carried the puck below the goal line and dished a backhander back to Sanford just below the left dot and he scored over the glove of goalie Joey Daccord.
Just like the first period Coachella got another early goal, this one coming 1:44 into the frame as Jesper Froden’s low-angle shot deflected off an Milwaukee defender’s stick and by Askarov.
The Firebirds grabbed a two-goal lead when Ville Petman finished off a 2-on-1 at the 6:25 mark of the second period.
Anthony Angello pulled the Admirals within a goal at 3-2 with his first of the post-season 3:53 into the final frame. Angello collected a bouncing puck between the wheels and his quick shot beat Daccord glove side.
However, the Ads couldn’t find the equalizer and the Firebirds sealed a 2-0 series lead with empty net goals by Max McCormick and Carsen Twarynski.
Egor Afanasyev finished the scoring with 14 seconds to go in the contest as he took a pass in the neutral zone, weaved through a number of Coachella players and slid the puck past a surprised Daccord’s outstretched pad.
The series now shifts to Milwaukee for games three, four, and if necessary five, beginning Monday, May 29th at 6 pm at Panther Arena.