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Ads Fall in Game 1 to Griffs

Milwaukee, WI—The Admirals picked up goals from Zach L’Heureux and Phil Tomasino, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday night in game one of the Central Division Finals.

Game two is back at Panther Arena on Monday, May 20th.

The loss was the first on home ice for the Admirals in the post-season and their first overall since March 29th against Rockford. Overall Milwaukee was the best home team in the Western Conference and now shows 30 wins against just 10 losses when combining the regular and post-seasons.

The Admirals outshot the Griffins 27-14, including a 17-4 margin over the final half of the game, but the Griffins made the most of their chances, capped when Marco Kasper scored game-winner from a tight angle at 9:57 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie.

The Griffins jumped out to an early lead when Carter Mazur finished off a nice tic-tac-toe passing play for his second of the post-season at 4:48.

The Admirals tied the score at one just over 10 minutes later courtesy of L’Heureux’s AHL-leading sixth goal of the post-season with 4:26 to play in the first. He took a long outlet pass from Juuso Parssinen, split the Griffins defense and raced in on a breakaway, scoring on Sebastian Cossa’s stick side.

Grand Rapids regained the lead on Zach Aston-Reese’s first of the post-season at 3:50 of the second.

However, Milwaukee would respond again as Tomasino earned his fourth of the playoffs with 3:42 left in the sandwich frame. Tomasino cleaned up the rebound of an Ozzy Wiestblatt shot and slid the puck between the legs of Cossa to knot the game at two.

The score stayed that way until midway through the third period when Kasper potted the game winner. Milwaukee pulled Troy Grosenick in favor of an extra attacker for the final two minutes of the game, but Joel L’Esperance sealed things for the Griffins with an empty net goal with 34 seconds remaining.

The two teams will now take four days between games and get back at it for game two on Monday night at 7 pm at Panther Arena. The series then shifts to Grand Rapids for games three and four on May 22nd and 24th, respectively.

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