Milwaukee, WI—Mequon native Spencer Stastney scored the game-winner goal with just 26 seconds left in regulation to propel the Admirals to a 2-1 victory over Manitoba in a decisive game five of the Central Division Semifinals.
The victory gives the Admirals the series win and they will now advance to take on the Texas Stars in the Central Division Finals beginning with games one and two on Friday, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th at Panther Arena.
This is the first time since in 19 years that the Admirals had won a playoff series in consecutive seasons and also marked the first time they won at series at home since defeating Texas in the first round back in 2011.
Yaroslav Askarov stopped 20 shots to earn the win in net for Milwaukee, while Stastney and Mark Jankowski scored the team’s goals.
Stastney’s heroics came exactly 90 seconds after Manitoba’s Jansen Harkins tied the game at one. Stastney’s play began in the neutral zone when a pair of Moose players collided, leaving the puck loose. Zach Sanford scooped it up and led a 3-on-1 rush into the Manitoba zone where he chipped it over to a crashing Stastney, who scored past a sliding Oskari Salminen.
After a scoreless first half of the game, Mark Jankowski took an outlet pass from Egor Afanasyev, skated in on Salminen and slipped a backhand five-hole for a 1-0 advantage at 11:24 of the second.The score stayed that way until Harkins scored his fourth goal of the series with Salminen pulled in favor of an extra attacker, setting the stage for Stastney’s goal.