It was a great day for the Nashville Predators organization. The Predators won an overtime thriller to tie their series with the Dallas Stars. Then later Saturday night, the Milwaukee Admirals clinched their playoff berth thanks to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins! The berth was secured later that night when the Chicago Wolves beat the Manitoba Moose 4-2, knocking Manitoba out of playoff contention.
It was a thrilling night for the Admirals for sure. Milwaukee was not going to let Grand Rapids walk away with a win. Yakov Trenin scored the first goal of the game (his 13th of the season) just 14 seconds into the game.
Adam Helewka, who was acquired by the Admirals midway through the season from the Arizona Coyotes organization, scored 1:04 into the first period, giving Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
Then at 1:48, Eeli Tolvanen scored his 15th goal of the season, giving Milwaukee a 3-0 lead not even two minutes into the contest. Tolvanen’s goal was also the last shot that Grand Rapids goaltender Patrik Rybar would face. He faced six shots from Milwaukee in the 1:48 he was on the ice. Harri Sateri was put in goal for the Griffins for the duration of the game.
This was the most dominant first period the Admirals have had all season. They then fired off four more shots on goal during the first period. Troy Grosenick left the game after 14:14 in the first when he stretched a little far making a save. He left with an assumed groin injury.
Yakov Trenin scored his second goal of the game only 36 seconds into the second period.
Trenin wouldn’t be the only Admiral having a two goal game. Adam Helewka scored his second of the night at 1:41 in the second. Another blowout in the first two minutes of a period for the Admirals.
The rest of the matchup was, comparatively, uneventful. Shots on goal were nearly even, Milwaukee had one more shot during the second two periods. Goaltender Tom McCollum would secure the shutout victory for Milwaukee.
Wow. The Admirals came out ready to take advantage of a Grand Rapids team that has been struggling and to do their work to secure a playoff spot. Thanks to the Chicago Wolves beating Manitoba, the Admirals will appear in the postseason after missing out on the playoffs last season.
The Rockford IceHogs and Manitoba were both mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The Iowa Wild, Grand Rapids, and Milwaukee all secured their playoff berth on Saturday.
Should the Admirals beat the Rockford IceHogs in their last regular season matchup on Sunday, they will face the Iowa Wild in round one. Should they lose, they will face the Chicago Wolves.