The Milwaukee Admirals suffered another lopsided loss on Tuesday in game two of the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. The Admirals have not won a playoff game since 2013 and the first two games of this series have not inspired faith that 2019 will be any different.
After a 7-0 shutout on Sunday evening, the Admirals were looking to avenge themselves on Tuesday by evening the series. After one period it seemed like the Admirals were playing much better than they had on Sunday. Luke Kunin scored the first goal of the game for Iowa at 17:29 of the first period. With 1:20 left in the first, Justin Kirkland tied the game for Milwaukee.
Unfortunately, that was it for the Admirals. Matt Read, Mason Shaw, Gerald Mayhew, and Mike Liambas would all score goals for the Wild. Four of those goals came in the third period. Luke Kunin had a second goal as well; he now has three goals in this series.
Troy Grosenick was in net for Milwaukee for the full game and made 25 saves on 31 shots. Both teams had four powerplay opportunities, but only Iowa connected while on the man advantage. The final score was 6-1.
The AHL’s playoff format slightly varies from the NHL and even then varies based on the situation. The higher seed gets to choose whether they want to play the first two games at home or away. Then, based on mileage the format can either be 2-2-1 or 2-3. Since Iowa is over 300 miles away from Milwaukee, the format is 2-3. The Admirals, being the higher seed, chose to play the first two games away and the last three at home. Unfortunately for them, they remain winless at Wells Fargo Arena for the season and postseason.
Minnesota’s moves to Iowa at the end of the season have proven to be very beneficial. In this game alone, Minnesota regulars contributed to three of Iowa’s goals with either scoring the goal or having the primary assist.
Since the AHL’s first round format is a best of five, the Admirals will face elimination Thursday evening at 7:00pm Central in Milwaukee. The Admirals will unfortunately not receive reinforcements from the home club in Nashville as confirmed by David Poile in his end-of-season press conference Wednesday afternoon.