Admirals win central division title; top Texas in game 5, 5-2

On the strength of four first-period goals, the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Texas Stars 4-2 in game five of the Central Division Finals to take the best-of-five series and advance to the Western Conference Finals where they will face Coachella Valley.

It's Milwaukee’s third visit to the conference finals since joining the AHL in 2001. The Admirals won both of their previous trips to the conference finals in 2004 and then again in 2006.

The win also marked the second straight series that the Ads won a game five to advance, and it upped Karl Taylor’s record as the team’s bench boss to an impressive 7-2 when the team faces elimination.

The Admirals came out blazing in the first period, scoring four times, including three times in 3:45 in the middle of the frame. Joakim Kemell scored two of those goals, his team-leading fourth and fifth of the post-season, while Adam Wilsby and Marc Del Gaizo also lit the lamp.

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From there the Admirals defense and goaltender Yaroslav Askarov kept the Stars at bay, allowing just one goal in the second and one in the third. The Stars bombarded Askarov with a combined 30 shots over the finals two periods, and he stopped 37 overall in the game to earn his sixth win of the playoffs.

Egor Afanasyev sealed the win with an empty netter with 28 seconds to play in the game.

The Admirals head on to face the Firebirds in a best-of-seven series that will begin with two games in Palm Springs. The Ads will host games three, four, and five on May 29, June 1, and June 3 respectively, at Panther Arena.  

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Tickets for all three home games are on sale now at or by calling the Admirals office at 414-227-0550.