Admirals fall to Griffins, Milwaukee to host must-win Game 5

Egor Afanasyev and Joakim Kemell gave the Admirals a 2-0 advantage through two periods, but Grand Rapids scored four times in a 3:30 span in the third to take a 4-2 win over Milwaukee in Game 4 of the Central Division Finals.

The Admirals' loss forces a decisive Game 5 on Sunday afternoon, a 5 p.m. pick drop at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

Since Karl Taylor took over as Admirals' head coach in 2018, this will be the sixth time the team have played a winner-take-all Game 5. They have gone 4-1 in the previous five.

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Afanasyev now shows five goals and six points in his past three games, while Kemell also has six points in the past three contests (1g-5a).

The Admirals held a 1-0 lead after the first period on Afanasyev’s fourth straight goal for the team over the past two games. Cal O’Reilly held the puck behind the Griffins net and found a crashing Afanasyev, who beat Griffins goalie Sebastian Cossa stick-side with exactly six minutes to play in the frame.

Kemell pushed Milwaukee’s lead to two with his first of the postseason when he deflected a Jake Livingstone shot at the 8:38 mark of the second.

The score stayed that way until midway through the third period when the Griffins scored a pair of power-play goals in a 90-second span to tie the game at 2-2. Jonatan Berggren scored the first of his three goals on the night at 8:03 of the third, and that was followed by Joel L’Esperance’s second of the playoffs at 9:33.

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Berggren scored the game-winner at the 10:06 mark of the final period and then added an insurance goal at 11:33.

The Admirals pulled Troy Grosenick, who had come on in relief late in the third for Yaroslav Askarov, for the final two-plus minutes of the game but were unable to find the back of the net.