Milwaukee Admirals vs Texas Stars WCQF Preview

(Photo by: Scott Paulus Photography)

Western Conference Quarter Finals (Best-of-Five Series)

#8 Milwaukee Admirals (Record; points) vs #1 Texas Stars (43-22-11; 97 points)

Coverage from the enemy: Hundred Degree Hockey

The Milwaukee Admirals head to the AHL Playoffs for the eleventh straight season, an AHL record, to take on the Texas Stars, the best of the West. Since the Nashville Predators have only a few more games remaining in the season, it is likely the Admirals will receive three to five players before Game 3. For Texas, their NHL affiliate Dallas Stars are battling for a playoff spot, thus not likely to acquire anyone pending their postseason situation.

Series Schedule

Game # Away Home Date Time (CT)
Game 1 TEX MIL 4/26 7:00PM
Game 2 TEX MIL 4/27 7:00PM
Game 3 MIL TEX 5/1 7:30PM
Game 4* MIL TEX 5/3 7:30PM
Game 5* MIL TEX 5/4 7:00PM

* – If Neccessary

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
10/24 MIL TEX 1-3 TEX
12/5 TEX MIL 2-1 TEX OT

Top Three Admirals Scorers (on the roster)

(#) Name GP G A PTS
#17 Zach Hamill 73 19 25 44
#51 Austin Watson 73 20 17 37
#12 Mattias Ekholm 60 11 23 34

Top Three Stars Scorers (on the roster)

(#) Name GP G A PTS
#7 Colton Sceviour 62 21 31 52
#23 Travis Morin 59 12 32 44
#26 Mike Hedden 61 13 22 35

Goaltending Stats for Admirals

#45 Magnus Hellberg 22 13 0 6 .930 2.10
#30 Jeremy Smith 19 19 3 1 .907 2.77

Goaltending Stats for Stars

#41 Cristopher Nilstorp 19 13 3 4 .907 2.38
#1 Jack Campbell 19 13 3 2 .905 2.65

Key Players

Milwaukee: In the Admirals' race for the final spot, Magnus Hellberg came up big in their back-to-back-to-back winning all three and earning a shutout twice. Hellberg tied Brian Finley's record for career shutouts at six. To win this series against Texas, Hellberg will have to be on his game.

Number one defenseman Mattias Ekholm will be a big factor offensively and defensively. His goal will be to shut-down the other team's top line, while scoring points. It certainly won't be easy, but this is the playoffs.

Lastly, second liner Zach Budish will get his first taste of professional playoffs. Captain of the Minnesota Gophers this past season, Budish needs to produce offensively at a consistent level throughout the series. Succeeding in this postseason will show the Nashville Predators' management how good he really is and allow him the chance to come to training camp.

Texas: Whether it is Jack Campbell and Cristopher Nilstorp, they will have to be on. Like the old saying goes, "goaltenders win championships", will be true in this circumstance. If the Admirals aren't scoring, they're playing solid defense, but when they are scoring, the Stars' forwards need to match them. Campbell and Nilstorp are both capable of winning this series, which should be scary to the Admirals' faithful.

Leading scorer Colton Sceviour will be the go-to-guy for Texas. Sceviour will have to be good in clutch situations and try to maneuver himself around the Milwaukee defensemen.

Jamie Oleksiak is a man you can't miss. At 6'7", Oleksiak will use his speed to clear out players in front of the net. He will be most effective on the penalty kill, similar to the role Hal Gill plays for the Predators. However, the Toronto native isn't shy on the score sheet as he has 33 points (6g, 27a).

Series coverage will be on Fang Faction's Milwaukee Admirals page. Be sure to check in often for the latest news involving the Admirals, Stars and Nashville Predators.