Milwaukee Admirals Face Survive and Advance for Game 5 against Texas Stars

The Predators have already reached their 2024 offseason, but their AHL affiliate Admirals have made it to a home Game 5 against the Dallas Stars affiliate.
Texas Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie (16) and Milwaukee Admirals center Juuso Parssinen (13) crash
Texas Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie (16) and Milwaukee Admirals center Juuso Parssinen (13) crash / Dave Kallmann / Milwaukee Journal

Even though the Nashville Predators have already set their tee times for the golf course this offseason, their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals are rallying with two-straight wins in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Game 7 is at home on Sunday.

There is a high interest among Predators fans in the Admirals. Watching the young talent of the prospect pool has really invigorate the fansbase with the Predators already eliminated, with players like Philip Tomasino, Juuso Parssinen and Zach L'Heureux taking the spotlight.

The Admirals have home-ice advantage in their Central Division Semifinal matchup with the Dallas Stars affiliate, the Texas Stars. The first two were on the road for the Admirals, and they dropped both games leaving them up against the wall to win three in a row at home. Two down, one to go.

Admirals play-by-play announcer Aaron Sims recapped a 4-1 Game 4 win by the Admirals, which saw L'Heureux scored two goals, Tomasino with one and Parssinen with an empty-netter to put the Stars away for good.

L'Heureux is really sticking out in these playoffs through four games, notching seven points and giving Predators fans a glimpse of what he might be able to bring in Predators training camp in a few months.

A keen eye is being kept on how Tomasino responds for the Admirals. His 2023-24 campaign with the Predators didn't good smoothly to say the least. He struggled to find adequate playing time, and even Head Coach Andrew Brunette's future outlook for Tomasino is bleak at best.

Producer Nick Kieser of 102.5 The Game shared this quote from Brunette on Tomasino's questionable work ethic:

Tomasino does look reinvigorated playing for the Admirals, and for obvious reasons you hope the Admirals can win Game 7 and keep this valuable postseason experience going for Tomasino and many other of these prospects who have high aspirations to be fulltime NHL players one day.

Parssinen also unexpectedly saw his NHL ice time pulled from him and was sent down to the Admirals. He also appears to be taking it in stride and producing in the Calder Cup Playoffs with five points (four assists) in three games.

This Admirals team is a wagon for sure, but the Texas Stars also have a quality roster representing the Dallas Stars who are currently on the hunt for the 2024 Stanley Cup. Their top prospect is Mavrik Bourque, a 30th overall pick in 2020, who had 77 points in the AHL regular season and 10 points in these playoffs.

There has been a switch between the pipes for the Admirals between the four games. Games 1 and 2, which the Admirals gave up 10 goals, were started by Yaroslav Askarov. The hopeful backup goalie for the Predators for 2024-25.

Askarov had a superb regular season for the Admirals with a ridiculous 2.39 GAA and .911 save percentage, but he got rocked in his two playoff starts persuading Admirals Head Coach Karl Taylor to switch to the AHL veteran Troy Grosenick.

Grosenick, who is undrafted and first cracked into the AHL in 2014-15, has been rock solid in his two playoff starts at home to even the series. He has surrendered just four goals on 56 shots faced for a .929 save percentage. He should no doubt be the Game 5 starter.

Spencer Stastney was recalled by the Admirals to boost the defensive corps after recovering from an injury suffered in the Vancouver Canucks series for the Predators. He hasn't played in the series yet, but might be available for Game 5 so keep an eye on that.

Finally, an awesome hype situation happened in the Admirals locker room before Game 3 when Mark Jankowski rallied the team. Jankowski played in 15 playoff games and 40 regular season games last season, but made the full-time jump and played vital minutes for the Predators in 2023-24.

You can't help but love the energy the Predators have with their AHL affiliate right now. Let's keep this train rolling with a Game 5 win to move on. The winner of Game 5 will advance to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins, affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings.