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Defending champs to play in Nashville

The Milwaukee Admirals, American Hockey League affiliate of the Nashville Predators and the reigning AHL Calder Cup champions, will take on the Rochester Americans on October 16 in a regular-season game at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville.

Face-off is set for 2:00 p.m., and the game is scheduled to be followed by an NHL tilt between the Predators and the St. Louis Blues at 7:00.

“We are very excited about hosting an American Hockey League game here at the Gaylord Entertainment Center,” said Hugh Lombardi, the arena’s senior vice president/general manager.

The Admirals defeated the Amerks in the Western Conference finals en route to their first AHL Calder Cup Championship in 2004. The game will be the second of the season for the Ads, as they begin defense of their title the night before, October 15th, versus the Chicago Wolves at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

“The Admirals were the best team in the American Hockey League last season and many of Milwaukee’s players are future Predators or have already played in a Nashville uniform,” said Predators Executive Vice President/General Manager David Poile. “We have an exciting winning tradition developing in Milwaukee and it will be great for the fans in Nashville to get a glimpse of the future of Predators hockey.”

The Admirals’ Calder Cup roster featured Predators prospects such as Scottie Upshall, Libor Pivko, Timofei Shishkanov, Andrew Hutchinson and Brian Finley. Over 80 percent of all players that competed in the NHL in 2003-04 were AHL graduates and more than 400 players took the ice in both leagues last year alone.