Admirals blank Griffins, advance to conference finals

The Milwaukee Admirals are heading back to the Western Conference Finals after a 2-0 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Sunday evening.

The Admirals defeated the Griffins, three games to two, and will take on the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the conference finals for the second year in a row. That best-of-seven series gets underway Wednesday night in Palm Desert, Calif.

After replacing an injured Yaroslav Askarov late in Game 4 on Friday, Troy Grosenick got the start in Game 5 and stopped all 30 shots he faced for his third career Calder Cup Playoff shutout. It was the first postseason shutout by a Milwaukee goaltender since 2013 (Magnus Hellberg).

Milwaukee got on the board 4:53 into Game 5 when Cal O’Reilly sprung Zach L’Heureux on a shorthanded breakaway and L’Heureux beat Sebastian Cossa for his second shorthanded goal of the series and his league-leading eighth goal overall this postseason.

The 1-0 lead held until the Admirals got an insurance marker exactly 3:00 into the third period when rookie defenseman Ryan Ufko wristed a shot from between the circles and in blocker-side past a screened Cossa (34 saves).

Milwaukee improved to 4-0 this postseason when facing elimination.

(Milwaukee wins series, 3-2)
Game 1 – Wed., May 15 – Grand Rapids 4, MILWAUKEE 2
Game 2 – Mon., May 20 – MILWAUKEE 5, Grand Rapids 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 22 – Milwaukee 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., May 24 – GRAND RAPIDS 4, Milwaukee 2
Game 5 – Sun., May 26 – MILWAUKEE 2, Grand Rapids 0