The Milwaukee Admirals advanced to their first Calder Cup Final with a 4-1 victory over Rochester in Game 5 of the Western Conference championship series on Wednesday night.
The Admirals will open the title round either Tuesday or Wednesday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. It is the franchise’s first appearance in a league championship since 1983.
Greg Classen and Vern Fiddler each scored twice and Wade Flaherty shut down the Amerks with 44 saves on the night.
Fiddler gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead, and Derek Roy answered for Rochester with just 41 seconds left in the first period. But Milwaukee regained momentum before the intermission on Classen’s goal with 19 ticks left on the clock.
Classen and Fiddler iced the series with third-period goals. Classen had been held to just a single assist in his previous nine games, while Fiddler had two goals in his first 17 playoff matches.
The Admirals defeated the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (4-3) in the West Division semifinals and the Chicago Wolves (4-2) in the West Division final before eliminating Rochester to capture the Robert W. Clarke Trophy as the AHL’s Western Conference champions.
Established in 1990, the trophy honors the late Robert W. Clarke, who served as the Chairman of the AHL’s Board of Governors from 1967-94, and who, in 1956, played an instrumental role in the formation of the Rochester Americans.