Jump shots are old news; let's talk slap shots. Sure, the Bucks are out of the playoffs, and that's a bummer – but (*puts on ESPN 30 for 30 voice*) what if I told you there was still an awesome Milwaukee sports team currently playing in the postseason?
Yes, while Deer District is now quiet, things are still loud, rowdy and cheering in and around the UWM Panther Arena where the Milwaukee Admirals are onto the next round of the 2022 Calder Cup playoffs, aka the AHL championship.
After dispatching the pesky Manitoba Moose in their first best-of-five playoff series, the Admirals are onto the Central Division Finals against the dreaded-but-certainly-not-feared Chicago Wolves – the top-performing AHL team in the regular season – for another tense five-game spat, beginning this weekend. On the line? A spot in the conference finals, one step away from the team's first Calder Cup appearance since 2006.
For fans of the sport, the only thing better than hockey is playoff hockey – arguably the creme de la creme of all sports postseasons. The game is faster, the action is sharper, the hits are harder – and this series in particular should be even feistier than the usual playoff battle since the Admirals and Wolves are longtime rivals, now duking it out for the honor of being the best in the Midwest.
And even if you're a hockey novice who has no idea what icing means and thinks "zamboni" is the sound a Batman punch makes, the Admirals put on a fabulous show. There's pro-level action on the ice – literally, many of the players you'll see during the series have seen time in the NHL or are on their way, especially since the Ads-affiliated Nashville Predators are out of the Stanley Cup chase – and pro-level entertainment off of it, with tasty food, goofy antics, fun games and, of course, the human hockey puck intermission contest.
So how can you get in on this awesome AHL action?
Unfortunately, since the Wolves are the higher seed, the series will start on the road for the Ads, with Game 1 hitting the ice in Illinois on Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Game 2 dropping the puck the next day at 3 p.m. However, you can still cheer on the team and make some noise with your fellow fans with a pair of Downtown viewing parties – one at Major Goolsby's for Game 1 and one Sunday afternoon at Buck Bradley's for Game 2.
The Admirals will then finally take the home ice for Game 3 on Wednesday, May 25 (plus potentially Game 4, if necessary, on Friday, May 27). Both potentially clinching games drop the puck at 7 p.m. at UWM Panther Arena. Tickets are currently on sale at the Admirals' website – costing as low as $10 for premium postseason hockey. Game 5, if the series goes the distance, would then return to Chicago – but expect another watch party here in Milwaukee to shiver the Wolves' timbers and cheer the Ads on to the conference finals.
And if you can't make it out to any of the games in Milwaukee or the watch parties Downtown, you can also follow along with the Admirals on AHL.tv, which offers streams of all the games on all your devices for either daily or full-postseason packages.
For more info on the Admirals, check out the team's website. And now, Milwaukee, if you somehow weren't already, it's time to hop aboard the Admirals ship – because while one Brew City team's postseason journey has ended early, another is hopefully just beginning.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.