By Todd Richards, Special to OMC   Published Jun 07, 2006 at 9:13 PM
(Editor's Note: This is another installment of "Admirals Playoff Diary,"'s exclusive look at the Admirals' quest to win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup championship for the second time in three years. After splitting the first two games last weekend in Milwaukee, the Admirals travel to Hersey for Games 3, 4 and 5. Enjoy this installment from assistant coach Todd Richards and check back soon for another edition of "Admirals Playoff Diary.")

THIS SERIES WITH THE HERSHEY BEARS has been a different one in terms of scheduling. With nearly a week off between Game 2 in Milwaukee and Game 3 in Hershey, we’ve had a lot of practice time and a lot of off time.
I’m married and a father of two, so I spend as much of the free time with my family as I can. I love spending time with them and look forward to every chance I get to be with them.
The guys are working hard, and they’re anxious to get going again. Wednesday was a great day of practice. The focus was there and the intensity was up. They’ve done a good job of remaining focused with the added distractions of playing in June.
The weather is nice, and there are a lot of other places guys would rather be instead of skating in a cold rink. You eventually come to the point when guys are mentally and emotionally getting tired. Our job is to try and keep them fresh, keep things new and try to be innovative when they come to the rink every day.
One of the things that happens when you go deep into the playoffs is you lose out on time to do the other things you like. It’s a trade-off. I’m an avid golfer and love to golf, but I’ve only played twice. I know Claude Noel likes to fish, and he hasn’t been out more than a handful of times. If the series goes until June 17, that really eats into your free time in the off-season.
My hockey school in Milwaukee starts June 19, so I won’t have much time to relax before that. Then I go to Nashville, to take care of some business down there. Then my free time comes for about two weeks in the beginning of July.
I’m hoping to go back home to Minnesota with the family and visit my parents and other relatives back there. My kids love to be out at my parents’ lake place. They like spending time with their cousins and have a great time water skiing and tubing on the lake.
At the end of July, I take my family up to Grand Rapids, Mich. where I help my brother, Travis, coach a hockey school up there. It’s not so much of a vacation for me as it is for my family. My wife gets a chance to spend time with my brother’s family, and she enjoys that. The kids get a chance to hang out and do the things they like to do.
Once August comes around, I have one hockey school again in Milwaukee that I run and another that I help out with. By that time, work has started for the next season. Schedules are out, and it’s time to get back to it.
We’re very appreciative of all the fans that have come out and supported us during the playoffs. It’s great to see all the people, it really helps amp the guys up. Hopefully, if we’re back here for Game 6 and possibly Game 7, we will see even bigger crowds. It’s been a great post-season here in Milwaukee.