The Manitoba Moose couldn’t seal the deal on Sunday as their season came to an end in Game 5 of the American Hockey League central division semifinals.
The Milwaukee Admirals won the series 3-2, edging Manitoba 2-1 in Sunday’s finale at Canada Life Centre.
The Moose dropped the first two games of the series in Milwaukee but stormed back to tie the series, winning two straight games at home.
Admirals’ goalie Connor Ingram made 28 saves after spending last week playing for the Nashville Predators in their first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.
Manitoba’s Mikael Berdin stopped 19 pucks at the other end.
Morgan Barron collected his fourth goal of the playoffs as Manitoba’s lone goal scorer of the afternoon.
The opening frame got off to a rather slow start as Milwaukee received the game’s first notable scoring chance seven minutes in.
Tommy Novak flew in across the blue line and beat Mikael Berdin with a quick slap shot, but not the crossbar.
With the game still scoreless well past the midway mark of the first, Milwaukee finally opened the scoring on a juicy rebound off the pad of Berdin.
Admirals’ captain Cole Schneider ripped the initial shot and Juuso Parssinen cleaned up the garbage to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Moose tried to tie the game with just over a minute left in the frame, but Mikey Eyssimont’s pass intended for Morgan Barron slid right through Ingram’s crease.
The Admirals outshot the Moose 13-4 in the first period and carried a one-goal lead into the dressing room.
Milwaukee began the second period with a powerplay and capitalized quickly by scoring their second goal courtesy of Tommy Novak. The score was 2-0 visitors.
Moments later the Moose received a man advantage of their own after Milwaukee’s Brayden Burke was called for slashing.
Ville Heinola shuffled a pass over to Morgan Barron at the point. Barron walked in and fired home a wrister, his fourth goal of the series, to cut the deficit in half and make it 2-1 for the Admirals.
That’s how the horn sounded at Canada Life Centre after 40 minutes.
The Moose looked far stronger in the middle frame, outshooting the Admirals 10-4.
Both teams came out firing in the third with multiple scrums ensuing during the first whistle.
David Gustafsson and Nick Hutchison were involved for the Moose, trying to create a spark just two minutes into the frame.
The roughhousing continued throughout most of the period as both teams continued to search for the period’s first goal with four minutes remaining.