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Firebirds, Admirals embrace the unknown in first-ever meeting in WCF

We are down to a final four in the AHL Playoffs and the Coachella Valley Firebirds and Milwaukee Admirals held their final practices before their quest for a Western Conference title. 

"They are a different team, a team that presents a challenge we haven't seen this year," said Firebirds head coach Dan Bylsma. "They have a lot of big bodies. Looks like a basketball lineup rather than a hockey lineup. 6'6 is on their card for four or five guys."

Milwaukee Admirals

"They also have a lot of high end skill players too. They have a handful of guys that have played a good chunk of the season in the NHL. We are going to have our hands full with them but if we keep doing what we are doing I like our chances," said Firebirds goalie Joey Daccord.

The Firebirds and Admirals have been through it, both are coming off series where they have faced elimination games. 

"Both teams are grinding video and trying to prep and make their players aware of the other teams strengths and weaknesses. You are going to see two teams going after it early and probably pretty chaotic in the first 10 minutes," said Admirals head coach Karl Taylor.     

"We haven't played these guys and don't know much about them. We watched some film on them today. We are not going to change any of the things we do," said Admirals defensemen Marc Del Gaizo. "We are focused on our ourselves. 

Admirals Marc Del Gaizo

 "We have two guys that have won a championship in this league and one that has won a Stanley Cup," said Taylor. "We have some leadership in the room." 

 "Playoff hockey is a whole different flavor and whole different level," said Bylsma. "We win the first three rounds and beat the best team in Calgary, so it gives us an opportunity for more hockey and playoff hockey and that's what we all play for."

Be sure to stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage of playoff hockey.

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Bailey Arredondo

Bailey Arredondo is a Sports Anchor/Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. He joined the Desert’s News Leader in January 2022 here.


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