The Coachella Valley Firebirds continued their playoff success on Thursday night, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals 6-4 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Read the game’s full box score HERE.
🎙️🔥 Captain Max McCormick and Firebirds head coach Dan Bylsma post game after @Firebirds take Game 1 over the Admirals.— Blake Arthur (@BlakeArthur24) May 26, 2023
Game 2 is Saturday at @AcrisureArena. @KESQ @BaileyKESQ @Tarp1969 @Qassignmentdesk @TheAHL @CalderCup pic.twitter.com/aE8h0cmIva
As the tale of the tape showed, these teams are pretty eventually matched and it really showed in this game.
The Firebirds struck first with Tye "Karts" Kartye scoring early in the first period.
KARTS GETS US STARTED pic.twitter.com/AsCbiNL3UO— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 26, 2023
But the lead did not long as the Admirals came back and scored about 30 seconds later.
THE KING IS IN THE BUILDING 👑 pic.twitter.com/rf2wkEJyNF— x - Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) May 26, 2023
The Firebirds came back in the second period with a goal by Jimmy "Jimbo" Schuldt.
JIMBO WITH THE SHORT HANDED GOAL— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 26, 2023
BIRDS LEAD 2-1 pic.twitter.com/wF3Y5Ji2xx
But again, the lead did not last long as the Admirals scored about two minutes later.
TIED AT TWO— x - Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) May 26, 2023
THANK U PHIL 🚨 pic.twitter.com/1fWFkLgA9q
The Admirals took the lead in the third period and it stayed 3-2 for a good couple of minutes until a goal by Firebirds Captain Max McCormick, a Wisconsin native.
MAX TIES THE GAME 3-3 pic.twitter.com/f8Zx1Lo16k— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 26, 2023
Coachella Valley took the lead a minute later and never looked back thanks to goals by McCormick and Andrew Poturalski.
BIRDS LEAD 4-3!!! pic.twitter.com/R4O8z9TFOp— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 26, 2023
BIRDS ON FIRE!! WE LEAD 5-3 pic.twitter.com/VzxA00peew— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 26, 2023
McCormick got his hat trick with an empty net goal late in the third period. It's the first hat-trick of the playoffs for the Wisconsin native.
The Admirals got one back to cut the lead down to 6-4 but it was too little too late.
Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals takes place Saturday at Acrisure Arena. Click here for tickets.
Meanwhile, on the east coast, the Hershey Bears beat the Rochester Americans tonight to tie the Eastern Conference Finals 1-1. The winner of this series will go on to the Calder Cup finals against the Winner of the Western Conference Finals.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on the AHL playoffs and the Coachella Valley Firebirds.