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Saturday, June 03, 2006 

Rinne Backstops Admirals to 10th Straight Playoff Win

The Admirals crowd was less than impressed with the music clip that encouraged them to do the "Hey Pekka Rinne" dance to the tune of the Macarena, however, they were impressed by the thirty-six save performance he turned in on the ice. "He was very good, he made key saves at key times, and that's what we expect from him. He's a good goalie, he's very athletic. We've got to expect it, and this is what he gives us," said Head Coach Claude Noel. "I don't know that we want to give him that many chances in a game, but the chances were pretty even tonight (19 for Milwaukee vs 20 for Hershey)."

Hershey Head Coach Bruce Boudreau agreed, "We couldn't get anything by him for the longest time, and we were probably lucky to get the one by him that we did. I thought he was the difference in the third period."

Regarding the odd scheduling of the last two rounds of the playoffs, Boudreau added, "I thought it was perfect timing, quite frankly, we had seven days off and played a game. It was a highly emotional game, but then the three days off were perfect to get (his players) rested again and revved up again for the next series. The seven days off will give us about a month of inactivity. Both teams have had time off before, and we've come out to win 5-0 and get a 4-0 lead. And these guys (Milwaukee) came out with energy to light up Milwaukee. I think if anything it will make the hockey better. I'm sure that by tomorrow they are starting to get a little hatred for each other, and I'm sure by tomorrow they will have more. If you can't get emotionally up for the Calder Cup Playoffs, you wouldn't be here. It's got to be controlled emotion. If it's not controlled you can be stupid and take too many penalties."

Boudreau took exception with the play of two of Milwaukee's star players Jordin Tootoo and Scottie Upshall, both recent returnees from the NHL's Nashville Predators, "We took five minors in the first period, and had three power plays, so there wasn't very much five on five hockey in the first period. Maybe we would have taken a couple of more penalties if the ref hadn't been smart enough to see they were diving every time they were getting hit. It just blows me away that Jordin Tootoo trying to kill people, and then you blow on him and he goes down looking for a penalty. And (Scottie) Upshall does the same thing. You live and learn."

Noel added, "One area we need to get better at is face offs, we never started with the puck it was pathetic. If the doesn't change it's gonna be a heck of a series."

A constant theme under Noel has been managing the game with a lead, and he felt that the team did a good job there tonight, "I thought we did ok, we did some good things. We weren't going to go overboard and go crazy. I was happy with how we managed things, we would have liked to have gone more on offense in some areas. But we were up 2-0 and you have to give them credit, I thought they played a good game, the game they needed to play. We got out front early and they stuck with it and did. It was a good game, an exciting game, probably a little close for me, but we won. It would have been nice if (Darren) Haydar would have given us some relief, but he hit the post (with an empty net and only thirty seconds left in the game)."

Haydar and Upshall provided all the offense that Rinne would need in the first period. Upshall tapped in a rebound from a Rich Peverley shot to give Milwaukee the 1-0 lead. Darren Haydar scored his League Leading fifteenth goal of the post season from the point on the power play on a blast that rocketed past Frederic Cassivi to put Milwaukee up for good. Lawrence Nycholat fired one past Rinne to close the gap late in the third period, but Rinne closed the door to save the game after that.