The 2021-22 Madison Capitols have accomplished what no other Capitols team in franchise history has before, advance to the Clark Cup Finals.
The Capitols downed the Muskegon Lumberjacks 8-4 in tonight's Eastern Conference Finals Game 5. Madison trailed 1-0 after the opening minutes and buried eight goals in the final 40 minutes of regulation for the fourth time this season.
"It hasn't really sunk in," Caps head coach Tommy Upton said. "If there was one word to sum this up, it would be proud. I'm proud to work for this great team and proud to coach this group of incredible players and more importantly people. What's helped with our success is how close they are and how good of people they are. I absolutely love our team. I am proud but just more happy for them because this is their accomplishment."
The Capitols began their run of goals just 66 seconds into the 2nd period when Jake Dunlap fed a backdoor pass to Tyler Haskins on a 2-on-1 to equalize the game at 1-1. The Caps extended their lead to 2-1 when a loose puck squirted out to defenseman DJ Hart at the point who then ripped a snapshot home. Jack Musa continued his tirade on the 2022 USHL postseason when he buried his 6th goal of the playoffs off a one-timer from the slot to make it 3-1 at 9:30 of the 2nd period.
After 40 minutes of hockey, Madison led Game 5, 3-1. They weren't done yet. The Caps rattled off five more goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation and led 6-1 before Muskegon would score to answer. The Capitols got lamp lighters from Jack Musa, Reid Pabich, Luke Mittelstadt and Kyle Kukkonen to put away the Lumberjacks and become the Eastern Conference's top team.
Madison outshot Muskegon 41-32 in the contest and had four multi-point scorers. Reid Pabich (2G, 1A), Jack Musa (2G), Jake Dunlap (4A) and Kyle Kukkonen (1G, 2A) all recorded multi-point games for the Capitols in tonight's series deciding game 5.
The Capitols will face the Sioux City Musketeers in the ClarK Cup Finals with game 1 dropping the puck Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. in Sioux City.