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EAGLES, ADS SIMILAR - AND SO ARE PARENTS

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One reason the Eagles and Admirals are so similar in physical makeup, with 19 players between them standing 6-foot-2 or better, says Eagle Coach Bob Francis, is that their parent teams - Calgary (Salt Lake) and Vancouver (Milwaukee) - are in the same NHL division.

"They think along the same lines," Francis says. "Their priorities are size and speed, and they draft accordingly."The Eagles have 12 who go 6-2 or better, and four who are 6-4 or more. Steve Herniman, who didn't make this two-game playoff trip, is Milwaukee's tallest at 6-4, but the Admirals have six others who are 6-2 or 6-3.

Other Admirals who stayed home were goalie Troy Gamble, defenseman Curtis Hunt and right wing Todd Hawkins.

After losing Game 1 of the best-of-seven Turner Cup playoff series in the Salt Palace Friday, Milwaukee Coach Ron Lapointe said he wasn't about to panic and make "rush decisions" to bring those players in for Game 2 Monday night in the Palace.

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For their eight home games in March, the Eagles' average crowd was 8,145, with four of the audiences above 9,000. That boosted the season attendance average to 5,684.

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Club Most Valuable Defenseman Ken Sabourin was the Eagles' plus/minus leader with +32 through 76 games. He had a career-high 24 points. Rich Chernomaz was +30, Tim Sweeney +27 and Randy Bucyk +26.

Defenseman Brian Glynn, named the IHL's Most Valuable Defenseman and a first-team league all-star, led the Eagles in shots on goal with 257. Sweeney, the American-born IHL Rookie of the Year, led Eagle regulars in shooting percentage, connecting on 24 percent of his attempts.

Rookie defenseman Darryl Olsen was the top-scoring defenseman in the IHL with 66 points, beating out Glynn, who was second with 61 points, 11 ahead of the duo's closest competitors.

Rick Hayward broke the club record for penalty minutes with 419, beating Stu Grimson's mark of last year by 22.

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It was a roller-coaster year for the Eagles, with all the injuries and call-ups and the preseason losses of Paul Ranheim (to Calgary), Peter Lappin (to Minnesota) and Jim Johannson (to Chicago). "When all the smoke has disappeared," says Francis, "we finished right where we should have." That was second in the IHL West. Now, they have to prove again that they were just a little better than Milwaukee, which finished third.

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Marc Bureau, who returned to the Eagle lineup Friday after two weeks out with an eye injury that required surgery, scored a goal and two assists Friday and has had points in 14 of his last 15 games. Chernomaz has scored in nine of his last 10.

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Despite it being playoff-preparation week last week, the Francis family spent Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday moving into their new house. And they suddenly sold the old one during the week, too. Francis closed on that deal Friday afternoon before Game 1.

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Former Eagle Steve MacSwain, who played for Salt Lake two seasons ago, was on the preliminary roster for the 1990 U.S. national hockey team, which includes some NHL veterans like Phil Bourque and Guy Gosselin. Team USA gets into World Tournament play Monday against Czechoslovakia. An Alaskan, MacSwain last played in Italy.

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Milwaukee has never won a Turner Cup. It was runner-up to the Toledo Goaldiggers in 1982-83. Milwaukee has not won a playoff series from Salt Lake. The Eagles eliminated Milwaukee in the semifinals last year and in the first round in 1987.

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Eagle goalie Wayne Cowley treated equipment manager Ernie Everett to a movie Wednesday. What was it? "Ernest Goes To Jail," of course.