If there was any question who was at the head of the AHL class in 2003-04, the answer came with an exclamation point on Sunday afternoon, as Milwaukee rolled to a 7-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and captured the Calder Cup 2004 championship in a clean four-game sweep of the Penguins.
The Admirals scored 65 seconds into the game and never looked back, upping the lead to 2-0 by the 5:00 mark of the first period, 4-1 after 20 minutes, and 7-1 with less than six minutes gone in the second.
Darren Haydar capped a stellar sophomore season by scoring twice and adding an assist while 23-year-old winger Simon Gamache recorded one goal and three assists in the clincher. Haydar finished as the AHL's postseason leader with 11 goals and 26 points.
Veteran backstop Wade Flaherty turned aside 31 shots for his 16th win of the postseason, an all-time AHL high. Named winner of the Jack Butterfield Trophy as MVP of the Calder Cup 2004 Playoffs, Flaherty wound up winning 14 of his final 16 starts in the postseason and finished with a seven-game winning streak.