Mark Van Guilder converted a rebound off Ryan Thang
's shot 10:42 into the second overtime period to lift the Milwaukee Admirals to a 4-3 win in Game 6 of the AHL Division Semifinal Series, lifting the Ads to a 4-2 series win over the Texas Stars.
Milwaukee, the AHL affiliate for the Nashville Predators, will face the Houston Aeros, AHL affiliate to the Minnesota Wild, in the Division Finals.
Milwaukee got off to a lead 4:20 into the first period on Mike Bartlett’s first point of the series. Andreas Thuresson received a pass from Kelsey Wilson and brought the puck around the left boards where he jammed a shot at the post and was turned away by Texas netminder Richard Bachman. Bartlett trailed the action and came in to flip the rebound past Bachman to give the Ads the early advantage
The Admirals had to kill off two penalties midway through the first period where Smith came up with some spectacular saves. The Ads penalty kill unit couldn’t hold on forever though as Texas managed a power play marker 4:41 into the second period. Smith slid out to his left and turned away a shot from Raymond Sawada but right-winger Colton Sceviour swooped in to slap the puck into the open net to even the score.
The Admirals came out swinging in the third period as they jumped out to a 2-1 lead just 1:28 into the period on Thuresson’s first goal of the playoffs. Wilson got the play started by finding Bartlett in the left corner where he controlled the puck and surveyed the ice. Bartlett then hit Thuresson perfectly in stride coming down the slot where Thuresson slid the puck past the outstretched leg of Bachman to light the lamp.
Texas would not end their season without a fight however as they netted the equalizer six minutes later from their leading scorer Travis Morin. Ondrej Roman had possession behind the Milwaukee net were he crept around and found Morin positioned at the top of the crease. Facing away from the net, Morin then flipped a backhander over Smith’s left shoulder to deadlock the score at two.
Neither team could manage a goal in the final 12:46 so they headed to their third overtime game of the series. Skating through the first overtime Milwaukee managed to survive as they got more miraculous saves from Smith as they were out shot by Texas 13-2.
Finally, after 90:42 of back-and-forth action, the Admirals managed to clinch the series when Van Guilder was able to beat Bachman for the final goal. Ryan Thang
got tripped up at the blue line but managed to poke the puck away and regain possession. He then skated up the right side and got an uncontested shot off at Bachman that bounced to the high slot. Van Guilder was right there to slap in the rebound for his second goal of the playoffs.
Bartlett (1g-1a), Thuresson (1g-1a) and Wilson (2a) paced the offense as they notched multiple point nights.
Smith earned his fourth Calder Cup Playoff victory to improve his playoff record to 4-2 as he made 52 saves, with 19 of those coming after regulation.
Bachman turned in an impressive performance for Texas as he helped keep the score close making 47 saves in the loss.