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Aeros-Admirals Game 1 Preview

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

2011 American Hockey League Playoffs

HOUSTON AEROS (2nd seed, West Division)
at
MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS (1st seed, West Division)

April 29, 2011
BRADLEY CENTER (7 p.m. CST)
BEST-OF-7 (SERIES TIED 0-0)

OVERVIEW
The Houston Aeros and Milwaukee Admirals battle in a best-of-seven series in the second round of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The series is a 2-3-2 format. Houston swept its opening round series versus the Peoria Rivermen by a 4-0 count while the Admirals edged the Texas Stars in seven games.

AEROS REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
The Aeros finished the regular season with a 46-28-1-5 (98 pts.) record for the No. 2 spot in the West Division. The Aeros had the most wins in both the division and the Western Conference. Only two other teams finished with more wins (WBS – 58, Portland -47). Milwaukee won the West Division title for the fourth time in eight years and topped 100 points for the fifth time since 2003-04. They finished with a 44-22-6-8 record.

NHL AFFILIATES
Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)
Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators)

SECOND ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
West Division Final – Best-of-7
Milwaukee Admirals vs. Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 29 – Houston at Milwaukee, 7:00
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – Houston at Milwaukee, 5:00
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – Milwaukee at Houston, 7:05
Game 4 – Thu., May 5 – Milwaukee at Houston, 7:05
*Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – Milwaukee at Houston, 7:35
*Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – Houston at Milwaukee, 5:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 10 – Houston at Milwaukee, 7:00
*if necessary; all times CT

REGULAR SEASON SERIES NOTES
--- The Aeros went 2-3-0-1 (2-1-0-0 at home, 0-2-0-1 on the road).
--- HOU went 5/30 on the PP while MIL went 7/26.
--- MIL won three games in regulation while wins for HOU came in extra time (one OT, one SO)
--- MIL scored five goals against the Aeros twice while HOU scored four goals once.
--- Five of the six games were decided by one goal, with the lone exception being a 5-2 win by MIL on April 1.
--- Patrick O’Sullivan led the Aeros (5-2-7) in scoring while Chris Mueller (3-4-7) led the Admirals.
--- MIL scored the first goal in four of the six games. HOU was 1-1-0-0 when scoring first.

PLAYOFF NUGGETS
--- The Aeros allowed the first goal in each of the first four games in the opening round of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs (versus PEO).
--- HOU outscored PEO 6-2 in the second period and 4-0 in the third.
--- Two of the four games in the first round were decided by one goal.
--- In AHL playoff action, Houston is 10-6 in Game 1 with a 3-5 record on the road.
--- Patrick O’Sullivan notched a point in each of the four games versus PEO (2-2-4).
--- Colton Gillies scored twice in Game 3 and became the 29th Aeros player to record two goals in a playoff game. No Aero has ever scored a hat trick in postseason play.

LAST GAME QUICK RECAP
Patrick O’Sullivan scored the game-winning goal and Matt Hackett made 23 saves in net as the Houston Aeros took a 2-1 victory in Game 4 and swept their best-of-seven series over the Peoria Rivermen in  the American Hockey League’s West Division Semifinals at Carver Arena. O’Sullivan’s breakaway goal came just 2:42 after Houston’s Drew Bagnall knotted the game at 1-1 at the 8:22 mark of the middle period.

BROADCAST INFO
Follow the Aeros on News Talk 1070 KNTH and online at AEROS.COM with Joe O’Donnell providing the play-by-play call. Watch every game at www.ahllive.com.

AEROS GOALIES
--- Matt Hackett has a 4-0 playoff record with a 1.68 GAA and .932 SV%.
--- Hackett won a personal season-high four in a row from March 13-20.
--- Hackett went 1-1-1 against the Admirals (2-1 SOL, 3-2 OTW, 5-1 L
--- Josh Tordjman was 4-1-0 in six overall appearances during the regular season.

REGULAR SEASON OVERALL LEADERS
Jon DiSalvatore led Houston in scoring with 61 points (28-33-61) in 80 games. Matt Hackett posted team-bests in wins (23), goals against average (2.37) and save percentage (.916).

AEROS SPECIAL TEAMS
POWER PLAY --- Went 3/24 in the opening round… Ranked 6th (20.2%) in the regular season… Jon DiSalvatore led the team with 14 PPG… Finished the season with goals in six-straight to set a season-high streak (18/45)…Also had goals in six-straight from Feb. 22-Mar. 4…  Had multiple PPG in 16 games and was 12-2-0-2 in those games.

PENALTY KILL --- PEO went 3/12 on the PP in the first round… Ranked 22nd (81.0%) in the regular season… Carson McMillan led the team with three SHG… Opponents were 16/46 on the PP in the final eight games of the season… Allowed at least a goal in a season-high seven straight (Mar. 22 – Apr. 2)… Held opponents to one or no PPG in 15 straight games until TOR went 2-for-5 on Jan. 23.
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