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Aeros-Admirals Game 5 Preview

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

2011 American Hockey League Playoffs
West Division Finals

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

MAY 6, 2011
TOYOTA CENTER (7:3 5 p.m. CST)
BEST-OF-7 (TIED 2-2)

The Houston Aeros and Milwaukee Admirals battle in a best-of-seven series in the second round of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. Milwaukee took a 1-0 series lead with a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Houston countered with a 2-0 shutout in Game 2. The Ads won Game 3 by a 5-3 count and Houston came back with a 3-2 OT win in Game 4 to even the series. 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 six games.

--- Houston is 3-7 all-time in playoff series when losing Game 1.
--- The Aeros are 10-6 all-time in series when they split the first two games.
--- The Aeros are 10-5 all-time in Game 4 Calder Cup Playoff action (5-4 at home).
--- Houston is 5-1 in series that were tied at 2-2 and have won the last four series in which that occurred.
--- The Aeros are 5-1 in Game 5 of a series that was tied 2-2. They have won the last three occurrences.
--- When trailing 2-1 in a best-of-seven Calder Cup Playoff series, the Aeros are 2-3 in Game 4 and 2-3 in the series
--- The only Aeros team to trail 2-1 in a series and come back to win the series was the 2003 Calder Cup Championship team. That club did it twice, once in the Western Conference Semifinals and once in the Calder Cup Finals.
--- The Game 2 shutout was Matt Hackett’s first as a pro in the postseason and Houston’s first since May 7, 2009, when the Aeros blanked the Admirals 2-0 at Toyota Center in Game 4 of the West Division Finals. It was their 14th shutout overall.
--- Robbie Earl notched three assists in Game 3, just one shy of a team playoff record.
--- Brett Bulmer, Minnesota’s second round draft pick in 2010, made his pro debut on April 28 at MIL in Game 1.
--- 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.
--- Carson McMillan has two overtime game-winners this postseason and is the first Aero to ever record multiple OT game-winners the playoffs.

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

West Division Final – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W2-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 29 – Houston 1 at Milwaukee 3
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – Houston 2 at Milwaukee 0
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – Milwaukee 5 at Houston 3
Game 4 – Thu., May 5 – Milwaukee 2 at Houston 3 (OT)
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

--- This is the fifth playoff clash between the Aeros and Admirals. The series is tied at 2-2.
--- Lost 3-1 in 1998 Western Conf. Quarterfinals.
--- Won 3-0 in 2003 Western Conf. Quarterfinals.
--- Lost 4-0 in 2006 West Division Finals.
--- Won 4-3 in 2009 West Division Finals.

--- 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.

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.

The Houston Aeros scored twice on the power play and staged a third period rally but the Milwaukee Admirals took a 2-1 series advantage in Game 3 of the American Hockey League’s West Division Finals with a 5-3 victory over the host Aeros on Tuesday night at Toyota Center. Steve Begin scored the deciding goal with 9:35 gone in the third period and added two helpers for the Admirals. Ryan Thang, Andreas Thuresson and Mike Bartlett each delivered a goal and an assist for Milwaukee. The Ads were backstopped by Jeremy Smith’s 31 saves.

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

--- Matt Hackett went 4-0 in the first round versus PEO with a 1.68 GAA and .932 SV%.
--- Hackett is 3-1 on the road with a 2.50 GAA and .894 SV%. At home, Hackett is 3-1 with a 2.36 GAA and .889 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) in the regular season.
--- Josh Tordjman was 4-1-0 in six overall appearances during the regular season.

POWER PLAY --- Is 4/19 versus MIL… 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 --- MIL is 1/17 in the series… 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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