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Aeros Headed To Cup Finals

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

MAY 24, 2011: HOU 4, HAM 3

HOUSTON --- Jon DiSalvatore scored with 1:13 left in regulation to lead the Houston Aeros past the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-3 in Game 7 of the American Hockey League’s Western Conference Finals on Tuesday at Toyota Center.

Houston earned the Robert W. Clarke Trophy as the American Hockey League’s Western Conference champions for 2010-11 and advanced to the Calder Cup Finals for the second time in franchise history. The Aeros will square off against the Binghamton Senators starting with Games 1 and 2 at Toyota Center on Friday and Saturday night, both at 7:35 p.m.

Casey Wellman scored twice for the Aeros while Patrick O’Sullivan chipped in with a pair of helpers including the primary assist on the winning goal. Chad Rau delivered a goal and an assist.

Houston scored goals nine seconds apart starting at the 7:03 mark of the first period. Rau banged home a loose puck in front of Bulldogs goaltender Drew MacIntyre after O’Sullivan fed the puck from behind the net. Wellman quickly followed up with a shot the high slot that appeared to deflect off a Hamilton defender.

Dustin Boyd cut Houston’s lead in half at 9:13 and then Mathieu Carle tied it at 13:21 on the power play. Carle also had the primary helper on Boyd’s goal.

Wellman bagged his second goal of the game 2:42 into the middle stanza to put the Aeros back up by one, but the stubborn Bulldogs answered back with their second power play goal of the game at 9:57. Aaron Palushaj batted home a back door feed from Boyd for his seventh goal of the playoffs and third of the series to tie it at 3-3.

Aeros goaltender Matt Hackett turned aside 24 saves for the victory Houston. MacIntyre made 30 stops in the losing effort,

The Aeros improved to 6-0 in Game 7 situations in Calder Cup Playoff action… Houston improved to 8-2 in one-goal games… Casey Wellman joined Jon DiSalvatore, Robbie Earl and Colton Gillies as Aeros players with multiple-goal games this playoff campaign… Matt Hackett improved to 7-2 at home with the win.

F – Almond, Earl, Palmer
D – Spurgeon, Bagnall
G - Hackett

Fraser, Penner, Lofquist, Foucault, Bulmer, Campbell, Fredheim, Morency, Buck, Kassian, Broda, Cuma

Calder Cup Finals – Game 1
Fri., May 27, 7:35 p.m. (CST)
at Houston

DiSalvatore (18:47, 3rd)

HOU: 0/1
HAM: 2/3

HOU: Hackett (24/27, W)
HAM: MacIntyre (30/34, L)

HOU wins 4-3 

2011 Calder Cup Finals (best-of-seven) 

W2-Houston Aeros vs. E5-Binghamton Senators 

Game 1 – Fri., May 27 – Binghamton at Houston, 7:35 CT
Game 2 – Sat., May 28 – Binghamton at Houston, 7:35 CT 

Game 3 – Wed., June 1 – Houston at Binghamton, 6:05 CT 

Game 4 – Fri., June 3 – Houston at Binghamton, 6:05 CT
*Game 5 – Sat., June 4 – Houston at Binghamton, 6:05 CT 

*Game 6 – Tue., June 7 – Binghamton at Houston, 7:05 CT 

*Game 7 – Thu., June 9 – Binghamton at Houston, 7:05 CT 
   *if necessary
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