HAMILTON, Ontario --- Ryan Russell’s shorthanded goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Hamilton Bulldogs edged the Houston Aeros 4-2 in Game 5 of the American Hockey League’s Western Conference Finals on Friday at Copps Coliseum.
The Hamilton victory cut Houston’s series lead to 3-2 and forced Game 6 in Houston on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. at Toyota Center.
JM Daoust and Jed Ortmeyer scored the goals for the Aeros, who are now 6-6 all-time in Game 5 Calder Cup Playoff contests.
The Bulldogs opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Paul Zanette and Aaron Palushaj. Daoust pulled the Aeros within a goal early in the second period.
Russell’s third period shorthanded tally came with 8:22 gone by in the third period, but Ortmeyer again made it a one-goal game just 1:40 later.
Andrew Conboy sealed the win for Hamilton with an empty-net goal at 18:50 as the Aeros pressed for the equalizer.
Drew MacIntyre made 31 saves in goal for the Bulldogs. Matt Hackett suffered the loss with a 26-save outing.
BOMB DROPPINGS Houston is 1-2 all-time in Game 5 Calder Cup Playoff road games… The Aeros are 11-9 all-time in Calder Cup Playoff games in which they can eliminate an opponent…This playoff season, the Aeros are 2-3 when they can oust an opponent… Matt Hackett dropped to 5-4 on the road with the loss.
AEROS STARTERS F – DiSalvatore, O’Sullivan, Rau D – Prosser, Falk G - Hackett