Despite firing 61 shots on goal, the Houston Aeros fell 5-4 in overtime Sunday night in Game 6 of the AHL's Western Conference Finals. The Aeros rallied late in regulation on goals by Nate Prosser and Jed Ortmeyer, but Nigel Dawes won it about halfway through the second overtime.
The Aeros couldn't cash in on three overtime power plays.
The Aeros, who once led 3-0 in this series and looked to me a second from playing Binghamton in the Calder Cup Finals, now must play a Game 7 Tuesday. The Aeros beat Milwaukee in Game 7 last round.
If Hamilton wins, it'll be only the third team in AHL history to rally back from an 0-3 deficit and win.
Here's the boxscore and here's the report from the Aeros:
AEROS POSTGAME REPORT
MAY 22, 2011: HAM 5, HOU 4 (2 OT)
HOUSTON --- Nigel Dawes scored at the 9:11 mark of the second overtime to lift the Hamilton Bulldogs past the Houston Aeros 5-4 in Game 6 of the American Hockey League’s Western Conference Finals on Sunday at Toyota Center.
The Bulldogs forced a decisive Game 7 with the victory. That contest is set for Tuesday, May 22 at Toyota Center at 7:05 p.m.
Down 4-2 with under 10 minutes left in the third period, the Aeros rallied for a pair of goals to force extra time.
Nate Prosser broke through with his first goal of the postseason at 11:02 of the third period to pull Houston within a goal. Jed Ortmeyer followed that up with 1:56 left in regulation with his fourth goal of the playoffs and third of the series. Colton Gillies and Warren Peters assisted on both of Houston’s third period goals.
Chad Rau and Robbie Earl had the other Houston goals. Aeros netminder Matt Hackett made 33 saves in the loss.
Both Dawes and Andreas Engqvist scored twice for Hamilton while goaltender Drew MacIntyre stopped 57 shots for the win. Houston's 61 shots tied a record for the second-most shots in one playoff game and were the most since Houston peppered Hamilton’s Ty Conklin with 84 shots in Game 2 of the 2003 Calder Cup Finals.
Rau and Engqvist traded first period goals, while Earl’s second period tally put Houston up 2-1. Dustin Boyd and Dawes combined for two goals in 2:20 in the late stages of the second period to help the Bulldogs carry a 3-2 lead into the third period.
Engqvist struck again with a short-handed marker just 27 seconds into the third period to take a 4-2 lead for the Bulldogs, but the Aeros pressured and outshot Hamilton 19-3 in the third period.
Houston fell to 1-11 all-time and 1-7 in Calder Cup Game 6 situations… The Aeros power play has at least a goal in 13 of 17 playoff games… Carson McMillan returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games… Hamilton has a short-handed goal in three straight games… Tonight’s game was the 10th time in franchise history the Aeros have gone to two overtimes and the ninth time in Calder Cup Playoff action… The 29:11 of overtime action marked the fourth-longest playoff game in Aeros history… Houston was unable to capitalize on three power plays in overtime but held Hamilton scoreless on a pair... Maxim Noreau appeared in his 42nd playoff game as an Aero to crack the top five for games played in team history. He finished with an assist on Earl's second period goal to pull into a third-place tie with 16 all-time helpers along with Stephane Veilleux.
F – DiSalvatore, O’Sullivan, Rau
D – Spurgeon, Bagnall
G - Hackett
Fraser, Penner, Lofquist, Foucault, Bulmer, Campbell, Fredheim, Morency, Buck, Kassian, Broda, Cuma
Western Conference Finals – Game 7
Tues., May 24, 7:05 p.m. (CST)
Dawes (9:11, 2nd OT)
HOU: Hackett (33/38, L)
HAM: MacIntyre (57/61, W)