Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Aeros even up second-round series with shutout; World Championships update

Posted by: Michael Russo under On the road, Wild off-season news Updated: May 1, 2011 - 8:24 PM

Quick blog as I don't want to keep my eyes off the Tampa-Washington third period any more than I have to.

The Houston Aeros evened up their best-of-seven second-round series with Milwaukee on Sunday night with a 2-0 win at the Bradley Center. Matt Hackett stopped 20 shots for Mike Yeo's crew and Warren Peters and Colton Gillies scored the goals. For Gillies, who scored a goal in the Wild's season-finale win over Dallas, that was his team-leading fourth goal of the playoffs.

Click this link for the Aeros' stats and below is the game report from the Aeros:


MILWAUKEE --- Warren Peters and Colton Gillies scored and goaltender Matt Hackett made 20 saves as the Houston Aeros took a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals in Game 2 of the American Hockey League’s West Division Finals at the Bradley Center on Sunday.

Peters gave the Aeros their first 1-0 lead of the 2011 postseason at 11:47 of the first period with a power play tally. Colton Gillies added an even-strength goal 3:56 into the third period for his fourth postseason marker.

Hackett turned aside nine shots and helped shut down three Milwaukee power plays in the first period. The shutout was 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.

The win evened up the best-of-seven series at one game each and confirmed that the series will go at least five games. The Aeros will have three home games at Toyota Center with Game 3 on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. The 2-3-2 series resumes with Game 4 on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. while Game 5 is set for Friday with a 7:35 p.m. puck drop.

Aeros tickets are available via aeros.com, the Toyota Center Box Office, by calling 1-866-GO-AEROS and at select area Randalls locations. For groups or packages, please call 713-974-PUCK.

BOMB DROPPINGS
The Aeros improved to 8-9 in Game 2 Calder Cup Playoff action and 4-5 on the road… Houston is now 4-7 all-time in postseason play at the Bradley Center... The Aeros are 10-6 all-time when they split the first two games of a playoff series.

AEROS STARTERS
F – Almond, DiSalvatore, O’Sullivan
D – Prosser, Falk
G - Hackett

AEROS SCRATCHES
Fraser, Penner, Lofquist, Foucault, Campbell, Fredheim, Morency, Buck, Kassian, Broda, Cuma, Daoust

NEXT GAME
West Division Finals, Game 3
Tuesday, May 3 (7:05 p.m.)
Toyota Center

DECIDING GOAL
Peters (11:47, 1st)

POWER PLAYS
HOU: 1/6
MIL: 0/6

GOALIES
HOU: Hackett (20/20, W)
MIL: Smith (22/24, L)

SERIES
Tied 1-1

 

Over in Slovakia in the world championships, a number of Wild players are participating.

Canada trounced France Sunday, 9-1. Brent Burns had a goal and Cal Clutterbuck had an assist. Canada is 2-0. It beat Belarus, 4-1, the other day. Burns led the game with 22:29 of ice time. As I've mentioned for years, Canada coach Ken Hitchcock adores Burns as a player, so he's getting him some ice time.

Next up for our friends from up north is Switzerland on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Finland beat Denmark 5-1. Mikael Granlund scored a goal and was named best player in the game. Mikko Koivu had an assist. Finland plays Latvia on Monday.

In the Czech Republic's 4-2 win over Latvia on Saturday, Martin Havlat scored a goal and assist. Marek Zidlicky was held scoreless. The Czechs play Denmark on Monday.

Germany is 1-1. On Friday, Germany shut out Russia, 2-zip, behind Dennis Endras' 31 saves. Sunday, however, Germany lost 4-3. Endras did not play. Germany plays Slovenia Tuesday.

The U.S., by the way, beat Austria on Saturday, 5-1, and plays Norway on Monday. Blake Wheeler scored in the win over Austria. Derek Stepan had two assists.

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