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 drop second straight, will return home for Game 6

Posted by: Michael Russo under On the road, Wild off-season news Updated: May 21, 2011 - 9:04 AM

The Aeros, after building a 3-0 series lead, are having trouble finishing the Hamilton Bulldogs off. With Binghamton just waiting its Calder Cup Finals opponent, the Aeros lost their second in a row last night by a 4-2 score. Game 6 will be in Houston at 4:05 p.m.

According to the AHL, of the 122 AHL teams to trail a series 3-0, Hamilton is just the 15th ever to force a Game 6.

Here's the below release from the Aeros:

AEROS POSTGAME REPORT
MAY 20, 2011: HAM 4, HOU 2

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 the series to return to Houston. Game 6 is set for 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. Palushaj, who had the game-winning goal on Wednesday, bagged his sixth of the postseason.

Daoust's goal, his first of the playoffs, pulled the Aeros within a goal early in the second period.

Russell's 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. Ortmeyer's goal was his third of the postseason and second of the series.

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... Jed Ortmeyer has two goals in the series. He had been held without a goal since Game 1 of the opening round versus Peoria.

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

AEROS SCRATCHES
Fraser, Penner, Lofquist, Foucault, Bulmer, Campbell, McMillan, Fredheim, Morency, Buck, Broda, Cuma

NEXT GAME
Western Conference Finals – Game 6
Sun., May 22, 4:05 p.m. (CST)
at Houston

DECIDING GOAL
Russell (8:22, 2nd)

POWER PLAYS
HOU: 0/6
HAM: 1/4

GOALIES
HOU: Hackett (26/29, L)
HAM: MacIntyre (31/33, W)

SERIES
HOU leads 3-2
 

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