For the second time in three years, the Houston Aeros have advanced to the Western Conference Final. In 2009, they lost to Manitoba. This time, they'll play Hamilton with the series beginning Friday. The winner plays the winner of Charlotte and Binghamton in the Calder Cup Finals.
Tonight, the Aeros beat the Milwaukee Admirals 4-2 in Game 7 thanks to three third-period goals after a 1-1 tie was taken into the period.
After the Admirals struck early, Colton Gillies tied the game with his team-leading sixth goal late in the first. After no goals in the second, Carson McMillan scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the third, but Matt Halischuk ultimately answered on a power play.
But with 81 seconds left in the game, Casey Wellman scored the winner on a 2-on-1 with his first goal of the series. Warren Peters iced it with an empty netter 17 seconds later. Matt Hackett made 30 saves.
Western Conference Finals – (best-of-7)
Game 1 – Fri., May 13 – Hamilton at Houston, 7:35
Game 2 – Sun., May 15 – Hamilton at Houston, 4:05
Game 3 – Tue., May 17 – Houston at Hamilton, 6:30
Game 4 – Wed., May 18 – Houston at Hamilton, 6:30
*Game 5 – Fri., May 20 – Houston at Hamilton, 6:30
*Game 6 – Sun., May 22 – Hamilton at Houston, 4:05
*Game 7 – Tue., May 24 – Hamilton at Houston, 7:05
All times Central
Also, here's my story on Ken Hitchcock talking about the play of Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck at the World Championships.
Lastly, my deepest sympathies to Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner and his entire family for the passing of Clayton's brother, Luke. Here is the sad story
Donations can be made to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce at 1596 Broughton Blvd., Port McNeill, British Columbia, V0N 2R0, Canada.