MILWAUKEE -- For the second time in three years, the Houston Aeros will play a Game 7 in Milwaukee for the right to advance and play in the AHL's Western Conference Finals.

Game 7 will take place Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.

The Aeros suffered a 5-4 overtime loss Sunday night when Kelsey Wilson redirected a Ryan Thang shot 1:01 into the extra session to stave off elimination for the Admirals. For Thang, an Edina native and former Notre Dame standout, it was his fourth assist of the game.

The loss was a disappointing one for the Aeros, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three second-period goals in a span of 3:54 by Jarod Palmer, Maxim Noreau and Jon DiSalvatore. Patrick O'Sullivan, who had three points, scored the go-ahead goal 9:32 into the third period.

But with the Aeros 4:44 from the third round, Chris Mueller scored the tying goal to force overtime -- the third straight OT between the teams.

The Aeros looked emotionally dejected and undoubtedly banged-up after this one. The trainer's room was jam-packed. So rookie coach Mike Yeo will have Monday's practice to get his team refocused on the task at hand.

"Playoffs aren’t any fun unless you get a chance to play a Game 7," Yeo said "It’s difficult, there’s no question, to sit here and say, ‘We had a chance to wrap it up.’ But we’ve won a lot of hockey games this year and we feel a lot of confidence in that room. We have a chance to go out here and play a great game and put all our chips in and give ourselves a chance to win a Game 7. … If you want to accomplish moving on and having success further past this series, then you have to play these hard games."
 
I thought the Aeros actually had the better of the chances in the first, but the Admirals built a 2-0 lead on a couple goals you can bet Matt Hackett would want back. Roman Josi made it 3-0 early in the second, and a few minutes later, Josi fell over top Hackett. Hackett was fuming, and the Aeros jumped to the goalie's defense.
 
Josi was knocked to the ice, then got up, skated to the crease and pushed Hackett. Hackett then skated to the corner to get at Josi.
 
The refs evened up the calls, informed a very calm Yeo of the calls and then Yeo called time. He called his players over and calmly addressed the team.
 
It was a big moment because from that point on, the period was all Houston. Milwaukee barely entered the Houston end.
 
By the end of the period, it was 3-3 and could have been 4-3 then if not for goalie Jeremy Smith's big saves on a late power play.
 
"We just didn’t have our heads at that point," Yeo said of his team before the timeout. "We weren’t playing our game. If you’re going to lose, that’s one thing. But go down swinging. We came back last game, scored two goals in four minutes. The direction it was going, we had no chance. It would have been way uglier, way worse. I give the guys credit."
 
But overall, Yeo wasn't happy with certain elements of Houston's game and said the Aeros need everybody on board Tuesday.

O'Sullivan played a great game, as did Palmer and DiSalvatore. Nate Prosser was steady. Brett Bulmer saw some ice, drew a penalty, showed his mean streak.

Now he'll get a chance to play in a Game 7, as well as the rest of the Aeros. Houston's had a great season and you bet it wants it to continue. I'd expect a hard-nosed, amped-up performance Tuesday.