Admirals take OT win to force Game 7

2011 Calder Cup Playoffs

Kelsey Wilson redirected home a shot by Ryan Thang only 61 seconds into overtime as Milwaukee emerged with a 5-4 win over Houston in a back-and-forth tilt at the Bradley Center on Sunday to force a Game 7 in the West Division Finals.

The seventh and decisive game will be played on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, with the winner advancing to the Western Conference Finals to battle either Hamilton or Manitoba.

The Admirals didn’t appear as though they would need overtime to win this one, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 3:24 mark of the second period. Rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis netted his first professional goal on the power play 4:46 into the game, Gabriel Bourque made it 2-0 with 1:31 left in the frame, and defenseman Roman Josi added another power play score early in the second.

Houston turned the tables in short order, though, tallying three goals in a span of 3:54 to knot the game up at 3-3. Jarod Palmer (9:42), defenseman Maxim Noreau (10:29), and captain Jon DiSalvatore (13:36) did the honors for the Aeros, with DiSalvatore’s marker coming on the power play.

The teams went into the final 20 minutes all tied up, but Aeros forward Patrick O’Sullivan broke the deadlock and put his team on top for the first time at 9:32 of the third period when he tapped home a loose puck beside Admirals goaltender Jeremy Smith for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Houston was within 4:44 of closing out the series when Milwaukee’s Chris Mueller collected a bouncing puck in the slot and rifled it past Aeros netminder Matt Hackett, setting the stage for overtime.

Mueller and Ryan Thang assisted on the game-winner by Wilson, with Thang picking up his fourth helper of the evening. Wilson ended up with three points (1-2-3), and Smith stopped 29 of 33 shots between the pipes.

Prior to this setback, the Aeros had won each of their previous 11 postseason overtime games dating back to the 2003 Calder Cup Finals against Hamilton.

West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W2-Houston Aeros || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 29 – MILWAUKEE 3, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – Houston 2, MILWAUKEE 0
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – Milwaukee 5, HOUSTON 3
Game 4 – Thu., May 5 – HOUSTON 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – HOUSTON 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – MILWAUKEE 5, Houston 4 (OT)
Game 7 – Tue., May 10 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00