Aeros, Bulldogs begin Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced the following schedule for the Western Conference Finals series in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs:

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
W2-Houston Aeros vs. N1-Hamilton Bulldogs

Game 1 – Fri., May 13 – Hamilton at Houston, 8:35
Game 2 – Sun., May 15 – Hamilton at Houston, 5:05
Game 3 – Tue., May 17 – Houston at Hamilton, 7:30
Game 4 – Wed., May 18 – Houston at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 5 – Fri., May 20 – Houston at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 6 – Sun., May 22 – Hamilton at Houston, 5:05
*Game 7 – Tue., May 24 – Hamilton at Houston, 8:05

*if necessary… All times Eastern

The Houston Aeros (top affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild) improved to 5-0 all-time in Game 7’s with a 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday night. All five of those Game 7 wins have come on the road. The Aeros are conference finalists for the fourth time in their 10 seasons of play in the AHL.

The Hamilton Bulldogs (top affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) have reached the conference finals for the fifth time in the last 10 seasons, advancing with a seven-game victory over the Manitoba Moose that was capped by a win in the longest Game 7 in the AHL’s 75-year history, a 2-1 triple-overtime decision on Monday night.

The Eastern Conference Finals begin on Thursday, with the Charlotte Checkers (top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes) taking on the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa).

Full 2011 Calder Cup Playoff scores and schedules