From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Saturday, May 9, 2009
AEROS FALL 4-3 TO MILWAUKEE IN GAME 5 AFTER LATE COMEBACK ATTEMPT
HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Aeros netted two goals within the last 12 minutes of the game but the late push wasn’t enough as the Milwaukee Admirals won Game 5 by a score of 4-3 Saturday night. Houston netted the opening goal but Bryan Smolinski netted two goals in the first period and added an assist on the Admirals’ third goal of the night, preventing his club from being eliminated. The series stands 3-2 in favor of the Aeros as the teams head to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Monday night.
Fans are invited to the Maple Leaf Pub Monday night to watch the 7:00 p.m. contest on their projection screen TV. The Leaf will air all road games during the Aeros Calder Cup Playoff run.
Admirals’ netminder Drew MacIntyre stopped 27-of-30 shots faced for his sixth win of the postseason. Starting Houston goaltender, Anton Khudobin, stopped 16-of-20 shots in the contest before being pulled in the second period. Matt Climie replaced Khudobin in the second period and stopped all 16 shots faced. Corey Locke added to his team point lead with a pair of goals in the contest giving him 13 points (7-6=13), tying him for the league lead in the playoffs.
At the midway point of the first period, the Aeros took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Locke. Only seven seconds into the power play, Locke took a pass from Maxim Noreau at the right wing half wall, skated inside the faceoff dot and blistered a shot past MacIntyre. The goal marked the third straight game in which the Aeros scored the opening goal of the contest and was Locke’s sixth of the playoffs.
Milwaukee veteran Smolinski took advantage of two turnovers following Houston’s goal. Smolinski tied the game less than a minute after the Aeros took the lead when he picked up a loose puck on a rush into the Aeros’ zone and beat Khudobin glove side. He gave the Admirals their first lead since Game 2 of the series at the 18:28 mark when Houston again turned the puck over and Smolinski was there to send it into the net. The marker also ended the Aeros shutout streak at 91:44 dating back to the second period of Game 3.
The teams finished tied with eight shots apiece in the first period and the eight shots marked the most in a period for Houston since the second period of Game 1. The Aeros had gone 10 straight periods of having seven shots or fewer before the first period.
At the 5:03 mark of the second period, the Admirals took a 3-1 lead on a goal by Andreas Thuresson. The right wing took a pass from Smolinski at the top of the slot and slapped it over the glove of Khudobin. Milwaukee continued to take advantage of the Aeros mistakes when Kelsey Wilson made it 4-1. Houston turned the puck over in the corner and Mike Santorelli snapped a shot on Khudobin that was saved, but Wilson was there to pick up the rebound and bury it into the open net. Khudobin was pulled in favor of Climie after the goal.
Milwaukee outshot Houston 19-8 in the period and extended their lead to three goals heading into the final 20 minutes.
Houston’s Mitch Love went to the box on a roughing penalty early in the third period giving the Admirals their second power play of the game. The Aeros kept Milwaukee out of the net for the 11th consecutive penalty kill dating back to Game 2 of the series. Houston also had a few good short-handed chances on MacIntyre but couldn’t convert.
The Aeros got their second man advantage of the game when Jessiman got called for elbowing. Houston would need nearly the entire two minutes but Locke was able to wrist the puck top shelf with 14 seconds remaining in the power play. John Lammers and Benoit Pouliot earned assists on the goal at the 8:52 mark that brought the Aeros down just 4-2.
Robbie Earl brought the Aeros within one when he converted on the Aeros third power play in as many chances on the night with 1:50 remaining in the contest. With Ryan Maki in the penalty box for the Admirals, Houston pulled Climie giving the club a 6-on-4 advantage. A number of shots were taken on MacIntyre before Earl was able to stuff the puck. Assists were awarded to Marco Rosa and Krys Kolanos.
Climie spent nearly the remainder of the game on the bench in favor of the extra attacker but the extra push wasn’t enough to tie the contest. Milwaukee kept the puck away from the net, preventing any good looks for the Aeros to hold on for the 4-3 final.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: The Calder Cup, Our Reason --