Smolinski Helps Admirals Force a Game Six
May 9, 2009
Bryan Smolinski scored his first two goals as a Milwaukee Admiral and goalie Drew MacIntyre stopped 27 shots to lead Milwaukee to a 4-3 win over the Houston Aeros Saturday night at the Toyota Center.
The win moves the series back to Milwaukee with Houston leading the best-of-seven West Division Finals 3-2.
Smolinski scored his first goal at 10:09 of the first period, just 56 seconds after Houston's Corey Locke gave the Aeros a 1-0 lead with a power play goal. Ryan Jones chipped the puck ahead on the left wing boards to Smolinski. He sidestepped a check and skated to the left circle where his low wristshot beat Houston netminder Anton Khudobin to his glove side.
With 1:28 left in the first period, Houston defenseman Justin Falk fell down in the left circle of the Aeros zone and lost possession to Smolinski. Smolinski spun and fired a shot over Khudobin's right shoulder to give the Admirals a lead they wouldn't relinquish at 2-1.
In the second period, Smolinski made another play that led to an Admirals goal. The Aeros tried to clear their zone but Mark Matheson held at the left point. He tipped the puck to Smolinski who fed Andreas Thuresson in the high slot for a slapshot that beat Khudobin over his glove at 5:33.
Milwaukee scored the eventual game-winner with more good pressure in front of Khudobin. Jed Ortmeyer threw a shot on net that Khudobin saved. However, he kicked a big rebound to Kelsey Wilson in the slot. With Khudobin unable to scamper back into position, Wilson pounded the puck into the empty net for his first goal of the postseason at 10:24. It was Milwaukee's 12th shot of the peiod and it chased Khudobin to the bench in favor of Matt Climie.
Climie played very well, stopping all 16 shots he saw the rest of the way and allowing the Aeros a chance to get back into the contest. Houston's Locke scored his second power play goal of the night at 8:52. Then, former University of Wisconsin standout Robbie Earl tipped a pass from former Admirals forward Marco Rosa into the net with 1:50 to play, also on the power play, to make it 4-3. The Aeros were unable to get the tying goal.
Milwaukee outshot the Aeros 19-8 in the second period while the Aeros turned the tables and led in the third in the same category, 14-9.
The win was Milwaukee's first in the postseason when the opposing team scored first.
The teams will meet for game six of the series Monday night at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Faceoff is at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Sunday, May 10 at 9 a.m. at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of ten or more receive a discount on tickets through the Admirals office. It will open at 8 a.m. Monday, May 11. Call the office at (414) 227-0550.