Hackett, Aeros Shutout Admirals
Milwaukee, WI—The Milwaukee Admirals saw their fortunes reversed as they had their four-game winning streak snapped dropping game two to the Houston Aeros 2-0 Sunday night at the Bradley Center. The best-of-seven series is now tied one game each as the two clubs fly down to Houston for games three, four and five.
The shutout loss is the first for the Ads since March 11 against the Rockford IceHogs, and only the fourth time in 88 games this season they went scoreless.
The Ads controlled the puck in the Aeros zone for the majority of the first period, but could not solve Houston netminder Matt Hackett in spite of putting ten shots on net.
Halfway through the second period the Admirals found themselves in a hole as Grant Lewis got called for high-sticking giving the Aeros a 5-on-3 advantage. With three second left on the two man advantage the Aeros managed to beat Ads netminder Jeremy Smith to score the first power play goal of the series. The Aeros circled the puck around a triangle of Admirals defenders and Casey Wellmen finally got a clear shot off that Smith initially turned away with his pad. Unfortunately, Warren Peters tracked down the rebound and slapped the rebound past Smith to break the scoreless tie at 11:47 of the second period.
The Admirals had two power play opportunities to close out the second but had trouble getting quality shots on Hackett and came away empty handed. The Ads ended the game 0-for-6 on the man advantage and are now 0-for-9 in the series.
Houston earned their second goal of the night early in the third period. Marco Scandella broke up an Admirals rush at the Houston blueline, springing the Aeros on a 3-on-2 breakaway. Jed Ortmeyer led the attack rushing up center ice and dished it to left winger Colton Gillies. Gillies then reached back and unleashed a wrist shot that found its way just over the shoulder of Smith to give the Aeros a 2-0 lead with 16:04 to play.
The Houston defense held strong as the Admirals were only able to get three shot attempts at Hackett throughout the third period. In the win for the Aeros, Hackett recorded his first career shutout in the Calder Cup Playoffs making 21 saves in the process. Smith played well in net again for the Ads as he made 22 saves but took the loss, making his playoff record 5-3.
The series now shifts to Houston for games three, four and five beginning this Tuesday, May 3 at 7:05 pm at the Toyota Center. The Admirals will host viewing parties for all three games as well, with games three and five taking place at Major Goolsbys and game 4 at Buck Bradleys. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!