Ads Bring Experience to Game Seven
Milwaukee, WI—The Milwaukee Admirals and Houston Aeros are headed to game seven after Kelsey Wilson knocked in the overtime game-winner on Sunday to give the Admirals a 5-4 victory and stave off elimination in game six.
This will be the second West Division Finals game seven between these two teams in the past three years, as they also squared off in 2009. That year the Ads forced a game seven after trailing in the series 3-1 before the Aeros prevailed in that ultimate game.
The Admirals enter game seven with a lot of experience on their roster in game seven situations, with thirteen skaters having been involved in a game seven on the professional level, including the NHL.
Two players, Mark Van Guilder and Scott Ford, have seen action in four game sevens throughout their pro careers, the most on the team. Last season the Cincinnati Cyclones won the Kelly Cup in the ECHL. Van Guilder and Ads goalie Jeremy Smith faced a game seven situation twice in that championship run, with Smith earning the Kelly Cup Playoff co-MVP Award.
Admirals center Steve Begin came into the playoffs with a wealth of experience, having played in three game sevens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the NHL. Begin, who has seen action in twelve NHL seasons, went 2-0 in game sevens with the Montreal Canadians and lost last year in the Divisional Finals as a member of the Boston Bruins.
All together there are 25 game sevens played by a skater currently on the Admirals roster. Van Guilder (4) and Ford (4) lead the way followed by Begin (3), Mike Bartlett (2), Andreas Thuresson (2), Smith (2), Mark Santorelli (2), Aaron Johnson (1), Mark Dekanich (1), Chris Mueller (1), Ryan Thang (1), Teemu Laakso (1) and Kelsey Wilson (1).
Last year the Admirals and the Chicago Wolves faced off in the Ads most recent game seven, with nine current Milwaukee skaters (Laakso, Ford, Thang, Santorelli, Thuresson, Mueller, Bartlett, Van Guilder and Dekanich) seeing action in that contest.
The Admirals, in their ninth trip to the postseason in ten AHL seasons, have been involved in five series finales winning two of these. The Admirals took down the Iowa Stars in the 2005 West Division Semi-Finals in game seven, and on their journey to win the Calder Cup in 2004 they beat the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in round one 5-1 in game seven, overcoming a 3-2 series deficit.