Admirals Drop Game 7 to Aeros
Milwaukee, WI--The Houston Aeros’ Casey Wellman scored game-winning goal with 1:21 left in the third period to capture game seven and advance over the Milwaukee Admirals by a final score of 4-2 Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.
The Admirals got some help from some familiar faces as Matt Halischuk (1g-1a) and Blake Geoffrion (2a) returned to the Admirals from the NHL for their first games in Milwaukee since February, and picked up two points a piece to help the Ads.
The Admirals got out to an early lead as Gabriel Bourque picked up his seventh goal of the postseason. Geoffrion fed the puck to Halischuk along the far boards and Halischuk spun around a defender and wrapped the puck around the net. Halischuk backhanded the puck at Houston goalie Matt Hackett and the puck bounced off his pad out to the top of the crease where Bourque chipped the puck over Hackett for the 1-0 lead.
Houston then managed to answer back just before the first period expired. Jared Spurgeon flung a wrister from the right point towards a crowd of skaters in front of Ads goalie Jeremy Smith, and Colton Gillies found the rebound first as he hit the puck past an outstretched Smith for the goal with just 12 seconds left in the period.
After a scoreless second period the Aeros took their first lead of the game 3:18 into the third period. Brett Bulmer wrapped the puck around the boards and Smith went to control it behind the net but couldn’t gather the bouncing puck. Carson McMillan was following and ended up with possession and tucked the puck inside the far post to put Houston up 2-1.
Five minutes later Milwaukee found themselves on the power play and Geoffrion, Bourque and Halischuk used some timely passes to convert for the Admirals. From the top of the circle Geoffrion sent the puck to Bourque below the goal line where Bourque immediately sent a pass to Halischuk in the slot. Halischuk then hit the one-timer in past Hackett at 8:26 to even the score at two.
With time winding down in the series finale the Aeros got the puck out of their zone and rushed ahead for a two-on-one. Wellman let go a perfectly placed wrister over Smith’s glove for the series clinching goal with 1:21 remaining in the game.
Houston then put away an empty net goal to ice the game and send them to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years.