Article By: Nate Haeni
04/26/2011 9:35 AM - Rockford, Ill. – With the 2011 Calder Cup playoffs in full swing, the Division Finals are taking shape. The first round in the Western Conference saw the Houston Aeros sweep the Peoria Rivermen 4-0 and the Milwaukee Admirals take a 4-2 series from the Texas Stars.
One year after reaching the Calder Cup Finals, the Stars were unable to get by the top seeded Admirals with the series ending in a thrilling 3-2 double overtime win for Milwaukee on Monday night. The Admirals were led by left wing Gabriel Bourque as he chipped in nine points (5g-4a) in six games to rank fourth on the AHL playoff scoring chart.
Houston opened the post season knocking off Peoria twice at the Toyota Center, including a 3-2 overtime Game 2, and taking both games in Peoria to earn the clean sweep. Left wing Patrick O’Sullivan and center Chad Rau paced the way for the Aeros. O’Sullivan registered four points (2g-2a) in four games while Rau added two goals and an assist in four tilts for Houston. Goaltender Matt Hackett turned away 84 of 91 shots faced in the series and his 1.67 goals against average is an AHL playoff best among all netminders.
The West Division Finals for the Aeros and Admirals will begin on Friday, April 29 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The full West Division Final schedule is listed below:
West Division Final – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W2-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 29 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – Houston at Milwaukee, 6:00
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – Milwaukee at Houston, 8:05
Game 4 – Thu., May 5 – Milwaukee at Houston, 8:05
*Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – Milwaukee at Houston, 8:35
*Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – Houston at Milwaukee, 6:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 10 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00
The other West Division club taking part in the post season was the Oklahoma City Barons but they were eliminated by the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2.