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WESTERN AND EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS SET

By: Nate Haeni
05/11/2011 10:03 AM - The Houston Aeros dropped the Milwaukee Admirals 4-2 in Game 7 of the West Division Finals to set the 2011 Calder Cup Final Four.

The Eastern Conference Finals will begin on Thursday with a matchup at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte between the third seeded Charlotte Checkers and fifth seeded Binghamton Senators.

In their first American Hockey League season, the Checkers advanced after eliminating the two-time defending champion Hershey Bears and regular season champion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in six games.  Center Zac Dalpe led the charge with 12 points (5g-7a) in 12 tilts but the Checkers took over late in games. In their 12 post season contests, the Checkers outscored their opponents 17-8 in the third period or later.

The Senators rallied from a 3-1 series deficit with three straight overtime wins to knock off the Manchester Monarchs. Then, in the Atlantic Division Finals the Senators took out the Portland Pirates in six games. Former IceHogs center Ryan Potulny paces the Senators and leads the AHL in scoring with 10 goals and 9 assists in 13 games.

The full Eastern Conference Final schedule is listed below:

Game 1 – Thu., May 12 – Binghamton at Charlotte
Game 2 – Fri., May 13 – Binghamton at Charlotte
Game 3 – Tue., May 17 – Charlotte at Binghamton
Game 4 – Wed., May 18 – Charlotte at Binghamton
*Game 5 – Sat., May 21 – Charlotte at Binghamton
*Game 6 – Mon., May 23 – Binghamton at Charlotte
*Game 7 – Tue., May 24 – Binghamton at Charlotte

(*if necessary. All game times 7:05 p.m. EST)


The Houston Aeros and Hamilton Bulldogs will face off in the Western Conference Finals beginning on Friday at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Both clubs advanced to the Conference Finals after taking decisive Game 7s. Houston beat the Milwaukee Admirals 4-2 on Tuesday night at the Bradley Center to reach the finals for the fourth time in team history. The Aeros also swept the Peoria Rivermen in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

As the top seed in the North Division, the Bulldogs finished off the Manitoba Moose 2-1 in triple overtime in Game 7 to advance to the Conference Finals. In the North Division Semi-Finals, Hamilton defeated the Oklahoma City Barons in six contests. Winger Nigel Dawes leads the Dogs with 14 points (9g-5a) in 13 tilts.

Houston will have home ice in the series because they finished with more points than Hamilton in the regular season. The full Western Conference Final schedule is listed below:

Game #1 – Friday, May 13th – 8:35 PM – Hamilton at Houston
Game #2 – Sunday, May 15th – 5:05 PM – Hamilton at Houston
Game #3 – Tuesday, May 17th – 7:30 PM – Houston at Hamilton
Game #4 – Wednesday, May 18th – 7:30 PM – Houston at Hamilton
*Game #5 – Friday, May 20th – 7:30 PM – Houston at Hamilton
*Game #6 – Sunday, May 22nd – 5:05 PM – Hamilton at Houston
*Game #7 – Tuesday, May 24th – 8:05 PM – Hamilton at Houston
(* If necessary. All game times CST)

Every AHL Calder Cup Playoff game can be viewed through www.ahllive.com. For up to the minute scores and stats, visit www.theahl.com.

Season Tickets On Sale For 2011-12: It'll be a long summer without IceHogs hockey and season ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are now on sale. To find a ticket package that quenches your hockey thirst, call (815) 847-6399.




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