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Previously, when we looked in on the Hamilton Bulldogs last week, the Dogs were trailing 2-0 in games vs the Houston Aeros in the Western Conference Finals of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. Well, a lot has happened since then.
Following the two losses in Houston, Texas, the series moved back to Hamilton for Games #3, #4, and #5.
Game #3 saw the Bulldogs come out flat in a 3-2 loss and many figured that the series was officially over, only awaiting the formality of a Game #4 Funeral. But instead of rolling over and playing dead, the Dogs have stormed back with a vengeance beginning with a devastating 8-1 blow-out over the Aeros in Game #4.
The ferocious intensity on the ice continued in Game #5 as Hamilton again defeated Houston, this time by a final score of 4-2 and closed the gap in the series to 3-2 in favour of the Aeros.
The series returned to Texas at this point in the schedule and Game #6 was a double overtime thriller with Bulldogs goaltender Drew MacIntyre making 57 saves in a 5-4 winning effort when Nigel Dawes scored the overtime game winning goal at 9:11 of the 5th period to force those magical words in the game of hockey: GAME #7.
The Bulldogs are just the third team in the AHL’s 75-year history to force Game #7 after losing the first three games of a series, and tonight, Tuesday May 24th, they try to join the 1960 Rochester Americans and the 1989 Adirondack Red Wings in completing a comeback. On the other side, the Aeros own a perfect 5-0 record in Calder Cup Playoff Game 7’s – including a 3-0 win over Hamilton in the 2003 Calder Cup Finals. Tonight is the first Game 7 to ever be played in Houston; the Aeros’ five previous experiences were all on the road.
Tonight’s matchup is the 100th game for the Hamilton Bulldogs this season since the initial puck drop back in October.
The action gets underway at 8:00pm ET.