Sunday, May 22, 2011
The game winning goal from Nigel Dawes.
Only twice in AHL history has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit to force a game seven. Before tonight. Tonight the Hamilton Bulldogs became the third team in AHL playoff history to force a game seven after being down 3-0 when they defeated the Aeros 5-4 in double OT. And here's the bad news, in each instance, the team that forced the game seven went on to win the game seven.
It would be easy to blame this loss on the officiating. The Heberts were so bad I was longing for Terry Koharski -- and no, the Heberts are not related though they suck so damn bad that it's easy to imagine they're brothers. And there's some truth to that as the Aeros fell completely apart after a fanthom call on Colton Gillies and a missed call on Jed Ortmeyer and quickly surrendered three goals within four-and-a-half minutes, including two short-handed goals.
It would be easy, but it would be wrong. The Aeros found a way to get back in this game. And they had multiple, excellent opportunities to win the game in OT, only Drew MacIntyre came through big and stopped the Aeros.
No, the Aeros can blame this loss on one thing, and one thing only. Crappy puck handling. It's been their problem throughout this playoff series, and it doomed them tonight. The shorties came off turnovers. And the game-winner came off of a turnover at center ice.
They dominated the Bulldogs for the most part tonight, 61 SOG compared to 38. But when you're sloppy with the puck, bad things happen. And tonight, bad things happened.
I'll be back with some quotes later night, and I think Andrew will throw up some other thoughts as well. We'll see you on Tuesday. Let's just hope we're not writing about the Aeros being on the wrong side of history.