The Hamilton Bulldogs faced elimination for the third straight game, taking on the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center in Houston Sunday night. The Dogs would need five periods to do it, but they kept alive and defeated the Aeros by a score of 5-4 in double overtime.
Once trailing the series 3 games to none, the Hamilton Bulldogs have evened the series at three games a piece with Nigel Dawes scoring the hero goal 9:11 into the second overtime.
Houston opened up the scoring early in the first period with a powerplay goal by Rau at 3:34. Nash had been called for hooking 22 seconds earlier. Hamilton would even the score just five minutes later as Engqvist scored at 8:58.
The tie would remain into the second period as Houston would retake their lead at 4:29 on a goal by Earl. That lead would hold until late in the period when Dustin Boyd scored a powerplay goal followed just over two minutes later as Dawes puts one in the net. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game into the third period.
The Bulldogs started off the third period short handed as J.T. Wyman was penalized for roughing at the close of the second. The penalty actually fired the Bulldogs up as Engqvist scored a short handed goal, and his second of the game, just 27 seconds into the game to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.
Houston would retaliate with goals at 11:02 and another with less than two minutes remaining in the game to tie the game and force overtime. After regulation the Aeros and Bulldogs were tied 4-4.
The first overtime period saw nothing resolved until Dawes scored in the second overtime period, his second of the game and fourteenth of the post-season.
The Hamilton Bulldogs become only the third AHL team to ever come back from an 0-3 series deficit in the Calder Cup playoffs to force a seventh and deciding game. They join the 1960 Rochester Americans and the 1989 Adirondack Red Wings. Both of those teams went on to win their series.
Hamilton will face the Aeros for the final game of the series Tuesday night at 8:05 ET from the Toyota Center in Houston. The game can be heard live on 820 CHAM and the Hamilton Bulldogs Radio Network.
Go Dogs Go!