From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
HOUSTON AEROS ROB PEORIA WITH 4-3 SHOOTOUT VICTORY
PEORIA, IL – The Houston Aeros, down 3-0 with less than five minutes to play, defeated the Peoria Rivermen 4-3 in a shootout after tying the game with all three goals in the final 2:36 of regulation, Sunday night. For the second Sunday in a row at Peoria, Corey Locke tied the game in the waning moments of regulation, this time with only two-tenths of a second on the clock. The win moved the Aeros (16-12-1-5) into a third place tie with Chicago in the West Division, only two points behind Peoria (19-13-1-1) who reside in second.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: 15 Seasons, One Reason --
Peoria got on the board first with an even strength goal by Chris Conner for his 13th of the season. Nicholas Drazenovic and Ivan Vishnevskiy earned the assists on the opening tally. Ryan Reaves added to the lead by netting a short-handed marker with 5:26 remaining in the opening period. Steve Regier set the play up to give Peoria a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Houston was only able to put three shots on net as each team failed to convert on one power-play opportunity apiece.
The Aeros still couldn’t find the back of the net in the second period despite having three man advantages but posted eight shots on goal. At the 15:02 mark Peoria centerman Drazenovic tallied the game’s only power-play goal giving the Rivermen a 3-0 lead. Regier posted his second assist of the evening, both on special teams’ play.
The majority of the third period was held scoreless as Peoria seemed to have things wrapped up while Ben Bishop looked to shut out the Aeros. Houston’s Paul Albers wouldn’t let that happen as he posted his first goal of the season with 2:36 remaining in the game. Mike Hamilton and Jason Deitsch earned the assists to prevent the fore-mentioned shutout possibility.
In an effort to make a game of it, Barry Brust was pulled from the Houston net in favor of an extra attacker with just over one minute remaining. The strategy paid off when Peter Olvecky stuffed the puck into the net with one minute left on the clock. Albers and Maxim Noreau earned the assists that brought the Aeros within one. Albers’ assist gave him his first two-point game this season. The Aeros kept six attackers on the ice for the ensuing faceoff as the clock ticked away. With only a couple of seconds left to play, the Aeros’ Locke controlled the puck behind the Peoria net and banked a shot off the back of Bishop and bounced into the net with only two-tenths of a second left to force a 3-3 overtime.
Houston has now gone past regulation nine times this season with only two being decided in the extra five minutes of skating. Sunday stuck with the trend and went to the Aeros’ seventh shootout this season. Ryan Hamilton netted the very first shot and Jesse Schultz took the puck top-shelf as Houston’s fifth shooter to rob the Rivermen out of the 4-3 victory. Nolan Schaefer replaced Brust for the shootout and was able to stop all four shooters to earn his eighth win of the season. Brust knocked aside 28 of 31 shots during the regulation and overtime periods.