From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Monday, April 20, 2009
RIVERMEN EVEN THE SERIES WITH A 4-3 WIN
OVER THE AEROS, ENSURING A GAME 6 IN PEORIA
HOUSTON, Texas – Each of the first three games of the West Division Semifinals have gone in favor of the team recording the first goal and Game Four was no different. The Peoria Rivermen tallied the opening marker in Monday’s Game Four and defeated the Houston Aeros 4-3 to even the series at two games apiece. Game Five will stay in Houston Wednesday and a Game Six in Peoria will be needed this Saturday. Tickets for Wednesday's Game Five are available by calling the Aeros front office at (713) 974-PUCK or online at AEROS.com.
The Aeros started goaltender Anton Khudobin who allowed four goals on 18 shots in 45:46 of ice time. Matt Climie came in during the third period to replace the Houston netminder and stopped all three shots faced in 12:28 of ice time before being pulled late for the extra attacker.
Peoria got on the board first just under halfway into the opening period after Cam Paddock won a faceoff, sending the puck to Jim Jackson. Jackson took a shot that went wide of the net and rebounded off the back boards. Paddock picked up the rebound and flipped it past Khudobin for his second goal of the series. Peoria finished the opening frame with a 9-5 lead in shots as well.
Houston tied the contest just 5:43 into the second period when Bryan Lundbohm centered the puck from behind the Peoria net to Paul Albers who was charging from the blue line. Albers skated the puck between the faceoff circles and slapped it on net. Tony Hrkac was in position to tip the puck past Legace into the back of the net for the Aeros first even strength goal since Game Two.
The Aeros took the lead on a power play after the puck got buried in the corner and Matt Beaudoin took control. The puck was sent behind the net to Hrkac who passed it forward to Tomas Mojzis in the left-wing faceoff circle. Mojzis wristed the disc past Legace for the 2-1 Houston lead at 7:58 in the middle period. The puck was originally in the right-wing corner which was overloaded with defensemen leaving Hrkac and Mojzis wide open on the far side.
Peoria answered quickly in the waning moments of the second period and scored a pair of power play goals to regain the lead. At the 17:29 mark, Steve Wagner took a cross-ice pass from Jori Lehtera and buried it between Khudobin’s legs. Only 44 seconds later, Lehtera scored when he took a shot on Khudobin and it bounced off his blocker, over Khudobin’s head, and across the goal line. Through two periods, the Rivermen were outshooting Houston 16-14 and held a 3-2 lead.
The Rivermen added to their lead when Alex Pietrangelo blasted a shot on net and Trent Whitfield stuffed the rebound underneath the pads of Khudobin. The goal gave Peoria a 4-2 lead at 5:46 into the third period which would prove as the game winner. The goal led to Head Coach Kevin Constantine’s decision to replace the netminder with Matt Climie who was assigned to the Aeros earlier in the day.
Houston made an attempt at a comeback late in the final period when the team went on 5-on-3 power play with 6:09 left in the game. The home team couldn’t convert on 1:13 of the two-man advantage but 17 seconds into the following 5-on-4 converted to bring the game within one. Corey Locke controlled the puck deep in the Peoria zone and dished it to Beaudoin. The winger took a short-range sharp angled shot that deflected across the crease to Jesse Schultz who dumped it into the open net. The Aeros allowed just five shots in the final frame, the fewest allowed in the series, but couldn’t tally another marker of their own to tie the contest.
- Corey Locke recorded his second assist of the playoffs on Houston’s final goal of the night giving him five points (3-2=5) in the series. His five points leads both teams in this Calder Cup Playoff series.
- Tony Hrkac (1-1=2) and Matt Beaudoin (0-2=2) recorded two points apiece in the contest for a total of four in the series to tie Krys Kolanos for second on the team. Kolanos was a scratch for the contest.
- Peoria tallied the first goal of the game and went on to win the game. Each of the four games have gone in favor of the team scoring the first goal, two wins for each team.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: 15 Seasons, One Reason --