Aeros Fly Past Rivermen in Game 1
Opponent: @Houston Aeros
Date: April 13, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 4-1 L
The Houston Aeros beat the Peoria Rivermen, 4-1, in the opening game of the Calder Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night at the Toyota Center in Houston. Adam Cracknell gave the Rivermen an early lead but the Aeros responded with four unanswered goals to take game one of the best-of-seven West Division Semifinal. Game two is in Houston on Friday night at 7:35 p.m.
Cracknell opened the scoring just 1:16 into the game by firing a wrist shot over the shoulder of Matt Hackett in his first AHL playoff game. Stefan Della Rovere worked the puck down the wall for Cracknell who fired the shot from the bottom of the right circle.
Warren Peters tied the game for Houston at 7:46 of the first period from Jed Ortmeyer and Maxim Noreau. Peters collected a rebound to the left of Jake Allen and then slid the puck into the empty net the goal while the Rivermen were about to be called for a penalty.
Robbie Earl gave the Aeros their first lead of the game on the power-play at the 16:39 mark from Jared Spurgeon and Nate Prosser. Earl wristed a shot through the legs of Allen form the high-slot for what proved to be the game winner.
Ortmeyer extended the Houston lead to 3-1 with 3:22 remaining in the middle frame. With Ortmeyer behind the defense, Dean Arsene dove and tried to swipe the puck away from Ortmeyer but he was able to put a shot over Allen in the midst of falling down. Justin Falk picked up the lone assist on the goal.
Just 22 seconds into the third period Patrick O’Sullivan snapped a shot over the blocker of Allen to cap-off the scoring and give the Aeros a 4-1 lead that stood the rest of the game.
Rookie goaltender Matt Hackett stopped 17 shots for the win, while Allen stopped 27 of 31. The Aeros finished 1-for-8 on the power play while Peoria did not score on their three chances.
Game 2 between the Rivermen and Aeros will be on Friday at 7:35 p.m. in Houston. The Rivermen will be hosting an official viewing party at Hooters in Peoria. The game will also be available on 96.5 ESPN Radio in Peoria and online through www.rivermen.net.