Rivermen Eliminated by Aeros in 2-1 Loss
Opponent: Houston Aeros
Date: April 19, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 1-2 L
The Houston Aeros eliminated the Peoria Rivermen from the Calder Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night at Carver Arena with a 2-1 win to sweep the best-of-seven series. Peoria scored the first goal of the game in all four games only to see the Aeros come back and earn the victory.
Peoria has been eliminated by the Aeors in all three playoff appearances in their AHL era. They were also swept in four games in 2006 and beaten in seven games in 2009.
The Rivermen scored staked themselves a 1-0 lead on their first man advantage of the game at 8:03 of the first. Nathan Oystrick’s first of the playoffs came after Hensick sent him a cross-ice pass on the right faceoff dot and he snapped a deflected shot along the ice through the legs of Matt Hackett.
Drew Bagnall scored his first goal of the playoffs at the 8:22 mark of the second period on a slap shot from the center line. Carson McMillan won a draw just outside of the Rivermen zone back to Jared Spurgeon who relayed a pass to Bagnall just inside the red line by the Houston bench. Bagnall looked to be dumping the puck into the corner, but turned to the middle and his shot made its way past the left pad of Bishop and into the net to tie the game 1-1.
Patrick O’Sullivan’s second of the series just 2:42 later proved to be the game-winner and series-winner. Jeff Penner found a streaking O’Sullivan up the middle of the ice who then went in all alone against Bishop and snapped a shot off the cross bar and in. Cody Almond picked up the second assist on the goal.
The Rivermen had numerous chances to tie the game with time winding down, but Hackett was able to keep the puck from crossing the line down the home stretch. The Rivermen had a power play with 2:35 remaining in regulation, but could not convert.
With the net empty and Spurgeon just out of the box the Rivermen came close to scoring twice. With 20 seconds remaining Hensick had the puck on the doorstep, but had the puck knocked off of his stick before he could get a clean shot away.
With about four seconds remaining Oystrick took one more blast from the point. The puck hit Hackett and some bodies in front, found its way into the crease, but no one could tap it home as time expired and ended the Rivermen’s Calder Cup hopes in 2011.
The Rivermen outshot the Aeros for the first time in the series 24-19.
Season ticket plans for the 2011-12 season are now on sale through the Rivermen front office. For more information call 309-676-1040 or CLICK HERE.