Aeros Edge Rivermen in Shootout, 4-3
Opponent: Houston Aeros
Date: February 11, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 3-4* L
The Peoria Rivermen went to the shootout for the third time in their last four games on Friday night before falling 4-3 to the Houston Aeros at Carver Arena. Nicholas Drazenovic scored twice while T.J. Hensick extended his point streak to nine straight games with a third-period assist. It was the first of back-to-back games between the division rivals with the second half scheduled for Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center – home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.
Although the Rivermen (30-18-2-3, 65 pts) picked up a point, the Aeros (32-19-1-3, 68 pts) stayed alone atop West Division with the victory. The Rivermen are now tied for third with Milwaukee (28-14-2-7) with 65 points and San Antonio (32-19-2-0) stands alone in second with 66 points.
Houston’s Nate Prosser opened the scoring at 9:14 of the first period on a wrist shot that hit the left shoulder of Jake Allen and deflected into the net. Jean-Michel Daoust was along the left wall and made a cross ice pass to the trailing Prosser on the right side who then walked in and buried his sixth of the year.
The Rivermen answered by scoring on their first two power plays late in the first with goals from Drazenovic and Phil McRae. Drazenovic found a loose puck amongst a scrum in front of Anton Khudoin and was able to poke it in for his 13th of the year at 17:19. Slava Trukhno and Nathan Oystrick picked up assists on the goal. The assist gave Oystrick 21 on the season with 14 of them coming on the power play.
Just over 2 minutes later, following a faceoff win and a Tyson Strachan shot from the point, McRae collected the rebound and buried it into the open net for his 12th of the year.
The Aeros answered with the only goal of the second period on the power play at 4:50. Patrick O’Sullivan tallied his eighth of the year after a series of passes that left him alone in front for the tap-in goal.
Colton Gillies put the Aeros ahead 3-2 at 4:54 of the third as he converted on a penalty shot. Gillies came in with speed and wristed one by Allen low blocker side for his eighth of the year.
Drazenovic tied the game at 3-3 at 12:16 of the final frame. Drazenovic took the puck wide on the right side, and from behind the goal line back handed the puck out front. The puck hit Khudobin’s stick and went through his legs for Drazenovic’s second of the game and 14th of the year.
Robbie Earl was whistled for tripping with 47 seconds left in overtime which setup an abbreviated power-play for Peoria but they were unable to convert. The shootout was the second consecutive for the Rivermen who beat Milwaukee on Wednesday.
After O’Sullivan and McRae scored first for their respective teams, both goaltenders stopped the next three shooters. Houston’s fifth shooter, Cody Almond, scored the game winner with a wrist shot that beat Allen high stick side. Porter had a chance to tie the game and force an extra round, but his shot missed wide left.
The Rivermen put a season-high 43 shots on goal against Khudobin while Allen finished with 24 saves.
The two teams square off again on Sunday at 1 p.m. from the Xcel Energy Center, home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The game can be heard locally on 96.5 ESPN Radio or online through www.rivermen.net.