From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Monday, April 27, 2009
AEROS MOVE ON TO MILWAUKEE
WITH 5-2 WIN OVER RIVERMEN IN GAME 7
PEORIA, Ill. – The Houston Aeros took a two-goal first period lead but needed a late third period tally to take Game Seven from the Peoria Rivermen by a score of 5-2 Monday night. Houston defensemen had only tallied five points in the first six games of the series but Aeros’ blue liner Maxim Noreau led the club with the game-winning goal and an assist in the contest. Houston will head to Milwaukee for Game One of the West Division finals against the Admirals at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: The Calder Cup, Our Reason --
Corey Locke matched Noreau with a goal and an assist to lead the Aeros in the contest. Locke’s nine total points (4 goals, 5 assists) in the first round leads the club and ranks him third in the league. Houston right wing Matt Beaudoin tallied an assist in the contest for a total of eight points (2-6=8) in the first round ranking him tied for fourth in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Aeros’ netminder Anton Khudobin stopped 19 of 21 shots faced in the win. At the other end of the ice Manny Legace knocked aside 16 of 19 shots in the contest with the Aeros slipping in two empty-net goals after his departure late in the third period.
Houston started strong for the second straight game at Carver Arena and the work paid off. Krys Kolanos put the Aeros up 1-0 just 1:39 into the opening frame with his second goal of the post-season, a power-play goal. Locke took the initial shot from just inside the right circle and the rebound bounced to Kolanos who buried his shot after a couple whacks at the puck. Noreau earned the second assist on the play.
The Aeros nearly took a 2-0 lead almost six minutes into the period when Noreau fired a slap shot that the Aeros thought went through the net. At the next whistle, the officials huddled and decided it was not a goal, but Houston continued the pressure despite the adversity.
At the 11:01 mark, Houston was killing a Tomas Mojzis penalty for interference when Robbie Earl took a loose puck and skated into Peoria’s zone behind the defense. Earl’s breakaway bid was blocked by Legace, but Marco Rosa followed the play and netted his first goal of the post-season, a shorthanded goal.
The Aeros’ two goals in the first period marked the team’s first goal in the opening period since Game Two. Houston held the 2-0 lead going into the intermission and had a 14-5 advantage in shots.
Justin Filewich made it a 2-1 game at the 7:33 mark of the period when he took a pass at the Aeros’ blue line and skated in alone on Khudobin. Aeros’ defenseman Mojzis lost an edge and fell to the ice giving Filewich the unabated look at the Aeros’ goaltender.
Peoria kept the momentum for the remainder of the period and Carl Corazzini tied the game at two when he banged in a loose puck at the goal mouth. Steve Regier skated down the left wing behind the net, tried to bank the puck off Khudobin and Corazzini was there to tally the tying goal. Peoria outshot the Aeros 12-0 in the period marking the first time in Aeros’ team history (regular season or playoffs) that the team had not recorded a shot on net in the period.
The contest remained knotted at two apiece until nearly halfway into the final period when the Aeros tallied their third and eventual game-winning goal. Houston held control of the puck in their offensive zone recording a couple shots before the Rivermen snagged the puck and attempted to clear it. Noreau stole the disc, skated it into open ice near the right-wing faceoff circle and sent a wrist shot past Legace for the go-ahead tally.
No penalties were called in the third period which gave the Rivermen an up-hill battle as they attempted to tie the game. The Aeros held the puck in Peoria’s zone late in the contest as Legace looked to leave the ice in favor of an extra attacker but couldn’t because of the pressure. Shortly after he was able to find his way to the bench Locke send the puck soaring into the empty net with 24 seconds to play. Mitch Love recorded only his third goal of the entire season on Houston’s second empty netter with three seconds left on the clock for the 5-2 final.
- Maxim Noreau and Corey Locke tallied a goal and an assist in the contest. The two points marked the first multiple-point game for Noreau in the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs and Locke's third.
- The win improved Houston's record in Game Sevens to 5-1 all time. The club last won a Game Seven to take the Calder Cup in 2003 when they defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs.
- Houston will head past the first round of playoffs for the seventh time in 13 visits to post-season play. This will be the fourth time in six Calder Cup Playoffs the club has moved into the West Division finals.
- The Aeros will face the Milwaukee Admirals for the fourth time ever in the playoffs, tying the Chicago Wolves for the most post-season pairings.