Kirby Law snapped a 3-3 tie with 7:33 remaining in the third period as Houston completed a four-game sweep of Peoria with a 5-3 victory at Carver Arena on Wednesday night.
Eighth-year pro Joey Tetarenko scored his first career playoff goal, as did AHL rookie of the year Patrick O’Sullivan. Matt Foy added his fourth goal of the series, and Bryan Lundbohm deposited his third into an empty net.
Erik Westrum added three assists on the night, and Josh Harding finished with 37 saves to win for the 19th time in his last 21 AHL decisions.
Mike Glumac had a goal and an assist for the Rivermen, whose first AHL season ended in disappointment. Peoria became the first team in league history to be swept in the first round after picking up 100 points in the regular season.
The Aeros advance to face either Milwaukee or Iowa in the West Division final.
BRIDGEPORT 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2 (OT)
Masi Marjamaki scored 2:11 into overtime to give Bridgeport a 3-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and a 3-2 series lead in their East Division semifinal series.
The road team has won all five games, each by a single goal.
Jonathan Filewich opened the scoring for the Penguins just 34 seconds into the game with his third goal of the series. Krys Kolanos made it 2-0 early in the second period.
Ryan Caldwell got the Sound Tigers on the board three minutes later with his first career playoff goal, ending Bridgeport’s scoreless streak at 116:09. Matt Koalska also scored his first career playoff goal, tying the score with 12:49 left in regulation.
The Sound Tigers had to come up with one of their biggest penalty kills this postseason when Harlan Pratt was whistled for holding with 49.9 seconds left in regulation. One minute after the penalty expired, Steve Regier worked the puck behind the Penguins net to David Masse, who pushed it out front to Marjamaki. The Finnish forward buried his second game-winning goal of the series.
Wade Dubielewicz made 34 saves for the win, while Dany Sabourin stopped 20 shots in defeat.
It was the 10th overtime game of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs, one more than all of last postseason.
MANITOBA 6, SYRACUSE 2
After struggling to find offense in the first three games, Manitoba erupted for five power-play goals on Wednesday en route to a 6-2 win over Syracuse, evening up the teams’ North Division semifinal series at two games apiece.
The Moose had scored three times on 118 shots over the first three games of the series.
Jesse Schultz had two goals and an assist and Josh Green recorded a goal and two assists for Manitoba, which also clamped down on defense, outshooting the Crunch by a 32-17 margin.
Lee Goren and Alexandre Burrows added a goal and an assist each for the Moose.
Pascal Leclaire, brilliant in Games 1, 2 and 3, allowed five goals on 28 shots in two periods of work.
The teams combined for 306 minutes in penalties. Syracuse’s 180 PIM were six shy of the all-time AHL playoff record for one team, set by Hershey in 1995.
Game 5 is Friday night at the MTS Centre.