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Aeros take command with comeback win

2011 Calder Cup Playoffs

Houston bounced back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 on Monday and took a 5-3 road win over Peoria on Monday at Carver Arena, earning a commanding 3-0 series lead in the teams’ West Division semifinal.

Colton Gillies scored twice – including the game-winning goal – for the Aeros, who will shoot for the four-game sweep when Game 4 of the series goes on Tuesday night.

Peoria looked to turn the tide of the series after dropping the first two games in Houston and got off to a good start when Akim Aliu buried a goal just 19 seconds after the opening face-off.

Three-time AHL All-Star T.J. Hensick made it a 2-0 game at the 9:49 mark, and after Casey Wellman put Houston on the board 48 seconds into the second period, Hensick restored Peoria’s two-goal advantage at the 3:41 mark.

Ex-Rivermen forward Jon DiSalvatore brought the Aeros within 3-2 midway through the second period, and Chad Rau tied it up 1:12 into the third frame. That set the stage for Gillies, who tallied the game-winning goal at 11:53 of the third period. Gilles then added an insurance marker less than four minutes later.

Defenseman Jeff Penner posted two assists for the Aeros, and rookie goaltender Matt Hackett made 12 saves in the winning effort. Houston held a 30-15 advantage in shots on goal for the evening.

The Aeros have now won four straight postseason games against Peoria since dropping Game 6 of the teams’ West Division semifinal, which Houston ultimately took in seven games.