HOUSTON 4, PEORIA 1
Jed Ortmeyer (pictured) registered a goal and an assist, and Robbie Earl notched the eventual game-winner as Houston opened up its West Division semifinal with a 4-1 victory over visiting Peoria on Wednesday night at the Toyota Center.
Game 2 of the series is set for Friday night in Houston.
This one didn’t start well for the home squad, as Rivermen forward Adam Cracknell scored unassisted just 1:16 after the opening face-off for his first career AHL playoff goal.
The Aeros sprung to life over the latter half of the period, though, ultimately taking a 13-5 shots advantage and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.
Warren Peters pulled Houston even at the 7:46 mark, and Earl – who put up career highs in goals (24) and points (55) for the Aeros in the regular season – scored on the power play at 16:39 to give the Aeros the lead for good.
Ortmeyer and former AHL rookie of the year Patrick O’Sullivan added goals in the second and third periods, respectively, and Aeros rookie goaltender Matt Hackett earned the victory in net with 17 saves on 18 shots.
West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Houston Aeros vs. W3-Peoria Rivermen
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 13 – HOUSTON 4, Peoria 1
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 15 – Peoria at Houston, 8:35
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 18 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Peoria at Houston, 8:35
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Peoria at Houston, 5:05