Rivermen escape with win, knot series at 2-2


Peoria rebounded from a 2-1 second-period deficit to emerge with a 4-3 road win over Houston at the Toyota Center on Monday in Game 4 of their West Division semifinal, evening the series at two games apiece. Defenseman Steve Wagner registered a goal and an assist to pace the Rivermen’s victory.

Cam Paddock gave Peoria a 1-0 lead at 9:11 of the opening period, but the Aeros grabbed a 2-1 advantage by the 7:58 mark of the second on tallies by Tony Hrkac and defenseman Tomas Mojzis, the latter on the power play.

Wagner knotted it up at 2-2 for the Rivermen with a power play goal of his own at 17:29, and Nicholas Drazenovic put Peoria on top to stay just 44 seconds later.

Trent Whitfield made it a 4-2 Peoria advantage 5:46 into the third period, a goal that would stand up as the game-winner. Houston’s Jesse Schultz tallied his first goal of the playoffs on the power play at 15:21 to close the game’s scoring.

Rivermen defenseman Alex Pietrangelo posted two assists, and goaltender Manny Legace secured the victory with 24 saves on 27 shots in net.

The teams will play a pivotal Game 5 in Houston on Wednesday before the series returns to Carver Arena in Peoria for Game 6 on Saturday night.