Reports from the Peoria side of the barn are in, and Rivermen head coach Jared Bednar said things went south quickly after the Aeros tied the game in the first period.
"We started freewheeling, went off on our own agendas," he told the Peoria Journal-Star. "It was one of the worst games we've played this year, if not THE worst."
I don't know about that. They were a few bounces and missed open nets away from tying the game and/or taking the lead in the second period. At the top of their to-do list for Friday will be to stay out of the penalty box. The Aeros are going to grind them down with three good lines, so if Peoria wants to even this thing up, they are going to have to stay out of the box and score a couple of PP goals of their own.
The PJ Star's Dave Eminian also reported that defenseman Tyson Strachan and winger Stefan Della Rovere missed the third period with upper body injuries. They NEED those guys in order to have a shot in this series. Eminian said Peoria played "bewildering defense," and I think that has a lot to do with the Aeros depth and ability to play within their system.
Some of those missed chances were just Peoria missing chances. But some of them were missed because the Aeros were taking their space away and forcing rushed chances and bad angles. We'll see how this all pans out Friday. In closing, here is an interview with Della Rovere after Peoria's Game 1 loss at Houston: