I can just about promise you that Dean Arsene won't be minus-2 on Friday, and Graham Mink REALLY wants that stupid penalty back that he took right in front of the referee with the game tied 1-1.
Earl's goal started a series of events that led to a dominating win over the Peoria Rivermen, who will have to win four of the next six games to beat the Aeros in the playoffs for the first time.
The Aeros won the game 4-1 and lead the series 1-0 because of timely goals and the ability to respond when maybe they didn't have close to the kind of start they really needed. But, as they did so many times later in the year, they fought back, rebounded after Cracknell's goal just 76 seconds in, and dominated the game.
The Gillies, Peters, Ortmeyer line was beautiful tonight. Hackett rebounded nicely after allowing the early score, and the Aeros kept the Rivermen off the board by sending them to the penalty box time and time again. If you want to know how to beat Peoria, this is the game you want to play.
Sure, the Aeros were far from perfect. The Rivermen have a great penalty kill and after Earl scored, the Aeros got off just three shots on their remaining five power plays.
The Aeros have won six straight series in which they have won the first game, and they improved to 17-10 all time in Game 1s. They are 12-3 in such games at home and are 2-0 against Peoria in Game 1s at Toyota Center.
The Aeros better be ready for an all out blitz on Friday. Peoria knows that going home down 2-0 pretty much means they are going to have to win all three of their home games. While such a feat is not unprecedented, it is not likely.
Fans, you saw a great hockey game Wednesday night. It would be most enjoyable to see it repeated in less than 48 hours.
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