Official Box Score PEORIA, Ill. –
Mike Glumac’s second goal of the game forced overtime with 1:24 left in regulation and Trent Whitfield won it with a breakaway goal 55 seconds into the extra session, as the Peoria Rivermen defeated the Houston Aeros 4-3 at Carver Arena to move within two points of Iowa for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division. Jon DiSalvatore
also scored and Marek Schwarz stopped 12 shots for Peoria (36-31-2-6), which has five games left, while Iowa has four remaining. The Stars are at Toyota Center next Wednesday and Friday to face the Aeros
Mattias Weinhandl scored a pair of third-period goals, John Scott added his first pro tally and Miroslav Kopriva made 31 stops for Houston (25-39-4-6), which is 2-7-1-0 at Peoria in the regular season.
Glumac scored his 26th goal of the season, 4:48 into the game. Glumac took a pass from Ryan Ramsay in the right circle and fired a shot short side over Kopriva’s shoulder for his eighth goal against the Aeros this season.
After Glumac’s tally, there wasn’t a stoppage in play for seven minutes.
Scott notched his first goal in 59 games this season, with 2:31 left in the first. He pinched in from the left point and ripped a pass from Danny Irmen by Schwarz.
Aeros defenseman Ryan Stokes prevented a goal in the waning seconds when Kopriva was beaten on the power play. Stokes grabbed the puck and flipped it out of the crease.
DiSalvatore gave the Rivermen the lead back 4:44 into the second, with his 21st goal. He stole the puck at the blueline and broke in 2-on-1, rifling a high shot over Kopriva.
The Rivermen continued to pour it on for the rest of the second period, outshooting the Aeros 9-4, but neither team scored again.
Weinhandl got the Aeros even again with his 17th goal, 1:14 into the third. Benoit Pouliot kept the puck alive in the left corner for Jason Morgan behind the net. Morgan slid to the far post and floated a pass for a cutting Weinhandl, who got just enough of the puck to get it by Schwarz.
The Aeros didn’t get their first power play of the night until there was 8:45 left in the game. Houston, however, couldn’t again solve Schwarz.
Kopriva was outstanding with 5:30 remaining, when Rivermen leading scorer Trent Whitfield got in alone on the left side.
Weinhandl’s second of the night and 18th of the season gave the Aeros their first lead, with 4:16 left in regulation. Schwarz kicked out Stokes’ blast from the point, but Weinhandl hopped on the rebound in the right circle and fired it by the fallen netminder.
Glumac’s second of the night, ninth against the Aeros and 27th of the season, again from Ramsay and Charles Linglet, evened things up with 1:24 remaining.
The Rivermen ended the third period with a 15-6 advantage in shots, and 34-15 overall through the end of regulation.
Whitfield won it on a breakaway 55 ticks into overtime, just seconds after Weinhandl tipped a Morgan shot inches wide of the far post. Jamie Rivers sent the pass to Whitfield at the blueline, and Whitfield beat Kopriva high for his team-best 32nd goal of the season.
Houston went 0-for-1 on the power play, while Peoria finished 0-for-3. Notes:Not dressing for the Aeros were Dieter Kochan, Josh Olson, Ben Thomson and Clayton Stoner. Morgan played in his 500th AHL game. Defenseman Paul Albers, recalled from ECHL Texas on Thursday after making the league’s All-Rookie team, made his Aeros debut. He was minus-one. Fellow rookie defenseman Mike Madill, in his third game with the Aeros but first since being recalled earlier this week, picked up his first AHL assist on Weinhandl’s second goal. Houston has allowed the first goal in three straight games after scoring first in four of five contests. The Aeros are 0-4 in overtime this season. The Aeros held a third-period scoring advantage for just the fifth time in 27 games. Houston had just 15 shots, while being outshot (35-15) for the 11th straight game. Weinhandl had four shots, and only Bryan Lundbohm (two) also had more than one.