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Rivermen Seize Second Place With 3-1 Win Over Aeros

April 3, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release

PEORIA, Ill. (April 3, 2009) - It only took the Peoria Rivermen two shots against Houston Aeros' netminder Rejean Beauchemin to take a 2-0 lead as they went on to secure a 3-1 win Friday night at Carver Arena, as well as a little breathing room in the West Division standings. It was the Rivermen's fifth consecutive win overall and their 10th straight win on home ice. Peoria has earned a point in 10 of their last 11 games.

The win pushed the Rivermen into sole possession of second place, two points ahead of the Aeros and the Rockford IceHogs. The West Division playoff picture can begin to take form on Sunday as Peoria can clinch their first post-season berth since the 2005-06 season with a single point in the game with Quad City. Rockford and Houston can both secure their playoff presence with a win of their own combined with a Peoria win over the Flames.

On Peoria's first power play, Steve Regier slid the Rivermen's first shot of the game from the bottom of the right circle through Beauchemin's five-hole for an early 1-0 lead at the 4:57 mark of the opening period. With his goal, Regier snatched the team lead with 21 for the season and his fourth goal in the past five games.

The Rivermen went back on the power play just over two minutes later and found a similar result at the 7:50 mark. Jonas Junland's slapshot from just inside the blue line deflected off a defender and bounced through the legs of Beauchemin for his 12th of the season. Talbot and Regier picked up helpers on the play.

Peoria and Houston traded goals in the second frame. Danny Irmen struck first for the Aeros on the power play at the 10:20 mark. Houston's right winger poked the puck near the top of the crease and it squirted through Legace's legs to cut Peoria's lead in half. Irmen's goal ended an impressive streak of 131 minutes and 14 seconds in which Legace did not allow a goal.

The Rivermen regained their two-goal lead only 1:56 seconds later. Jeff Cowan shot the puck from the bottom of the left circle and the rebound bounced just outside of the crease toward Talbot and Houston's Clayton Stoner. Talbot bumped Stoner in front of the net and the puck deflected off of Stoner's stick past Beauchemin to give Peoria a 3-1 lead. Cowan picked up the credit and his fifth goal of the season.

Manny Legace made 27 stops for his 12th Rivermen win of the year. Peoria, who was outshot 28-19 on Friday night, is now 24-15-1-1 when surrendering more shots than they take.

The Rivermen are right back at it on Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. as they visit the Quad City Flames in Moline, Ill. The game will be broadcast live on Hippie 101.1FM as well as www.rivermen.net.


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