HOGS SLIP PAST AEROS WITH LATE GOAL

By: Chris Etheridge
Corey Crawford has allowed three goals in 206:59 minutes in the West Division Semifinals. Photo by Greg Hamil

Of the ten full periods the IceHogs and Aeros have played, eight have ended in a tie.


Houston, Tex.- The Rockford IceHogs have taken the 2-1 advantage in the West Division Semifinals with a 2-1 win over the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center on Tuesday.

Derek Nesbitt scored the game-winning goal at 17:14 in the third period off of a pass from St. Pierre on a breakaway. Kontiola also had a helper.

But the story of the series has been phenomenal goaltending on both sides of the ice.  With the win, Crawford has a 0.87 goals against average and 0.959 save percentage having played every minute of all three games.

The numbers for Houston's Barry Brust are even better.  He has a 0.82 GAA and 0.969 save percentage in two starts. Nolan Schaefer finished Game One with a 2.05 GAA and 0.923 save percentage.

On Tuesday, Marco Rosa put the Aeros up 1-0 with a marker past Corey Crawford at 5:01 in the first frame with helpers from Joel Ward and Adrian Foster.  The goal marks the only time that the Rockford IceHogs have trailed in the series.

But Kris Versteeg recorded his third point of the playoffs to tie the score at 11:06 in the first period.  Troy Brouwer and Tyson Marsh had the assists.  Versteeg and St. Pierre lead the series with three points apiece.

The series continues to be an even one when it comes to the number. For the third game in a row, the Aeros and IceHogs went into both intermissions tied.

No team has scored more than two goals in a game with someone between the pipes. And the IceHogs are now 0-for-10 on the power play while the Aeros have gone 0-for-11 in three games.

Crawford finished with 15 saves on Tuesday, while the Rockford defense held the Aeros shooters to single digits in every frame.  The Aeros had five shots in the first and four in the second.  Brust had 32 saves in the losing effort.

Next Game: Game Four gets underway at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at the Toyota Center in Houston. The IceHogs will hope to put together two wins in a row together while Houston will push to even the series at two.  Catch all of the action at Damon's Grill, 755 Clark Road in Rockford.


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