Game Two Preview…

Raise your hand if you’re sooooooooo proud, soooo soooo soooo proud of me for blogging every day so far during the Calder Cup Playoffs.  Now put your hand down because it’s only been three days and I shouldn’t be getting saluted quite yet. (By the way, the excessive sooooooo proud is a Curb Your Enthusiasm / Larry David reference).

I don’t anticipate much changing from the Aeros’ perspective in Game Two – Matt Hackett will obviously start again and I think the lineup will look similar, if not identical to Game One.

However, the Rivermen will have a much different look, with defenseman Tyson Strachan injuring his shoulder in Game One.  Strachan it out at least a month, and that’s a big blow to the Rivermen blue line.  So the Rivermen may turn to Daryl Boyle to take Strachan’s spot, but they may also have to fill a hole up front with Stefan Della Rovere suffering an injury in Game One.  His status is officially questionable for tonight (read: OUT), so I expect Mark Cundari to play up front.  Cundari is a defenseman by trade, but has played forward this season.  Jared Bednar, the Rivermen’s head coach, said Cundari has “high-end skill” so he may play with some scoring forwards, rather than just fill a 4th line  role.

My colleague Brendan Burke, the Rivermen’s broadcaster, got this audio  yesterday from Dean Arsene, Peoria’s captain.

Also, Game Day audio is up on the multimedia page today – some good stuff from defenseman Nate Prosser.  And there’s a quick pre-game interview up with assistant coach Darryl Sydor on the Aeros’ facebook page, so if you’re a Facebook user go check it out.

Here are my 3 Keys for the Aeros tonight in Game Two:

1. Score First – the first goal tonight may demoralize the Rivermen since they played a poor Game One.

2. Traffic in front of Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen (who didn’t have a great Game One)

3. The Peters, Gillies, Ortmeyer line – they need to display a physical presence to make life miserable for the Rivermen’s skilled forwards like leading scorer T.J. Hensick

The Aeros will practice in Houston tomorrow and then head for Chicago, where the team will practice Sunday morning before busing to Peoria.  Game Three is on Monday night…don’t forget about the road game watch parties at The Maple Leaf Pub.

– Aero Joe

And finally, peep this link on the future of the AHL in Winnipeg.

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