The Aeros’ mantra this postseason has been and will continue to be, “a race to four” – meaning hey aren’t so much focused on each series being a best-of-seven, yet instead they’ve chosen to focus on the four wins it takes to advance.
Well, tonight is another step in that process with Game Four less than an hour away from Carver Arena.
As I tweeted earlier, Ben Bishop will start between the pipes for the Rivermen, his first career Calder Cup appearance. Bishop went 17-14-2 this season with Peoria (he spent some time in the NHL as well), prior to injuring his groin on April 3rd in Milwaukee. He hasn’t played since, so it will be interesting to see just how ready he is for playoff hockey.
As usual, Game Day Audio is up – here. I really like the comments from Mike Yeo about the play of Casey Wellman in last night’s Game Three. Regarding tonight, Coach Yeo stressed an “aggressive, yet structured” game from his team when we spoke just a few minutes ago. That, coupled with offensive zone time and some traffic around Ben Bishop, are just a few of the keys to tonight’s game from the Aeros’ bench boss.
From the Rivermen’s end of things, they are hoping to win one tonight and “crawl back into this series”, according to head coach Jared Bednar. Rivermen winger Derek Nesbitt told me this morning that the Rivermen have been streaky this season, and that’s something the veteran players in their dressing room stressed as they hope to keep their season alive.
Keep an eye on early period scoring tonight – thus far in the series there have been four combined goals netted before a period has become 90 seconds old. Maybe the Aeros can get an early one tonight and further damage the psyche of the Rivermen…?
If you’re curious, the Aeros are 8-6 in elimination games in their Calder Cup history and 5-2 on the road, including a Game 4 win in 2006 in this building and a 5-2 victory in a decisive Game Seven here in 2009.
Enjoy tonight’s game!
– Aero Joe