From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Saturday, March 17, 2007
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Crunch 4, Aeros 1 Official Box Score SYRACUSE, N.Y. –
Curtis Glencross scored 35 seconds into the game, Jeffrey Szwez added a power play goal and Tomas Kloucek tacked on his first AHL goal since November 2002, as Syracuse defeated Houston 4-1 at War Memorial at Oncenter. Zenon Konopka also scored and Tomas Popperle made 22 saves for Syracuse (25-31-3-7), which swept the two-game season series from Houston by a combined 8-2 margin.
Jason Morgan scored a goal and Tony Quesada stopped 19 shots for Houston (22-34-3-6), which is 0-11-2-1 in its last 14 road games, including eight straight regulation losses. The Aeros play game three of a five-game road trip Sunday in Rochester.
Glencross notched his 10th of the season only 35 seconds into the game. Konopka touched a pass from Joakim Lindstrom to Glencross at the left doorstep, and Glencross banged the puck under Quesada.
The Crunch nearly took a two-goal lead while shorthanded seven minutes in, but Houston’s Ryan Stokes deflected Andrew Murray’s left circle shot just over the crossbar.
At the midway point of the first, Syracuse got 1:12 of a 5-on-3 after an interference call to Clayton Stoner and a too many men on the ice penalty. The Aeros penalty killers held the Crunch without a shot on the two-man advantage, but Szwez ripped a pass from Philippe Dupuis in the left circle and by Quesada for his 10th goal of the season.
Aeros heavyweight Joey Tetarenko accosted Olivier Labelle along the boards with 7:43 left in the first, and the pair quickly went to the ice.
Houston had its first good scoring chance 30 seconds later, but Popperle swallowed up Joel Ward’s bullet from the right circle in transition. On the other end, Murray tried to make it 3-0 with a 2-on-1 shot from the right side, but Quesada got just enough of the puck with his glove to deflect it up into the protective netting.
The Aeros haven’t led after one in any of their past 10 games, having allowed the game’s first goal eight times. Houston has been outscored 10-3 in the first period of its last eight games, and has yielded eight first-period goals in its last four outings.
Quesada made a great save on Lindstrom early in the second, and the rebound got behind him but was swiped out of harm’s way by Aeros winger Aaron Voros.
Popperle kicked out Clayton Stoner’s center point blast with Houston on the power play 5:36 into the middle period.
Kloucek, in the box for that Aeros power play, sprung out of the box and took a pass from Darcy Verot and broke in alone on Quesada. Kloucek snapped a quick shot blocker side by Quesada for his first goal in 54 games this season. Kloucek’s last North American goal came November 8, 2002, for Hartford.
Popperle made his best save of the night with 4:45 left in the second, when Shawn Belle headmanned a pass for Matt Foy on a breakaway with Houston on the power play. Popperele made a nice pad save.
Morgan snapped Popperle’s shutout bid with 3:04 remaining in the middle period, converting a Voros pass for his eighth goal of the season.
Nine minutes into the third, Voros got loose in the right circle after Roman Voloshenko stole the puck. Again, Popperle was in good position to make the body save.
Just 19 seconds later, Konopka restored the lead to three goals. Lindstrom stole the puck from Shawn Belle and found Glencross in the left circle. Glencross hit Konopka across the ice, and Konopka went high glove side on Quesada for his 15th goal of the season.
The Aeros have not held a scoring advantage in the third period in 15 of their last 18 games.
Houston finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Syracuse went 1-for-4. The Aeros allowed a power play goal for the 10th straight game. Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Ryan Hamilton, Curtis Murphy and Josh Olson. Murphy missed his second straight game after playing 348 games in a row with the Aeros, counting the regular- and post-seasons. He had played in 282 straight regular-season games overall since missing the 2003-04 season opener to attend Dan Snyder’s funeral. Murphy had missed just one of his prior 521 games.
Morgan’s goal marked the 299th point (97-202=299) of his 617-game pro career.
The Aeros are 1-11-2-1 in their last 15 March games dating back to last season.
The Aeros fell to 4-19-2-2 this season in games in which goalie Josh Harding doesn’t play. Harding remains on recall to NHL Minnesota.
Foy, the Aeros’ leader in points (45) and goals (24), has one goal in his last 11 games.
Houston fell to 2-24-2-2 when scoring two or fewer goals.
The Aeros’ 14-game road winless slide is the longest in one AHL season since Springfield’s 16-game skid from December 31, 2004-April3 , 2005.
Houston’s eight straight road regulation losses are one shy of Binghamton’s AHL season-high.
The Aeros are 7-10-2-4 when playing the second game of a back-to-back.