From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Saturday, April 7, 2007
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 1, Knights 0 (OT) Official Box Score OMAHA, Neb. –
Rookie Tony Quesada was brilliant, making 41 saves for his first career win and shutout, and two-time Eddie Shore winner Curtis Murphy scored the game-winning goal with 37 seconds left in overtime, as the Houston Aeros knocked off first-place Omaha 1-0. Houston (26-39-4-6) beat the Knights for just the second time this season (2-5-0-3), and snapped a seven-game skid (0-4-1-2) at Omaha Civic Auditorium. The Aeros improved to 1-4 in overtime this season and finish a three-game road trip in Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 18 shots for Omaha (46-24-5-1), which fell to 1-5 in overtime. The Knights’ lead over second-place Chicago was cut to one point after the Wolves beat Grand Rapids 5-3. Omaha has four games left, while the Wolves have three remaining.
Quesada entered the game 0-8-0 with a 5.06 gaa and a .855 save pct., and was removed from his last start against Omaha, a 10-2 Knights’ victory. But that mattered little in this one, as Quesada stopped 10 shots in the first period, 18 in the second, 12 in the third and one in overtime. He helped the Aeros win despite a 41-19 shot disadvantage. Houston has been outshot 117-57 in the last three games. Quesada also gave the Aeros their first 1-0 road win since Nov. 6, 2004, when Josh Harding made 40 saves in Grand Rapids.
Houston’s last regular season overtime victory came last April 9 against San Antonio, with Murphy providing the heroics in a 5-4 decision at Toyota Center.
Eleven of the 20 all-time meetings between the teams have gone into overtime or a shootout, including six of the last eight.
Omaha’s Adam Pardy ripped a 2-on-1 shot wide six minutes into a first period which saw the Knights get the first six shots.
Quesada robbed David Van der Gulik’s shorthanded, 2-on-1 bullet from Warren Peters with seven minutes left in the opening period.
The Knights outshot Houston 10-4 in the first period, and 18-9 in the second, but both goalies were perfect through 40 minutes.
Houston's Mattias Weinhandl had his team’s best shot of the second period, late in the stanza with the Aeros on the power play. He didn’t get all of a shot at a near empty net, allowing McElhinney enough time to recover and make the save.
Omaha nearly capitalized on a wild scramble in front, eight minutes into the final period, but Quesada got back into the net in time. Just after that, with Omaha shorthanded, Quesada shoved aside a partial breakaway attempt from Van der Gulik.
The Knights continued the pressure for the entire third period, outshooting the Aeros 12-4.
The teams appeared headed to a shootout, before Murphy redirected a Jason Morgan pass by McElhinney for his ninth goal of the season. Weinhandl also assisted on the goal.
Houston finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Omaha went 0-for-6. Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Dieter Kochan, Josh Olson, Ben Thomson and Clayton Stoner.
Morgan, who played in his 500th AHL game last night, has eight points (3-5=8) in his last eight games.
The Aeros haven’t outshot any of their last 12 opponents.
Houston won for just the fourth time when scoring two or fewer goals (4-27-2-2).