From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
March 22, 2009
HOUSTON AEROS TAKE 4-3 VICTORY OVER
PEORIA RIVERMEN AFTER EIGHT ROUNDS OF A SHOOTOUT
HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Aeros extended their lead for second place in the West Division with a 4-3 shootout win over the Peoria Rivermen Sunday night. Houston (35-25-1-8) will hit the road for a Wednesday tilt in Milwaukee Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.
Corey Locke led the way with two regulation goals and netted a pair during the shootout. Aeros’ netminder Nolan Schaefer (25-16-5) stopped 19 of 22 shots during regulation and blocked four of eight during the shootout, improving his shootout record to 5-5 this season. Peoria goaltender Manny Legace blocked 25 of 28 before the shootout where he stopped three of eight.
Only one penalty was called in the opening period when the Aeros Clayton Stoner dropped the gloves with Ryan Reaves at 1:11 into the contest. Houston’s Benoit Pouliot had a wide open breakaway chance early in the first period but was kept out of the net when Legace made a big save to prevent an early deficit. Houston did eventually take the lead after Marco Rosa provided a breakout pass to Matt Beaudoin who took the initial shot on net from the left wing faceoff circle. Legace made the save but gave up a rebound to Locke who potted the puck in the wide open net. The goal, at 13:56 in the first period, extended Locke’s career-high point streak to nine games in which he has recorded ten points (3 goals, 7 assists).
Just two minutes into the second period Houston earned their first power play of the game which they took advantage of at the 3:12 mark. Pouliot took the puck into the right wing faceoff circle and sent it back to Brandon Rogers near the blue line. Rogers hard shot on net was tipped just in front of the crease by Rosa to give the Aeros a 2-0 lead.
Peoria brought the game within one when the Rivermen scored on their first power-play chance of the night. Justin Fletcher slapped the puck hard into the offensive zone and banked off the glass to directly in front of the net. Yan Stastny finished the play by snapping the puck past Schaefer.
The Aeros regained their two goal lead during a five-on-three power-play late in the period. Krys Kolanos sent the puck to Jesse Schultz to the right-hand side of Legace and quickly sent it cross-ice to Locke who flipped the puck into the net with 2:31 remaining in the second frame for his second marker of the contest. The second period was littered with penalties totaling 34 minutes between the two clubs including 14 penalty minutes assessed during a scuffle following the Aeros goal.
Legace kept it a one-goal game when he made a diving glove save while facing a two-on-one breakaway. Trent Whitfield brought the game back within one goal for Peoria as he netted an even strength goal at 10:43 in the third period after recovering a rebound off Schaefer. Stastny tied the contest at three apiece with 4:23 left in the contest during a power play for the Rivermen, forcing the eventual overtime and shootout.
Eight rounds of the shootout were required to decide the contest with Houston recording five successful attempts to Peoria’s four. Locke kept Houston alive in the seventh round when he came straight down the middle but peeled off wide left, allowing Legace to sprawl out before sending the puck top shelf at a hard angle. After Schaefer made a glove save to start the eighth round Kolanos netted the puck with a hard shot that snuck past Legace’s leg pads for the 4-3 win, Kolanos' second shootout-winning goal of the season.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: 15 Seasons, One Reason --