From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
AEROS AVOID ELIMINATION, FORCE GAME 5
WITH 5-4 OVERTIME WIN WEDNESDAY NIGHT
HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Aeros’ Matt Beaudoin posted four points on two goals and two assists including the game-winning goal en route to a 5-4 overtime victory over the Manitoba Moose. The Aeros avoided the sweep and forced a Game 5, set for Friday night at 7:35 p.m. The win snapped Manitoba’s 10-game winning streak and Houston’s three-game losing streak. Tickets for Game 5 are available at 9 a.m. Thursday by calling (713) 974-PUCK, online at AEROS.com or at the Toyota Center Box Office.
Anton Khudobin played all of regulation for the Aeros stopping 18-of-22 shots faced, helping to force overtime. Netminder Nolan Schaefer played the 2:01 of overtime for the win, facing no shots in the extra session. Moose goalie Corey Schneider stopped 25-of-30 shots faced in just his third loss of the post season. Houston’s Corey Locke followed Beaudoin’s four points with three of his own with the opening goal and two assists, including on the game winner.
Houston took control early in the first period when they sent the puck deep into their offensive zone and held it there. A blocked cross-ice pass sent the puck to Beaudoin near the top of the faceoff circle where he wristed a shot on net. The rebound was put back at Schneider by John Lammers and Locke was able to finish the play with a back hand shot that went over the netminder’s glove hand at 1:26 into the game.
Manitoba was able tied the contest at the 7:10 mark when Mike Keane recorded his first of the night after a scrum near the front of the net. Jason Krog and Maxime Fortunus got the puck down low by the Aeros’ net before Keane stuffed it under Khudobin’s pads. The visitors took a 2-1 lead not two minutes later while short handed. Keane stole the puck near center ice as the Aeros began another rush nearly halfway into their power play and banged home his own rebound.
The Aeros evened the score with the only second period goal coming at 13:58 into the middle frame. Locke brought the puck into the zone along the right wing boards and passed it cross ice to Lammers. The puck was quickly centered to Robbie Earl who tipped it in the far side of the net past Schneider.
Just 25 seconds into the third period Manitoba took a 3-2 lead as Krog wristed the puck past Khudobin from the left wing faceoff dot into the top corner of the net. Assists went to Shaun Heshka and Jason Jaffray on the even strength marker.
The Aeros tied the contest at three apiece on Houston’s first of two goals in the third period. J.P. Testwuide carried the puck into the zone near center ice and slid it to Benoit Pouliot to his left. Pouliot then sent the puck across the ice to a wide open Beaudoin as he skated into the zone after just coming off the bench and wristed the puck from near the top of the faceoff circle past Schneider at 13:34.
Houston took a 4-3 third period lead with 5:31 left in regulation. Tony Hrkac initiated the play when he slapped the puck on net and Schneider gave up a big rebound directly in front of him. Beaudoin tried the flip the rebound in but sent it behind the net. He followed the puck and passed it blindly to the side of the net where Hrkac shoved it past the goal line.
Manitoba tied the contest again with 2:39 left in the period. A small flurry led to Khudobin getting stuck away from his net with traffic around him. The puck came out below the goal line and Mario Bliznak swung it behind the net and shoved the disc across the goal line just as Khudobin got back into the crease.
The teams rode out the remainder of the contest to force overtime for the second time in the Aeros playoff run. Through regulation, Houston posted 28 shots to Manitoba’s 22 with neither team tallying a power-play goal on a total of five tries.
The home team was able to avoid the sweep by controlling the puck for most of the extra session and didn’t allow a shot on net for the Moose. Just 2:01 into the extra session Beaudoin tallied his second goal of the night, the overtime game winner. The play was set up when Locke’s shot from the right-wing faceoff circle was tipped and trickled to Lammers in front of the crease. Lammers quickly passed the puck across the crease to Beaudoin who buried it, forcing Game 5 Friday night.
- Tonight’s game marked Houston’s 100th game of the season including pre-season, regular season and the playoffs.
- Prior to the game Manitoba had trailed for just 75 seconds in the previous six games. Houston held a lead over the Moose for 5:44 in the first period before Mike Keane tied the game.
- Houston improved their record when scoring the first goal to 8-2 and snapped the trend of losing all eight games when trailing after the first period, prior to tonight.
- Corey Locke extended his league lead in points (20) and goals (11) and Matt Beaudoin moved into second with seven goals and a tie for second with 16 points.
- Houston recorded two third-period goals for a total of 23 during the current playoff run. The Aeros have posted a total of 24 goals in the first, second and overtime periods combined.
- Since Game 4 of the 2003 Calder Cup finals Houston has won their last seven playoff overtime games, including two this post season. The Aeros are 15-10 in playoff sudden-death overtime games in team history.
- Matt Beaudoin's four points tied an Aeros' all-time playoff record that happened twice before in team history. His two goals in the contest also tied a club record which is the 31st time in history, fourth time this post season.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: The Calder Cup, Our Reason --