From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Friday, May 22, 2009
AEROS OUTLAST MOOSE WITH 4-3 WIN IN
DOUBLE OVERTIME, FORCE GAME 6 IN MANITOBA
HOUSTON, Texas – For the second straight game the contest had to be decided in overtime, this time in double overtime when Tony Hrkac netted the game-winning goal giving the Houston Aeros a 4-3 victory over the Manitoba Moose. The Game 5 win sends the series back to Winnipeg for Game 6 Monday night. A total of 91 shots were put on net in 84:19 of game time before a winner was decided. Manitoba leads the series 3-2 as the series heads north.
Matt Climie started in net for the Aeros stopping 45 of 48 shots faced in the contest. Corey Schneider started the contest for the Moose allowing three goals in the first 40 minutes of play stopping 16 shots. Curtis Sanford replaced Schneider stopping 22 of 23 shots in 42:56 of time on ice. Hrkac netted two goals to lead the Aeros with Robbie Earl, Benoit Pouliot and Corey Locke each adding two assists in the contest.
The Aeros quickly got on the board with a power-play goal at 2:56 into the first period. Manitoba attempted to clear the puck but it couldn’t get past Locke who passed the disc to Maxim Noreau. The defenseman wristed a shot from the point through minimal traffic and just nicked the inside of Schneider’s pads on the way into the back of the net.
Just 1:26 later in the opening frame Tony Hrkac gave the Aeros a 2-0 lead with an even-strength goal. Benoit Pouliot set the play up when he passed the puck to Robbie Earl who wristed a shot from the right-wing faceoff circle. The shot rebounded up the middle and Hrkac chipped the puck over Schneider as he tried to get back in position after the initial shot at the 4:22 mark.
Just three shots were taken within the first six minutes of the middle period, all by Manitoba but each team finished with nine in the frame. Over 11 minutes of the second period went by without a whistle until Matt Beaudoin gave Houston a 3-0 lead at 17:34. John Lammers and Locke set Beaudoin up to slip the puck under Schneider's arm as he slid right to left in the crease. Houston’s lead would stand as the team’s faced no whistles in the remaining 2:26 before heading to the locker room for the second intermission.
Sanford replaced Schneider in the Moose net for the third period in an effort to change things up for the visitors. Manitoba only took 2:29 into the third period to change things up by netting a power-play goal to chip into Houston’s lead. Shaun Heshka passed the puck to Michael Grabner as he sped through the neutral zone. Grabner weaved through two defenders before wristing a hard shot over Climie's right shoulder. Just two seconds remained on Stoner's penalty when the lamp was lit.
The middle of the period was evenly matched until Houston’s Krys Kolanos was called for hooking with 1:25 remaining in the game. Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, Sanford left the Moose net in favor of the extra attacker giving Manitoba a 6-on-4 advantage. After a number of shots Jason Krog was able to reel in the puck and snapped it past Climie to bring the visitors within one with just 21 seconds remaining.
Sanford returned to the net for the faceoff and quickly returned to the bench for the 6-on-5 advantage. With little time to spare the Moose came at the Aeros net rapidly with a flury of shots and with two seconds remaining Mark Cullen fired the puck five-hole between Climie’s pads to send the contest into overtime.
The first overtime period saw a total of 31 shots, 17 for Manitoba and 14 for Houston. The extra 20 minutes of play wasn’t enough but the Aeros needed less than five in the second overtime. Hrkac took in a pass from Earl and hit the Moose netminder in the shoulder with his shot and flipped over and across the goal line for the 4-3 victory.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: The Calder Cup, Our Reason --