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HOUSTON AEROS BEAT THE BARONS 4-3 IN A SHOOTOUT
Aeros Head to Cleveland for a Pair with Lake Erie Starting Thursday
Houston, TX – The Houston Aeros (14-8-1-3, 32 points) defeated the Oklahoma City Barons (13-9-1-3, 30 points) 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday in front of a season-high 9,304 fans at Toyota Center. Rookie Jason Zucker scored with 2:11 left in regulation, tying the game, forcing the eventual overtime and shootout. Houston goalie Matt Hackett (11-6-2) stopped 17 Oklahoma City shots in regulation and all four attempts in the shootout win. Forwards Rob Mignardi and Mikael Granlund each had a goal, as Houston improved to 8-4-1-2 on home ice this season. Rookie forward Charlie Coyle set up two goals, helping the Aeros win for the fifth time in six meetings with the Barons. Oklahoma City goalie Yann Danis (10-6-3) stopped 42 Houston shots in regulation and two of four in the shootout loss. Forward Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists, while Mark Arcobello added a goal and an assist in the Barons defeat. Houston will head to Cleveland for a pair of games with the Lake Erie Monsters starting Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (CT) at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Houston opened the scoring at 2:49 of the first period, winger Nick Palmieri carried the puck into the Oklahoma City zone and in behind the net. Palmieri centered the puck out front, where winger Rob Mignardi poked in his first goal of the season and a 1-0 Houston lead. Center Zack Phillips added an assist on the game’s opening goal. The Barons answered back at 5:25, as Taylor Hall found a rebound in the Aeros crease and put in his eighth goal of the season to make it 1-1. Defenseman Jordan Henry and forward Anton Lander each had an assist on the goal. The Barons claimed the lead on their second power play of the day. Defenseman Justin Schultz sent a wrist shot from the point, through traffic and past Matt Hackett for the 2-1 lead. Hall and Mark Arcobello each had an assist on Schultz’s 14th goal of the year at 13:31.
The Aeros pulled even at 2-2 with the lone goal of the second period at 16:42. Forwards Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle worked a give-and-go passing play in the Barons zone. Coyle carried the puck behind the net and slipped a pass out front for Mikael Granlund. The Finnish rookie rifled a shot into the back of the Barons net, beating goalie Yann Danis for his fifth goal of the season.
Oklahoma City moved in front 3-2 at 11:11 of the third period, as Mark Arcobello scored his seventh goal of the season. Hall and Jordan Eberle each had an assist on the goal. Houston pulled even with Oklahoma City prior to the end of regulation. Defenseman Brian Connelly slipped a pass to Coyle, who found Zucker in front of the Barons net. Zucker redirected the pass over the shoulder of Danis, tying the game 3-3 and forcing overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the two teams skated to a shootout. Houston’s Mikael Granlund and Zack Phillips scored on two of the Aeros four shootout attempts. Houston goalie Matt Hackett stuffed all four Oklahoma City shootout attempts.
Houston will play a pair of games in Cleveland with the Lake Erie Monsters starting on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 6:00 p.m. (CT). The team will play a second game in Cleveland on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m. (CT). The Aeros return home on Wednesday, Dec. 26 to host the Texas Stars at 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center. The first 2,000 fans will receive an Aeros knit cap, presented by Living Social. Fans are also encouraged to wear Ugly Holiday sweaters. After the game, Tait Communications presents the annual Guns N Hoses game, featuring the Houston Police Department versus the Houston Fire Department.
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