From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, January 14, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Moose 3, Aeros 2Official Box Score
Josh Green broke a tie 5:58 into the third period and Alex Auld finished with 38 saves for his fifth straight win, as the Manitoba Moose beat the Houston Aeros 3-2 on Derek Boogaard Bobblehead Night at Toyota Center. Jeff Hereema and Brandon Nolan also scored for Manitoba, which won its fourth straight and improved to 15-2-2-1 on the road despite being outshot 40-21.
Kirby Law, playing in his 498th professional game, scored a pair of power play goals and Mike Smith made 18 saves for Houston, which has lost three of four.
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Seconds after Auld stoned Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Marc Cavosie early in the third, Houston defenseman John Erskine earned a winning decision over Manitobas Lee Goren.
Manitoba went back up 3-2 at 5:58 of the third, as Green redirected a Peter Sarno shot from the right point under Smith. The goal was originally waved off by referee Justin St. Pierre, but after a discussion the goal was ruled to have gone over the line. Replays appeared to show the puck skidding off Smith's pads and into the post.
The Aeros kept up the pressure, but Rickard Wallin went off for interference at 3:20 to stunt the possible comeback.
Houston couldnt pull Smith until there were 44 seconds left thanks to a good Manitoba forecheck. Auld swallowed an Erik Reitz point blast with 24.2 ticks on the clock. Mark Cullen slid one by the goal mouth as the clock ran down.
The Aeros controlled play for much of the first period but had a 2-1 deficit to show for it.
Houston actually had a great chance on the man advantage less than two minutes in, but Auld slid to his right to stop Bouchard on the tail end of a 3-on-0.
Some pretty passing set up Manitobas first goal, a power-play tally on its first shot, which came 6:27 into the game. Ryan Kesler, in the left circle, set up Hereema between the circles, and Hereema beat Smith five-hole to finish off a 3-on-2.
Houston equaled things up on the power play at 9:58 left. After having 46 seconds of 5-on-3 time elapse, Laws ninth of the season made it 1-1. Reitz, at the top of the right circle, blasted a shot that Auld turned aside, but the puck trickled just wide of the goal, where Law was to poke the puck in the net. The Aeros captain began the play with some hard work behind the net, which got the puck to Mikko Koivu.
Manitoba went back up only 18 seconds later, on its third shot, on a goal the Aeros argued was put in with a high stick. Jesse Schulz pass from behind the net went straight up in the air, and Nolan swung his stick near his shoulder and popped it over Smith. The Aeros argued but to no avail.
Houstons Wallin hit the short side post early in the second.
Boogaard gave fans what they wanted to see at the 10:14 mark of the second, and also turned the momentum in Houstons favor. He took exception to a Wade Brookbank facewash in front of the Aeros bench, then pummeled the veteran winger with a series of punches.
Auld saved a trickling shot from Zbynek Michalek at the point on the power play with 4:10 left in the second, but Kevin Bieksa was called for cross checking in the play, setting up 48 seconds of a 5-on-3.
Laws second of the game lit the lamp only 18 seconds later, evening the score at 2-2. Bouchard, in the low right circle, slid a perfect pass to Law between the circles, and Law blistered it under Auld for his 10th of the season.
Houston finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while Manitoba went 1-for-5. The Aeros gave up just their fourth power play goal in the last 11 games.
The Aeros scratched Josh Harding, Patrick Traverse, Christoph Brandner and Kyle Wanvig.
Tonight marked Laws second two-goal game of the season, the other coming in a 6-3 win at Syracuse on November 20.
Smiths playing streak is one game shy of the franchise record, set December 8, 1999-January 21, 2000.
Aeros alternate captain Dan Cavanaugh played in his 253rd game with the team, tying Trent Cull for fifth place on the teams all-time list.
Houston fell to 5-13-1-1 when its opponent scores first, and 1-9-1-0 when trailing after one period.