From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Sunday, January 16, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Moose 3, Aeros 1Official Box Score
Josh Green scored a pair of goals and Peter Sarno added a goal and two assists, as the Manitoba Moose defeated the Houston Aeros 3-1 at Toyota Center to remain unbeaten in the last 14 road games (12-0-1-1). Alex Auld made 38 saves and Wade Brookbank chipped in two assists for Manitoba, which has won five straight and eight of nine to climb to 57 points, best in the Western Conference.
Mike Smith, tying a franchise mark by appearing in his 15th straight game, stopped 12-of-15 shots before being replaced by Kyle Kettles (seven saves) for Houston, which has lost four of five. Mikko Koivu helped the Aeros avoid the shutout with a third-period goal. Houston has lost four of five at Toyota Center and is 8-9-1-0 at home, one of two AHL teams with a winning record on the road but not at home.
It took Manitoba only 1:47 to find the scoreboard, as Sarno hit the lamp for his seventh of the season. Brookbank kept a failed Houston clear in at the left point and wound the puck along the boards to Sarno behind the net. Sarno walked to the edge of the goal and wrapped the puck under Smith.
Sarnos tally was the 22nd that Houston has given up in either the first or last two minutes of a period. The Aeros are 1-7-0-0 when allowing a goal in the opening two minutes of a period. Houston has only scored 10 such goals this season.
Houston had 3:39 of power play time including 21 seconds of a 5-on-3 midway through the first, but Auld turned aside all seven shots sent his way.
Manitoba extended to a two-goal lead at 5:13 of the second, as Brookbank popped a shot from the right circle in transition. Smith made the save, but the rebound bounced right between the circles, where Green put the puck into the empty net for his first of the night.
The Aeros had a great chance to get back into things a minute later, with nearly three minutes of man advantage time, including 42 seconds of a 5-on-3. But the Moose clogged the low slot and let nothing get at Auld.
Greens second of the night and 11th of the season ended Smiths night at 12:26. Sarno left him the puck in the left circle, and he beat a screened Smith short side and low for his 11th of the season.
The Aeros started to take it to the Moose in the third, and they got on the board at 6:10 on Koivus eighth of the season. Brent Burns caused a turnover at center ice and fed Koivu on the left wing. The fleet centerman took a step over the blueline and slapped a seemingly harmless shot at Auld, who watched it elude his glove and go into the back of the net. The most surprised on the play was Koivu, who had already turned his back for a line change.
Houston had a pair of power plays in the final 10 minutes, including a tripping call to Jimmy Roy with 3:10 left, but didnt again find the net. The Aeros pulled Kettles already having a man advantage and 2:10 showing on the clock.
The Aeros finished 0-for-6 on the power play, while Manitoba went 0-for-2.
Smith tied Frederic Chabots mark of 15 straight games played. Chabot set the record from December 8, 1999, to January 21, 2000. He has also played in all but one of the Aeros home games this season.
Aeros captain Kirby Law played in his 499th professional game and sits at 298 AHL points.
Houston alternate captain Dan Cavanaugh moved past Trent Cull for fifth place on the teams all-time games played list with 254.
The Aeros are 2-6-0-0 in a nine-game run against teams with records above the .500 mark. It ends Wednesday against Edmonton, as Houston is in San Antonio on Friday.
Houston fell to 1-6-0-0 against North Division opponents at Toyota Center this season.
The Aeros are 3-7-1-0 when failing to score a power play goal.
Burns assist was his first since December 2, a span of 11 games without one. He had one goal in that span, December 29 versus Milwaukee.
Koivu has a point in three straight games (2-2=4) for the first time in this, his first season in North America.
Houston (17-16-2-1) is down to one game over the .500 mark for the first time since it was 8-7-1-1 after a 3-1 loss in Cleveland on November 18.
Koivu is tied with Stephane Veilleux for the team lead with four third-period goals.