From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Wednesday, February 2, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Wolves 3, Aeros 2 (OT)Official Box Score
Brad Larsen completed a natural hat trick just after a power play expired with 43 seconds left in overtime, as the Chicago Wolves rallied from two goals down for a 3-2 victory over the Houston Aeros at Allstate Arena. Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves for Chicago, which has won four of five and avenged a 3-2 loss at Houston last Saturday in which it couldnt hold a two-goal lead. The teams went into overtime for the 13th time in the last 23 meetings, including three of five this season.
Josh Harding, in his second game back since missing more than two months with a concussion, made 33 saves, and Brent Burns and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored 1:41 apart in the second period for Houston, which is 0-6-3-2 in its last 11 trips to Allstate Arena its longest winless streak in any opposing arena.
The Aeros play host to first-place and defending Calder Cup champion Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday at 7:35 p.m. The Admirals have won four straight heading into Thursdays home game against Cincinnati.
Despite giving up two goals in the third, Harding helped force overtime as Chicago went on a five-minute power play in the final eight minutes of regulation, plus two minutes of a 5-on-3 after Houstons second too many men on the ice penalty of the period. The Aeros went shorthanded four times in the final 14 minutes of the game.
Harding allowed Chicagos first two shots by him Saturday, but was perfect on his next 37 attempts until Larsens first goal early in the third period.
Larsen, who rang a penalty shot off the post late in the second, got his revenge, scoring twice within a span of 5:16 in the third to tie the game. Larsen, who played juniors for Aeros head coach Todd McLellan in Swift Current, now has goals in five straight games.
Larsen got his first goal 4:43 into the third, pulling Chicago within 2-1 on its first shot of the period. Steve Maltais, in the corner, threw a blind shot on net, and Larsen got it by Harding. Former Aero Cory Larose also assisted on the goal.
Lehtonen helped keep the deficit one by stopping a flurry of power play shots, including a golden chance by Bouchard, eight minutes into the third. That man advantage ended early with a too many men on the ice penalty with 11:29 remaining in regulation.
With Chicago on the power play after the too many men on the ice call, Larsens second of the game and 17th of the season tied things up with 10:01 left.
The Wolves got their golden opportunity with 8:13 left when Junior Lessard inadvertently high sticked Ben Simon, drawing blood and a five-minute power play. The Aeros problems were multiplied with another too many men on the ice penalty, resulting in two full minutes of a 5-on-3.
Impressively, the Aeros were able to kill off the major, plus the two minutes of the two-man advantage.
With less than 30 seconds left in regulation, Harding helped get his team into overtime with a dynamite pad save on Maltais.
The Aeros came into the game with a league-best 26 third-period goals allowed. They hadnt allowed more than one goal in a third period since yielding four in a 5-3 loss to Utah on November 26.
Houston got a power play when Tim Wedderburn was called for hooking well behind from the play 1:54 into the extra session, but the man advantage lasted only 20 seconds, before an interference call to Zbynek Michalek in front of the Chicago net resulted in 3-on-3 play.
Larsen completed the natural hat trick with 43 seconds left in the extra session, just three seconds after Michaleks penalty expired but he hadnt yet rejoined the play. Maltais and former Aero Greg Hawgood each picked up their second helpers of the game on the tally.
Houston finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Chicago went 1-for-9. The Aeros established a new season-high with their nine shorthanded chances.
Houstons Stephane Veilleux nearly notched a shorthanded goal midway through the first when he hit the post, but he drew a penalty on Travis Roche ending Chicagos advantage 34 seconds in. Veilleux also hit the post on a shorthanded attempt with less then a minute remaining in the opening period.
The Aeros got lucky a minute into the third when penalty killing, as a Chicago shot got behind Harding but rolled through the crease.
Veilleuxs quickness halted another Chicago power play early, this one after 17 seconds, as he stole the puck and broke across the redline at 5:33 of the second.
That helped set up Burns goal, at 7:17, one second into the Aeros power play. Burns, trailing the play,
knocked in a Kyle Wanvig rebound off Lehtonen and into the net for his seventh of the season and second in as many games. The tally came on Houstons first shot of the middle period.
Only 1:41 later, Bouchards second in as many games pushed the lead to two. Mark Cullen fed Bouchard streaking into the offensive zone with Kirby Law on a 2-on-1. Bouchard started the give-and-go with Law, and then put the return pass into a near empty net for his eighth goal of the season.
Bouchards goal came on Houstons third shot of the period.
Harding just got a glove on Roches blast off a faceoff late in the second, pushing the puck over the crossbar.
With less than a minute left in the second, Harding stopped Larsen on a breakaway on the power play, but referee Francois St. Laurent awarded Larsen a penalty shot. Larsens attempt hit off the post.
The Aeros scratched Dan Cavanaugh, Marc Cavosie and Marius Holtet.
Bouchard, who also assisted on Burns goal, has points in four straight games, tying his season-high. Hes got seven points (3-4=7) in that span, and he has a goal in two straight games for the first time this season.
Burns has goals in two straight for the first time this season. He had one goal in his last 18 games before Saturdays victory over Chicago.
Four of Burns seven goals have come on the power play.
Cullen, who has helped lead the Aeros into the top five of the AHL in penalty killing, had been held without a point in his last 11 games.
Law, who posted two assists Saturday, has five points (1-4=5) in his last five games and nine points (4-5=9) in his last nine games.
Houston hasnt won in Chicago since a 5-4 overtime win January 15, 2003, and the Aeros last regulation win at Allstate Arena was a 4-3 decision on April 7, 2002.
Houstons 11-game winless streak in Chicago is a new franchise record for its longest winless streak in an opposing arena (Milwaukees Bradley Center, 10 games).
The Aeros, who had outshot their last three opponents 129-61, were outshot 36-25.
When playing a team for two straight games this season, Houston is 4-4-0-0 in game one and 5-3-1-0 in game two.
Houston failed to win for the first time this season when leading on the road at any point in the game (10-0-1-0).
The Aeros were 10-22-6-2 on the road in 2003-04 and remained stuck on 10 road wins this season (10-7-2-1).
Larsens penalty shot attempt was just the third against the Aeros in their 11-year history. The last was March 9, 2003, by San Antonios Juraj Kolnik against Derek Gustafson. The only make against the Aeros was Long Beachs Ravil Gusmanov versus Ryan Bach on November 13, 1997.
In four games against Chicago, Bouchard has eight points (3-5=8).