From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Thursday, February 10, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Admirals 2, Aeros 1 (OT)Official Box Score
Ryan Suter scored 51 seconds into overtime and Brian Finley made 22 saves, as the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Houston Aeros 2-1 at Bradley Center. Bryan Lundbohm also scored for the Admirals, who avenged a 1-0 loss at Toyota Center last Saturday and improved to a West Division-best 34-14-2-2.
Rookie Josh Harding, starting his third game in three days for the first time in his pro career, continued his stellar play, stopping 29 shots, but he dropped his second straight game. The Aeros scored only two goals for Harding the last two nights, and they have provided him with just 29 goals of support in his 16 starts against teams other than Utah.
The 20-year-old fell to 8-10-1 with a 1.95 goals against average third in the AHL behind only Hartfords Steve Valiquette (1.78) and Manchesters Adam Hauser (1.80).
Houston picked up a point to move into a three-way tie for fourth place with San Antonio and Grand Rapids with 50 points. Third-place Cincinnati has 54 points, but the Aeros have four games in hand on the Ducks.
The Aeros, who lost 3-1 last night in Grand Rapids, finish off a three-game road trip Saturday in Chicago at 7:30 p.m.
Jordin Tootoo, who left the ice late in the second after taking a Brent Burns shot to his body, returned in the third period, and he assisted on Lundbohms go-ahead goal. Tootoo corralled a failed Houston clear, and his floater deflected off Lundbohm and into the net for Lundbohms fourth goal of the season. It marked the first Milwaukee goal against Harding this season in 103 minutes, eight seconds.
A minute later, Houstons Matt Foy who scored the game-winner in Saturdays 1-0 contest broke in alone on Finley but didnt score.
Burns amended the earlier turnover by stealing the puck at center and skating in on Finley with Law. Burns slid a pass to Law, who rifled it by the goalie for his 13th goal of the season at 10:29. Finley turned away Houstons first 18 attempts.
Law, one of Houstons most consistent performers over the past month-plus, has posted 13 points (6-7=13) in 14 games since January 11.
Harding rescued the Aeros with less than a minute left in regulation after a turnover. He made a sprawling save on Dan Hamhuis rocket from the point, then watched Tootoo chip a shot just over the net.
Just 51 seconds into overtime, Darren Haydar dropped a pass to Suter at the blueline, and the blue-blooded rookie out of Wisconsin ripped a shot by Harding for his second goal of the season.
Neither team managed a goal in the opening 43 minutes of the game.
Harding covered up a rebound with Wyatt Smith bearing down on him on the power play seven minutes into the game.
Houstons Stephane Veilleux ripped a shot off Finleys glove and then the post on the man advantage past the midway point of the first.
Milwaukee went on a power play early in the second when Derek Boogaard slashed Jerred Smithson behind the play. Boogaard waved to nemesis Jeremy Yablonski on the way to the box, and Yablonski answered by blowing kisses to the big Aeros winger.
That power play was short-lived, as Suter got an inadvertent high stick in Mark Cullens face, resulting in a major and more than four minutes on the power play.
Veilleux, the Aeros leading scorer, broke in alone during the advantage, but Finley turned him aside.
Tootoo, Milwaukees 5-foot-9 sparkplug, went to the locker room in the final minutes of the second after he took a slapshot from Burns to the body. Tootoo fought Erik Reitz after the buzzer in Saturdays game, leading to an elbow injury to Reitz.
Each team went 0-for-2 on the power play. The Admirals havent scored on their last 18 man advantages versus the Aeros.
The Aeros scratched Mark Rooneem, Dan Cavanaugh, Marc Cavosie, Christoph Brandner and John Erskine.
The AHL rescinded an instigator penalty, one fighting major and one misconduct from Boogaards record for his role in a fracas against Utah on Tuesday. That knocks his penalty minute total in the game down to 27 giving the team record back to Clayton Young (32).
Second-year defenseman Chris Heid wore an Aeros uniform for the first time since last March. He missed the first two months of this season due to injury, then saw time in ECHL Louisiana.
Houston returned rookie goalie Robert Gherson to UHL Quad Cities this morning. Mike Smith rejoined the team after staying behind in Houston with a bout with the flu.
Milwaukees Libor Pivko returned after missing 18 games due to injury.
Aeros defenseman Todd Reirden played in his 698th pro game.
Houston is an impressive 4-1-1-0 when playing its third game in three nights.
The Aeros have never shut out an opponent in two straight games, and theyve never blanked the same opponent three times in one season.
Burns has five points (3-2=5) in his last nine games.
Houston fell to 2-4 in overtime, and Harding has three of the losses. The Aeros were winless in the extra session in 2003-04 with four losses and 14 ties.
Finleys 13 wins against Houston are two more than any goalie in history.