From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 2, Rampage 0Official Box Score
Matt Foy scored his fifth goal in four games and Mike Smith made 21 saves for his fifth shutout, as the Houston Aeros defeated San Antonio 2-0 at Toyota Center for their second win over the Rampage in four days. Ray Giroux tacked on a power play goal for Houston, which moved a season-high six games over the .500 mark (27-21-5-3).
Houston will go for its first ever three-game regular-season sweep of an opponent Thursday at 7 p.m. in San Antonio.
The Aeros, who picked up their franchise-record ninth shutout, moved to 62 points, just four back of third-place Cincinnati with four games in hand. Fifth-place Grand Rapids lost 3-2 to St. Johns in overtime tonight, falling three points behind the Aeros.
Travis Scott stopped 35 shots for San Antonio, which fell to 1-7-1-1 in its last 10. San Antonio scored two goals or less for the eighth time in 10 games, and for the 13th straight time versus the Aeros.
Smith, who made six saves in the first period, eight in the second and seven in the third, snapped a five-start losing streak (0-3-2) to win for the first time since January 21, at San Antonio. He joins Frederic Chabot (seven) and Ryan Bach (five) as the lone Aeros netminders with five shutouts in a season, and his five overall trail only Chabot (18) and Derek Gustafson (six) for the most in team history.
The Aeros dominated the first period territorially, outshooting San Antonio 16-6, but had nothing to show for it.
Their first good chance came midway through the period on the power play, but Girouxs blast from just inside the left circle hit Pierre-Marc Bouchard in front of the net and dropped to the ground.
With 3:45 left in the first, Mark Cullen found himself alone with the puck in the low right circle, but Scott made the save. After the Rampage cleared the puck, Foy ducked around a defender with a neat move along the right side, but Scott made an acrobatic save.
Houstons Kyle Wanvig popped a Stephane Veilleux feed from behind the net just over the cage with 1:50 remaining.
Foy and Giroux scored less than two minutes apart midway through the second, as the Aeros built a two-goal lead they would not relinquish.
Foys 11th, and his fifth in four games, put Houston on the board at the 9:56 mark. After San Antonio held the puck deep in the Aeros zone for nearly a minute, Cullen popped the puck off the boards at center to a striding Marc Cavosie at center ice. Cavosie, once in the offensive zone on the left wing, pushed the puck through a defenders legs, stepped around him and left a perfect pass for a streaking Foy. Foy, unmarked between the circles, one-timed the puck high glove side over Scott.
Foy also had 11 goals in his rookie season of 2003-04. Nine of his 11 goals this season have either tied the game or given the Aeros the lead.
After Joe Cullen went off for hooking, Girouxs eighth goal made it 2-0. Veilleux, low in the left circle, slid a cross-ice pass to Giroux at the right point. Giroux unleashed a one-timer that went low glove side on Scott.
Foy made a great open-ice move with 12 minutes left in the third, but Scott stoned him by stacking the pads.
San Antonio had a chance to get back in the game with 11:02 left when Bouchard was called for elbowing, but the Rampage didnt get a shot on Smith.
The Aeros also killed off a tripping penalty to Mikko Koivu in the final 2:27.
Houston finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while San Antonio went 0-for-3.
The Aeros scratched Chris Heid, Joey Tetarenko, Erik Reitz, Marius Holtet and Christoph Brandner.
Foys four-game goal streak ties Koivu for the team season-high.
Houston is 11-2-3-2 in its last 18 games versus the Rampage and is 12-2-1-0 at home overall against San Antonio.
Giroux has seven points (2-5=7) in his last nine games and 10 points (3-7=10) in his last 12 games.
Houston has scored the first goal in four of five games after allowing it in seven straight contests.
When playing a team three straight times since joining the league in 2001-02, the Aeros are 5-2-1 in game one, 5-2-1 in game two but just 2-5-0 in game three. This is the fourth time Houston has won the first two of three straight against an opponent, but the Aeros lost the third game each of the other three times.
Houston has killed off 29 straight shorthanded chances at home.