From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Wolves 4, Aeros 1; Wolves lead series 1-0Official Box Score
Brad Larsen, who played junior hockey for Aeros head coach Todd McLellan, notched two goals and an assist and Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves, as the Chicago Wolves pulled away for a 4-1 victory over Houston in Game 1 of the West Division Semifinals at Allstate Arena. Stephen Weiss added a goal and a helper, Karl Stewart also scored and former Aero Cory Larose supplied two assists for the Wolves, who outshot the Aeros 40-23. Larsen had five goals in 10 regular-season games against Houston, including a hat trick in February.
Game 2 is in Chicago on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Kyle Wanvig scored and Josh Harding stopped 36 shots for the Aeros, who lost Game 1 of a seven-game series for just the second time in team history. Houston kept it close until the third, when it was held without a shot for more than the first 10 minutes after taking a pair of high-sticking majors.
Games 3 (A), 4 (B) and 5 (C), if necessary, are at Toyota Center on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. Saturday's game will begin at 7:05 p.m. Click here
for playoff tickets, or call 1.866.GO.AEROS.
Sunday is an Aeros Playoff Family Day. Get four tickets, $20 in Toyota Bucks, free parking and
four special commemorative playoff pucks for only $67. Order the Family Day package at www.aeros.com/themenights
. Username is Family, password is Aeros. Or click here
to print the flyer.
Chicago took little time getting on the board, as Weiss pushed the rebound of a Larose shot off the post and into the net at 5:23 of the first.
The team to score first won only four of the teams 10 regular-season meetings.
Houston got a chance to tie things up on a power play midway through the period, but a tripping penalty to Rickard Wallin stopped the man advantage after only 20 seconds.
Later, with the Aeros on the power play and six minutes left in the first, Lehtonen went post-to-post to rob Houstons leading goal-getter, Kirby Law.
Harding had his turn at brilliance late in the first with the teams 4-on-4, as he snared a Tommi Santala rocket from the left circle with his glove. A minute later, Wolves veteran Steve Maltais hit the post with Harding down.
The Aeros had another power play cut short in the final two minutes, as Wallin was whistled for holding just 30 seconds after Stewart went off for holding the stick.
After Harding helped keep the Aeros in the game by stopping a flurry of shots on the Wolves power play, Wanvig evened things up at 8:15 of the second. Matt Foy beat the defense to the puck in the left corner, and he swung the puck behind the net all the way to Zbynek Michalek at the left point. Michalek ripped a shot on net, and Lehtonen made the original save but left the rebound on the deck. Wanvig hopped on the puck and poked it by Lehtonen, giving him goals in each of the last three games.
Larsen put the Wolves back on top for good with 4:43 left in the middle period. Weiss stole the puck and fed Larsen, who put a shot by Harding.
Larsen scored again against Harding with 2:40 gone in the third, roofing a rebound at a tough angle over Harding. Larose and former Aeros teammate Travis Roche assisted on Larsens goal.
The teams came together 33 seconds later in a fracas that ended with the Aeros on the power play. But again, 33 seconds in, a Wallin penalty cut the man advantage short. The high-sticking major came at 3:46 and put the Wolves on a lengthy power play.
Harding kept the lead at two, twice stoning NHL defenseman Joe Corvo. But Ray Giroux got a five-minute high-sticking major, giving Chicago 2:05 of a 5-on-3, plus three more minutes of man advantage time. Harding watched a Ben Simon shot go off the post, but then made a great save and kept the puck under his body.
Stewart ended the scoring by finishing off a 2-on-1 with Derek MacKenzie with 6:30 remaining.
Law hit the post with 5:00 remaining and the Aeros in desperation mode on the power play.
Houston finished 0-for-7 on the power play, including three advantages that were cut short after 33 seconds or less, while Chicago went 0-for-8. The Wolves are 1-for-44 on the power play in their last six games, and havent scored against Houston in the last 28 attempts. The Aeros havent scored on their last 39 post-season opportunities versus the Wolves, dating back to the 2002 Western Conference Finals.
The Aeros scratched Joey Tetarenko, Erik Reitz, Maxime Fortunus, Bill Kinkel, Ryan Stokes, Stephane Veilleux, Christoph Brandner, and Marius Holtet.
Wanvigs goal moved him into a seventh place tie with Jean-Guy Trudel on the teams all-time playoff goal list with seven.
Chicagos Kip Brennan, who was suspended for the final 15 games of the regular season thanks to a pre-game altercation versus Manitoba, returned to the Wolves lineup.
Wanvigs three-game goal streak is a season-high. Prior to this run, he had scored goals in back-to-back games once this season, back in October.
The only other time the Aeros dropped the opener of a seven-game series, the 2000 Western Conference Semifinals versus Utah, they stormed back with four straight wins to claim the series.
Houston has dropped four straight playoff games at Allstate Arena, and it hasnt won in regulation in Rosemont in the last 16 tries.
The Aeros had won all three Game 1s versus Chicago.
Thirteen of Houstons 23 shots came from defensemen.