Josh Harding (Photo by Jason Villaneuva)
From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, January 12, 2007
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 3, Stars 1 Official Box Score DES MOINES, Iowa –
Josh Harding made 43 saves, including a critical second period penalty shot, and Mattias Weinhandl posted a goal and an assist, as the Houston Aeros defeated the Iowa Stars 3-1 at Wells Fargo Arena. Benoit Pouliot and Peter Olvecky also scored for Houston (17-18-0-4), which has won two in a row.
Scott May scored a power play goal and Steve Silverthorn stopped 19 shots for Iowa (21-17-1-0), which fell to 7-2-0-1 in its last 10 games.
The Aeros play in Omaha on Saturday at 7 p.m. and San Antonio on Sunday at 5 p.m.
May scored his third goal of the season to get Iowa on top, just 1:19 into the game. With Iowa on the power play, May beat Harding on a 3-on-1 pass from former Aero Marius Holtet.
The Aeros evened things up at the 7:19 mark of the first, with Weinhandl’s eighth goal of the season. Curtis Murphy’s check deep in the Houston zone stole the puck, and Peter Ratchuk headmanned a long pass to Weinhandl. Weinhandl broke in alone on Silverthorn, carving the rookie with a forehand-to-backhand move, sliding the puck by the fallen netminder.
Harding was brilliant in the first period especially, helping his team to a 1-1 tie despite Houston getting outshot 20-7.
Houston survived a critical call with 13:34 left in the second. Defenseman Erik Reitz tripped up Chris Conner on a breakaway, sending Conner hurling into Harding. Both players were visibly shaken up, and Harding remained down for a couple of minutes. Referee David Banfield awarded a penalty shot to Conner. Harding made a nice glove save, again staying down after the stop.
Less than a minute later, Pouliot’s 15th goal, on the power play, gave Houston its first lead, 2-1. Ben Thomson faked a drop pass from the left circle, then fanned on a shot on net. Murphy whacked at a rebound and couldn’t connect, and Pouliot backhanded the puck over Silverthorn, tying Matt Foy for the team lead in goals.
Olvecky’s power play goal – his fourth of the season – to push the lead to 3-1 with 6:12 gone in the third. Weinhandl, in the right corner, slid a perfect pass to a cutting Olvecky, who popped the puck over Silverthorn and into the top corner of the net.
Harding stoned Krys Barch twice with 4:25 left in the third, with Iowa circling. Harding stopped Barch’s redirection attempt, then somehow snared the rebound with his glove from point blank range.
Iowa pulled Silverthorn with 1:11 left, and got a 6-on-4 advantage for 28 seconds after a hooking call on Chris Ovington, but the Stars couldn’t solve Harding.
Houston went 2-for-5 on the power play, while Iowa went 1-for-9. Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Josh Olson and Joey Tetarenko.
Houston was without defenseman Shawn Belle, recalled by NHL Minnesota earlier in the day.
Weinhandl has five points (3-2=5) in the last two games, and a team-best 16 points (8-8=16) in 12 games since being assigned by Minnesota.
Murphy, who assisted on has 11 points (2-9=11) in his last 12 games.
The Aeros improved to 16-6-0-3 when scoring three or more goals. They are 1-12-0-1 when scoring two or fewer.
Houston has trailed in eight of its 17 victories.