SHOOTOUT WIN MOVES AEROS INTO TIE FOR FIRST
HOUSTON --- Chad Rau scored the decisive goal in the fifth shootout round to help lead the Houston Aeros to a 4-3 win over the Abbotsford Heat before 5,862 on Friday night at Toyota Center.
The win moved Houston into a first place tie with the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL’s West Division race. Both teams sit one point ahead of the Peoria Rivermen.
J.M. Daoust, Carson McMillan and Patrick O’Sullivan also scored for the Aeros, who closed the month of January with a 10-2-0-1 record including a 5-0-0-1 mark at home. The Aeros have won eight of their last 11 overall and have points in seven consecutive home games (6-0-0-1) dating back to Dec. 26.
Maxim Noreau, who will represent the Aeros at the AHL All-Star Classic on Sunday and Monday in Hershey, Pa., registered a pair of assists for his ninth multi-point game of the season. Goaltender Anton Khudobin made 21 saves and added four more stops in the shootout.
The teams traded goals through the first 40 minutes of action and combined to score four times in the middle stanza. Daoust gave Houston a 1-0 lead at the16:56 mark of the first period for his eighth goal of the season and 300th pro point. McMillan’s goal came just 14 seconds after Lance Bouma tied it at 1-1 for the Heat at 2:03 of the second period. O’Sullivan bagged a power play tally at 14:35 to give the Aeros a 3-2 lead heading into the locker room.
Matt Keith converted on a breakaway 5:14 into the third period to knot the game at 3-3.
The Aeros return to action after the AHL All-Star break with a home game against the Texas Stars on Friday, Feb. 4 at 7:35 p.m. Call 713-974-7825 (PUCK) for more information on Aeros tickets and other promotions.
Rau (shootout, 5th round)
HOU: Khudobin (21/24; 4/5 SO, W)
ABB: Lamoureux (24/27; 3/5 SO, L)
F: Gillies, Ortmeyer, Peters
D: Noreau, Bagnall
Fraser, Wellman, Kalus, Buck
Feb. 4 vs. Texas, 7:35 p.m.
The Aeros have won four of their last five games…Houston is 23-7-0-3 when scoring first this season and 16-0-0-0 when scoring four goals…Scary moment at the end of the first as two Heat players, Josh Meyers and Matt Pelech, collided at their own blue line. Meyers took the brunt of the hit and was taken off the ice on a stretcher. Emergency personnel said he was responsive and that he was being transported to Memorial Hermann. At least two scratched players from the Heat accompanied Meyers...The Aeros held the Heat to three first period shots, a new season low for an opponent…The Heat and Aeros have gone to the shootout in all three games so far in the four-game season series…Houston is now 1-0-0-2 vs. the Heat this season…Overall the Aeros are 7-3 in shootouts… J.M. Daoust's goal 16:56 into the first was his 300th pro point and 133rd pro goal in his 402nd pro game…Jon DiSalvatore’s assist on O’Sullivan’s third period power play goal was his 399th point as a pro. The goal was O’Sullivan’s 296th pro point…Khudobin has won four of his last five starts. He appeared in just his third home game since Dec. 10. Khudobin is now 5-1 in shootouts…He has won four straight shootout decisions and six-straight extra time decisions. He is 4-0 at home in the extra-extra and 7-2 overall in in extra time games including overtime decisions.