Kyle Wanvig (picture by Bob Levey
) scored his second power-play game-winning goal in as many games and 20-year-old Josh Harding made 24 saves to become the youngest Aeros goalie to notch a victory, as Houston rallied for a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Road Runners at Rexall Place. Dan Cavanaugh and Patrick Traverse also scored for Houston (3-3-1-0), which picked up its first road win and has won two straight overall.
The Aeros began a season-long six-game, 7,318-mile road trip with a victory against an Edmonton team with an AHL-best 11 points. The teams play again Saturday at 8 p.m.
Toby Peterson scored a power play goal, Doug Lynch also scored and rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 17 saves for the Road Runners (5-2-1-0).
After a fast-paced first period that saw Edmonton score the lone goal, the second stanza was a high checking affair, with just 11 combined shots.
Houston had nearly four full minutes on the power play early in the second, but Drouin-Deslauriers was strong.
Harding was equally up to task midway through the period, with the Road Runners on a 5-on-3 for 63 seconds. The netminder stoned Tony Salmelainen twice in the waning seconds of the advantage.
The Aeros evened the score at 15:04 of the second, with just four seconds left on the power play. Traverses first shot off a nifty feed by Pierre-Marc Bouchard was blocked, but a second shot wouldnt be denied for his first goal with the Aeros. Bouchard notched his fourth point (1-3=4) in his last two games.
Harding rescued Houston in the opening minute of the third, as he made three saves after a turnover in the low slot.
Cavanaugh got off the 2004-05 schneid with his first goal and point 4:36 into the third. Marc Cavosie steered the puck in front, and Edmonton tried to clear. But Cavanaugh picked up the loose puck and slid it by Drouin-Deslausiers with Derek Boogaard creating a screen to give Houston its first road lead of the young season at 2-1.
Wanvig cut through the slot from the corner and smacked the puck into the net on a touch pass from Rickard Wallin behind the net to pad the lead to two goals with 5:53 left.
The insurance goal was needed, as Lynch floated one past Harding off an Aero in front with 4:26 remaining in regulation to get the Road Runners within a goal.
With Drouin-Deslausiers pulled in the final minute-plus, Harding blocked a Salmelainen attempt and then covered up as bodies crashed on top of him.
Houston was outshot 11-4 in the third period, but made the most of its opportunities by scoring on two of the four shots. The Aeros went 2-for-8 on the power play, while Edmonton finished 1-for-5. Houston has five power play goals over its last two games.
Houston dominated most of the first period, outshooting the Road Runners 11-9.
However, Peterson got Edmonton on the board at 9:58 with a power play goal just Edmontons second man-advantage tally in eight games. The Aeros failed to clear from behind their own net, and Salmelainen and Joe Cullen combined to get the puck to Peterson, who was alone in front of the net. Houston allowed the games first goal for the fifth time in seven games.
Later in the period, Houston was held to just one shot on a 5-on-3 that lasted for 1:12. Harding helped keep the deficit one goal with two minutes left and Edmonton in the midst of a long (1:38) 5-on-3 of its own.
Wanvig, who scored six straight game-winners last season, now has 13 in his career, tied with Mark Lamb for third place on the teams all-time list. Wanvig entered the game tied with David Oliver for fourth. Brian Wiseman is next on the list with 14, and Mark Freer leads with 21.
Houstons John Erskine went over the 900-minute mark in career penalty minutes with a tripping penalty late in the first period.
Bouchard has the team lead with six points (1-5=6), including a team-best four power play assists. He has a helper on four of his teams seven power play goals.
Houston improved to 1-2-1 when trailing after one period.
The Aeros are 3-1-1 when scoring a power play goal, and 0-2-0 when not.