From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Saturday, February 19, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Wolves 2, Aeros 1Official Box Score
Lonny Bohonos snapped a tie 1:19 into the third period and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves including Kyle Wanvigs third-period penalty shot, leading the Chicago Wolves past the Houston Aeros 2-1 at Toyota Center in the teams fifth straight one-goal meeting and seventh in eight tries this season. Bohonos and J.P. Vigier each finished with a goal and an assist for Chicago, which salvaged the final game of an extended three-game set with the Aeros.
Kirby Law scored his fourth goal in two games for Houston, which won a thriller 5-4 last night and was trying to match a season-high with its third straight win. Josh Harding finished with 20 saves, but Houston's comeback was halted with three minor penalties in a span of nine seconds in the final two minutes.
The Aeros, who fell four points behind third-place Cincinnati, begin a five-game road trip Monday at 3:05 p.m. in Utah.
The first period was a stark contrast to Fridays affair, which was 4-3 Houston after 20 minutes. The teams combined for only 12 shots in a tight-checking frame. Houston outshot Chicago 7-5, despite the fact the Aeros spent six full minutes on the penalty kill.
Chicagos Travis Roche had two great chances against his former team. But four minutes in, Ray Giroux tied him up with Harding out of position, and midway through the period Harding got a blocker on Roches bad angle attempt from the low left circle on the power play.
Houstons Mikko Koivu had a great chance 4:45 into the second, moving easily around a defender and firing from the right circle, but Lehtonen sent it wide with his blocker.
Marc Cavosie and Derek Boogaard sprung in on Lehtonen on a 2-on-1 after a bone-crushing elbow by Kyle Rossiter that knocked off the helmet of Houstons Marius Holtet, but Lehtonen went spread eagle to rob Cavosie after a deke. Holtet was helped to the dressing room and didn't return. No penalty was called on the play.
The most exciting moment of the first 38 minutes was when Boogaard battled Chicagos Kip Brennan for the second time in as many nights. Brennan was given an instigator and 10-minute misconduct.
Lehtonen stoned Law of a sure goal on the ensuing power play. Zbynek Michaleks point blast was knocked down in front, and the rebound popped to an untouched Law at the left doorstop. Lehtonen somehow went post-to-post in a flash to get a pad on Laws attempt and then cover it up. Thirty seconds later, Wanvig just tipped a Giroux point shot just wide of the cage.
Harding stopped Bohonos original shot from the lower left circle, but he got his own rebound, skated behind the net and fed Vigier between the circles. Vigier, with a defender draped all over him, poked the puck under Harding for his team-best 21st goal of the season.
Just like Friday night, the Aeros wasted little time in responding, getting the equalizer with Rossiter in the box for interference just 53 seconds later. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, along the goal line to the right of Lehtonen, slid a pass through a defenders skates to Law, who avenged the earlier miss for his 17th goal of the season and 150th of his AHL career. Bouchard has an assist on three of the four tallies.
Bohonos put Chicago back on top only 79 seconds into the third period. Vigier fed Bohonos, who snuck a hard-angle shot from the left circle in short side for his 11th of the season.
The Aeros, who are among the AHL leaders with only 35 third-period goals allowed, are 1-9-2-1 in their last 13 games when allowing a third-period goal.
Wanvig was awarded a penalty shot with 10:53 left when Rossiter upended him on a breakaway, but Lehtonen gloved aside the attempt.
Less than a minute later, Chicagos Ryan Van Buskirk rang a shot from the left point through a screen off the crossbar.
Rossiter took out his own goalie Lehtonen with 6:56 left. The top-rated goalie in all of minor-league hockey was slow to get up, but he remained in the game.
Seconds later, Vigier hit the post on a breakaway while bidding for his second of the night.
The Aeros got a key power play with 4:35 left when Vigier slashed Cavosies stick out of his hand. Chicago, aggressive on the penalty kill, didnt allow Houston a shot at Lehtonen.
Houstons Rickard Wallin was whistled for interference with 1:44 left, and Bouchard picked up an unsportsmanlike for arguing with referee Dan ORourke, ending the Aeros chances as Chicago went on a 5-on-3. ORourke then handed Bouchard another two minutes once play started.
Houston finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Chicago went 0-for-7. The Aeros have killed off 41-of-43 shorthanded chances over their last 11 games, and 26 straight over their last seven home games.
The Aeros scratched Erik Reitz, Dan Cavanaugh, David Bararuk, John Erskine and Christoph Brandner. Cavosie returned after missing nine games due to injury. Houston also scratched right wing Joey Tetarenko, who signed a PTO earlier in the day and went through his first practice session this morning.
Law and Bouchard moved into a tie with Stephane Veilleux for the team lead with 33 points.
The Aeros have allowed the first goal in five straight games.
Chicago and Houstons seven one-goal games tie Springfield/Portland for the most by two teams this season.
The team scoring the games first goal won for only the third time in eight meetings this season.
Houston failed to pick up a point for just the fourth time in 14 games (7-4-2-1).
Bouchard has 12 points (3-9=12) in seven games against Chicago.
The Aeros fell to 10-7-2-0 in games two or three of back-to-back situations.
Harding has started seven straight games, and nine of 10 since returning from a Grade 3 concussion.
Law made Houstons only other penalty shot this season, October 20 in Chicago in a 5-4 Wolves overtime win. Boogaard was the last attempt at home, and he missed last March 6, 2004, against Utahs Jason Bacashihua.