Director of Communications
Friday, January 20, 2006
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 5, Americans 1 Official Box Score
Patrick OSullivan scored two goals, Erik Westrum tallied a goal and an assist, and Seamus Kotyk made 34 saves, as the Houston Aeros scored four times in the opening 10 minutes en route to a 5-1 victory over the Rochester Americans at Toyota Center. Roman Voloshenko and Josh Olson also scored and Matt Foy and Rem Murray each pitched in two helpers for the Aeros, who have won 12 of 14 and are 6-1-3-0 all-time against Rochester. The Aeros (30-10-1-1) increased their West Division lead over Milwaukee to four points.
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Mark Mancari scored a goal and Jean-Marc Pelletier stopped five-of-nine shots before being lifted for Rochester, which has lost three of four and is 3-6-0-0 in its last nine. Michael Leighton made 20 saves in relief for the Amerks.
Houston scored four times in the first 9:34 of the game, including twice in the opening 2:47, to take control. The Aeros have now outscored their opponents 51-31 in the first period this season, including 7-1 in their last two games.
Voloshenko got things going only 33 seconds into the game. Dustin Wood threw a shot wide of the net, and Law collected the puck behind the net. He slid a pass to Erik Westrum at the left doorstep. Westrum hit Voloshenko in the low slot, and the rookie put it by Pelletier for his 21st goal of the season.
Law extended his point streak to 14 games to tie his career high and come within just a game of Brian Wisemans franchise record. Law has 27 points (12-15=27) in his run.
OSullivan made it a two-goal advantage at 2:47 of the first with first of the period. Foy won a race to the puck in the left corner and kept the puck alive to Murray. The veteran fed OSullivan in the low left circle, and the rookie quickly snapped a seemingly harmless shot short side on Pelletier. The puck eluded the goalie, who entered the game with the fourth-highest active goals against average versus the Aeros (4.00).
Seconds later, Kotyk stoned Stefan Meyer with a pad save on a breakaway. A minute after that, Kotyk stopped Scott Sheppard as he broke in alone. Less than 60 seconds later, Kotyk was again the hero, rocketing post-to-post to rob Nathan Paetschs 2-on-1 attempt. With Rochester on the power play just moments after that, Kotyk kicked out the pads to make a great save on Paetschs point blast.
That set up OSullivans second of the period and 21st of the season tying Voloshenko for the AHL rookie lead. Wood stole the puck along the right wing boards in the Aeros zone and banked a no-look pass to a cutting OSullivan at center ice. OSullivan broke in alone on Pelletier and beat the goalie low blocker side for his first shorthanded goal.
Pelletier kept the lead at three with 11:20 left and Houston on the power play en search of the blowout. Law got loose in the right circle and unleashed a drive from close range, but Pelletier got a piece of the puck with his glove and pushed it wide.
Westrum was able to extend the advantage to four with 10:26 remaining in the first, with his 20th goal, coming on the power play. Murray, at the left point, hit a trailing Westrum just inside the blueline on the right wing side. Westrum centered a pass near the net, and with Murray in front, the puck went off a defenseman and over Pelletier, ending his former teammates night. The duo played together in Utah last season.
Kotyk continued his mastery with 7:29 left. After getting knocked down in front, he slid to the right post to snare Mancaris attempt.
Sheppard scored on the power play with 1:22 remaining in the first to get Rochester on the board. He rebounded a Mancari miss just over the line before defenseman Curtis Murphy could pull it out. The goal was set up by a delay of game penalty to Wood, who flipped the puck out of play as he was trying to clear a rebound away from the crease.
Kotyk frustrated Mancari again with 13:53 left in the second period, and Rochester on the power play. Mancari made three moves from in close, but Kotyk stood his ground and made the save with his body.
The Aeros goalie stopped another breakaway this one of the shorthanded variety pushing Clarke MacArthurs attempt just wide. Kotyk is 5-1-0 with a 1.54 gaa in his last six appearances.
Olson scored his eighth goal of the season with 7:07 gone in the third. Peter Olvecky picked off a pass at the blueline, beat a defender in the right circle and fed Olson, who nudged the puck five-hole on Leighton.
Both teams finished 1-for-7 on the power play.
Not dressing for the Aeros were Josh Harding, Bill Kinkel, Joel Ward, Joey Tetarenko and Andrei Nazarov.
Aeros assistant coach Matt Shaw led the team in the absence of Rob Daum, who missed the game due to personal reasons. Special assistant to hockey Cam Stewart was also on the bench for the first time since 2003-04, when he was an assistant coach.
Houston was also without Petr Taticek, recalled by the NHLs Florida Panthers. Rochester is Floridas AHL affiliate, but there were no healthy forwards on the Amerks roster for the Panthers to recall.
Defenseman Aaron Schneekloth, called up from CHL Austin prior to the game, made his Aeros debut. He played forward, as did defenseman Colin Peters.
Westrum (20-41=61) leads Law (26-34=60) by one point for the AHL scoring lead.
Portland rookie Corey Perry, currently in Anaheim, holds the AHLs longest point streak this season at 17.
Westrum and Law each have at least one point in each of the Aeros 13 home games since getting shut out November 27 by Milwaukee. Law has 25 points and Westrum 25 in the last 13 home games.
Aeros defenseman Curtis Murphy had a six-game point streak (4-6=10) snapped. It had tied his career-high.
Westrum has 12 points (6-6=12) in a six-game point streak, his fourth of at least six games this season. He has an assist in each of the six games for a personal season-best.
OSullivans four multiple-goal games are tied with Voloshenko for second-best on the team, behind Law (five).
Houston has a shorthanded goal in three of its last four games.
The Aeros are 29-2-0-0 when scoring three or more goals.
Houston has scored four goals in a period four times this season.
The Aeros havent had three 20-goal scorers even in a full season since they had four in 2002-03.
Kotyk is 5-3-2 in his career against Rochester.
Rochester has scored one goal or less in six of its last seven losses.
Attendance was 7,005 the second largest Toyota Center crowd of the season.