From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, December 22, 2006
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Wolves 7, Aeros 5 Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Former Aero Kyle Wanvig scored two goals, including the game-winner with 2:24 left in regulation, and linemates Steve Martins (goal, two assists) and Alex Bourret (three helpers) chipped in three points apiece, as the Chicago Wolves outlasted the Houston Aeros 7-5 in front of 7,877 at Toyota Center. Defensemen Brian Fahey and Mark Popovic, Kevin Doell and rookie sensation Brett Sterling added a goal apiece, and Darren Haydar extended his point streak to 31 games to tie a 19-year-old AHL record. Fred Brathwaite made 29 saves as Chicago (22-7-1-1) extended its lead in the West Division to 10 points.
Roman Voloshenko tallied a goal and two assists, and defensemen Peter Ratchuk and Curtis Murphy added a goal and a helper apiece but Houston (12-15-0-3) had its two-game winning streak snapped. Danny Irmen and Peter Olvecky also scored, and Mattias Weinhandl had two assists for the Aeros, who allowed their second most goals ever in a regular season game at Toyota Center. Josh Harding made 18 stops.
The Aeros are off until Tuesday, when they play host to San Antonio at 7:05 p.m. For the final two December games, get $20 center ice seats (normally $30) or $15 corner seats (normally $22). This offer is only available through the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK. Offices are open Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Each team had a two-goal lead that it couldn’t hold, and they began the third period tied at 5-5. Then, things calmed down for 17-plus minutes.
Fiery Aeros forward Ben Thomson nearly broke through seven minutes into the third, but Brathwaite made a pad save on Thomson’s shot from the left circle.
Brathwaite robbed Ratchuk’s center point blast off a faceoff with 6:31 remaining in regulation.
Weinhandl deflected an Erik Reitz drive from the right point just wide two minutes later.
The Wolves got their eighth and final power play of the night with 4:28 left, due to a hooking call on Olvecky. But Houston’s penalty killers – who allowed just a 5-on-3 goal in the game – were up to task.
As was Harding, who ranged from left-to-right post to outright rob Alex Bourret’s rebound attempt from the left circle.
However, four seconds after the penalty expired, Wanvig bit the hand that fed him for the second time in the game. Wanvig deflected a Martins shot up and over Harding for his eighth goal of the season. Wanvig posted 26 goals in 78 games at Toyota Center from 2003-05 and ranks seventh on the team’s all-time goal scoring list with 56.
Weinhandl eluded the defense and got in alone on Brathwaite with 1:05 left, but defenseman Nathan Oystrick made a great diving play to take the puck away.
The Aeros pulled Harding with a minute left, and Martins finished things off with an empty netter from 150 feet out with 19 seconds remaining.
An entertaining first period saw five goals – and Houston rally from two goals down for a 3-2 lead.
Weinhandl set up Voloshenko in the mid slot 1:30 into the game, but Brathwaite made the save.
Less than two minutes later, rookie Ryan Hamilton hit the crossbar after 6-foot-8 John Scott freed the puck in the corner.
Popovic’s third goal of the season – on Chicago’s second shot – put the Wolves up 1-0 at the 5:19 mark. Former Aero Cory Larose (two assists) found Popovic at the left point, and with Haydar providing a screen in front of Harding, the puck slipped by the netminder.
The Wolves then got 1:40 of a 5-on-3, and went up 2-0 with 7:50 gone in the first. Haydar, in the left circle, fed Sterling between the circles, and the rookie sniper ripped a one-timer by Harding for his 30th goal of the season.
Voloshenko’s third goal of the season – his first point in December – got Houston within 2-1 at the 9:39 mark. Voloshenko took a pass from Weinhandl in transition and skated into the left circle. With Ratchuk skating hard to the front of the net, Voloshenko fired a shot that went off Ratchuk and into the back of the net.
Olvecky, who snapped a 32-game drought without a goal in the Aeros’ last game, tied things up at the 10:45 mark with a power play goal. Weinhandl, in the right corner, fed Olvecky in the middle of the right circle, and Olvecky ripped a one-timer over Brathwaite’s shoulder for his second goal of the season.
Murphy’s fourth goal gave Houston its first lead, with 4:53 left in the first. Thomson dug the puck out along the right wing boards and floated it to Murphy, cutting in at the right point. Murphy blasted a clear shot by Harding.
Irmen scored his eighth goal, just 1:18 into the second, for Houston’s fourth straight goal and a 4-2 lead. Shawn Belle rushed up the ice on the right wing side and left a drop pass for Irmen, whose one-time rip beat Brathwaite high stick side.
Chicago didn’t take long to tie things back up, scoring twice in a span of 1:10.
Doell answered back 46 seconds left with a controversial goal to make it 4-3. The back of the net came up two feet in the air, with the crossbar on top of Harding’s back. Doell snuck the puck in the net, and the goal counted despite the net falling on top of Harding as the puck slid across the line.
Fahey’s fourth of the season got the Wolves even, 70 seconds later at the 3:14 mark. Martins won the faceoff back to Fahey at the left point. Fahey floated an innocent looking shot into the top of the net.
Chicago’s Boris Valabik jumped Matt Foy 5:24 into the second, when Foy went after a rebound by Brathwaite. Valabik won the battle – having had the head start – but gave Houston a power play by picking up a double minor for roughing. Foy just got a single penalty for slashing.
The Wolves got another 1:41 of a 5-on-3 midway through the second after back-to-back penalties to Bryan Lundbohm and Reitz. Chicago didn’t get a shot on the two-man advantage, but then reclaimed the lead.
Wanvig, the former Aero, made it 5-4 Chicago with 9:17 remaining in the second. Bourret sprung Wanvig on a long breakaway up the middle, and the winger wound up and fired a high shot over Harding for his eighth goal of the season.
Wanvig had another chance on a breakaway two minutes later, but Harding denied him low.
It was then the Aeros’ turn for a length 5-on-3, getting 1:34. And Voloshenko got his second of the night and fourth of the season, with 2:59 remaining in the second. Peter Ratchuk fired from the left circle, and Voloshenko tipped it by Brathwaite.
Houston finished 2-for-6 on the power play, while Chicago went 1-for-8. Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Dieter Kochan, Jason Morgan, Chris Ovington, Benoit Pouliot and Joey Tetarenko.
Aeros defenseman Clayton Stoner played in his 100th career game.
Houston fell to 11-5-0-2 when scoring three goals or more. The Aeros are 1-10-0-1 when scoring two or fewer.
Weinhandl has four points (1-3=4) in his first three games with the Aeros.
Olvecky has four points (2-2=4) in his last four games.
Chicago improved to 14-3-0-0 on the road.
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