Dustin Boyd (center) posted a goal and two assists (Photo by Jason Villanueva)
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From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Thursday, February 8, 2007
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Knights 4, Aeros 3 Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Dustin Boyd posted a goal and two assists and Tim Hambly added a goal and a helper, as the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights sprinted to a three goal lead and held on for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Aeros at Toyota Center. Justin Taylor and Carsen Germyn scored a goal apiece and Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves for Omaha (30-15-3-1), which avenged a 2-1 shootout loss to the Aeros on Tuesday and improved to 6-0-0-1 against Houston this season.
Matt Foy scored two goals, Bryan Lundbohm added one and Miroslav Kopriva made 16 saves before being lifted for the Aeros (20-23-3-5), who played their eighth straight one-goal game to tie a team record. Houston travels to Peoria for an 8 p.m. game Saturday.
Aeros heavyweight John Scott locked up with Omaha’s much smaller but leading penalty-getter Brandon Prust 5:58 into the game. Prust twice knocked down Kopriva late in regulation on Tuesday. Scott landed four straight rights to Prust’s head to open the bout before the fighters came to a halt.
Omaha had several good chances in the first. Eight minutes in, second-year defenseman Clayton Stoner broke up a 2-on-1 with a diving play. Two minutes later, Warren Peters – who scored Omaha’s lone goal Tuesday – twice hit the outside of the net with Kopriva sprawled in the crease.
Foy had a great opportunity for Houston in the opening period, on the power play with 6:35 left. Mattias Weinhandl, low in the right circle, slid a pass through the crease to Foy, who twice was robbed by McElhinney’s right pad.
Stoner appeared to give Houston a 1-0 lead shorthanded 15:06 into the first, but Lundbohm was called for holding the stick, leading to more than a minute of 5-on-3 time for the Knights. Omaha’s precision passing led to Boyd’s doorstep goal – his 14th of the season.
Peter Ratchuk was called for roughing up Prust with 2:38 remaining in the first, leading to Omaha’s fifth power play of the stanza.
The Aeros nearly scored shorthanded after the penalty. McElhinney turned aside Lundbohm, who drew a penalty of his own, and Joel Ward pushed a rebound just wide of the net.
The teams combined for six goals – three each – in a wild second period.
Lundbohm got Houston on the board at 3:43 into the second period with his fourth goal of the season – his first in 22 games since December 16. Just after the Aeros killed off an Omaha power play, Lundbohm gathered the puck and outletted to Ward. Ward eventually got the puck back to Lundbohm with a drop pass in the Omaha zone, and Lundbohm beat a screened McElhinney.
But the Knights took just 39 seconds to retake the lead. Prust, with a defenseman draped all over him, got Kopriva out of the net but hit the left post. Prust crashed the net and scored his ninth goal of the season at the 4:22 mark.
The Knights extended to a 3-1 lead on Germyn’s 15h goal, with 6:40 gone in the second. Germyn lifted a Boyd rebound high over Kopriva, ending the goalie’s night.
Houston’s parade to the penalty box continued, and with Curtis Murphy in for roughing, Hambly lifted a bouncing puck from the slot through a screen and over Dieter Kochan’s glove for just his second goal of the season.
The Aeros got a four minute power play when Brad Ference held onto Weinhandl and crushed Benoit Pouliot into the boards. Prust beat Ratchuk to a loose puck at center ice and nearly scored shorthanded, but Ratchuk pushed the puck wide.
Houston was able to get two shots on McElhinney before Ryan Hamilton was called for interference midway through the advantage.
But Houston scored twice in a 1:18 span late in the second to get back in the game.
Foy gave the Aeros life with his team-leading 19th goal, with 1:28 left. McElhinney kicked out Erik Reitz’ right point blast. Roman Voloshenko got a piece of the rebound, which came to Foy at the left doorstep, and Foy put the puck into an open net.
Foy’s second of the night and 20th of the season got Houston within a goal, with 5.2 seconds left in the second. Murphy made a great individual play at the right point, faking a pass and eyeing Foy cutting in from the left side. Foy caught the pass with his skate and fired the puck into the net. Reitz also assisted on Foy’s second tally.
The third period began much more tamer than the second ended, with not much action until Houston’s Danny Irmen went off for holding at 7:58. Defenseman Chris Lee missed a one-on-one chance on Kochan, firing the puck wide.
The Aeros then got their penultimate power play opportunity, when Kris Chucko was sent off with 9:55 left. Shawn Belle let loose from the right point, and McElhinney juggled the shot, but a defenseman cleared the puck out of harm’s way. McElhinney also made a fine save on Voloshenko’s bullet from the right circle near the end of the advantage.
Houston’s Ryan Stokes then picked up a tripping penalty with 6:54 remaining, giving Omaha its 11th power play. Kochan robbed Hambly with a shoulder save midway through the advantage.
The Aeros got their eighth and final man advantage when Prust went for hooking with 3:04 left. Foy was shown the penalty box doors when he and Ference were called for coincidental roughing minors. Ference dogged Foy several times behind the play, finally dumping him to the ice.
Houston got Kochan out of the net with 1:10 left. Murphy’s left point blast was kicked wide by the defense. But Omaha iced the puck with 34 seconds left, setting up a faceoff deep in the Knights zone.
Houston went 1-for-8 on the power play, while Omaha finished 2-for-11. Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Peter Olvecky, Chris Ovington, Ben Thomson and Joey Tetarenko.
The Aeros fell to 2-8-2-1 in games where goalie Josh Harding doesn’t play. Harding remains on recall to NHL Minnesota.
Houston is 8-9-3-5 in one-goal games, but just 2-6-3-1 in its last 12 such games. The Aeros have only two non shootout one-goal wins, the last coming 3-2 at Iowa on November 9.
Houston played its eighth straight one-goal game to match a team record, set in its inaugural season, from February 28-March 17, 1995.
Kochan made 14 saves in relief and was the tough-luck loser.
The Aeros fell to 18-7-1-4 when scoring three or more goals.
Houston has trailed in 12 of 13 games.