Iowa's Dan Ellis reacts after a magnificent blocker save on Benoit Pouliot late in the first period (Photo by Jason Villanueva)
From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, February 23, 2007
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Stars 3, Aeros 2 (SO) Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Dan Ellis made 37 saves and stopped four of five shootout attempts, and former Aero Junior Lessard netted the deciding shootout tally, as the Iowa Stars defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 at Toyota Center. Newcomer Shane Endicott and Chris Conner scored in regulation for Iowa (29-24-3-1), which knocked off Houston 3-2 on Thursday and moved into a fourth-place tie with Peoria.
Mattias Weinhandl and Bryan Lundbohm each scored a goal and Dieter Kochan made 33 saves for Houston (21-27-3-6), which hosts Milwaukee on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. for a Family Day contest.
The Aeros outshot the Stars 14-6 in the first period, but Ellis was outstanding. His best stop came with less than two minutes remaining. Benoit Pouliot took a pass from Ben Thomson in the left circle and let loose, but Ellis just got a piece of the puck with his blocker and put the puck into the protective netting.
Endicott scored in his first game with Iowa to give the Stars the lead just 1:01 into the second period. Jesse Bennefield stole the puck behind the net, and Kochan stopped his wraparound. Endicott hopped on the rebound and slid the puck under the netminder.
Just before the Aeros tied the game at 1-1, Kochan was brilliant with a pair of saves. First, Yared Hagos got loose in front of the net and tried to deke around Kochan, who made the save. The rebound slid into the low slot, and Kochan kicked out former Aero Marius Holtet’s blistering shot.
Weinhandl then tallied his 13th of the season, 7:44 into the second, to even the score. Curtis Murphy pinched in at the right point to keep the puck in the zone. He sprinted behind the net and fed Weinhandl at the left doorstep, and Weinhandl put the puck low by Ellis.
Conner’s third goal in two games and 13th of the season gave Iowa the lead back with 2:29 gone in the third, with Iowa on the power play. Vojtech Polak sprung Conner on a breakaway. Conner briefly lost the puck to Clayton Stoner’s stick, got it back and put it by Kochan.
But the Aeros persevered and got Lundbohm’s shorthanded goal – Houston’s 13th shorthanded tally of the season – with 6:49 gone in the third to tie things up. The score came just seconds after Danny Irmen hit the post on a shorthanded breakaway. Joel Ward dug the puck out behind the net and fed Erik Reitz in the far corner. Reitz lofted a long pass ahead to Lundbohm, who caught up and beat Ellis high glove side for his fifth goal of the season.
Houston outshot Iowa 5-3 in overtime, but neither team scored, so it came down to a shootout.
Defenseman Mark Ardelan and Lessard scored in rounds two and three for Iowa. Belle moved to 5-for-5 in shootouts to keep the Aeros alive, but Ellis stopped Jason Morgan and Thomson to secure the victory.
Iowa improved to 2-1 in shootouts this season, while Houston fell to 6-6.
Houston finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Iowa went 1-for-3. Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Ryan Stokes, Josh Olson, Chris Ovington and Joey Tetarenko.
Murphy has 199 points (55-144=199) in 297 career games in Houston.
Houston outshot Iowa 40-36, snapping a string of nine straight games overall in which the Aeros were outshot.
The Aeros won four of the five home meetings with the Stars last season, but have lost all three in 2006-07.
Houston dropped to 8-12-3-6 in one-goal games, and just 2-9-3-2 in its last 16 one-goal decisions. The Aeros have only two non shootout one-goal wins, the last coming 3-2 at Iowa on November 9.
The Aeros fell to 2-18-2-2 when scoring two or fewer goals.
The Aeros are 3-12-2-2 this season in games in which goalie Josh Harding doesn’t play. Harding remains on recall to NHL Minnesota.