From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Friday, April 25, 2008
AEROS SEASON ENDS WITH 5-2 LOSS TO ROCKFORD IN GAME 5
HOUSTON, TX –
The Rockford IceHogs closed out the season for the Houston Aeros with a 5-2 win at Toyota Center in front of 4,144 fans. After splitting the first two games in Rockford, the Aeros lost all three games on home ice. Neither team recorded a power-play goal throughout the series with the Aeros going 0-for-20 and Rockford 0-for-19. However, Rockford converted on two shorthanded chances for the only special teams markers of the series. Houston’s Barry Brust
blocked 20 of 24 shots to Corey Crawford’s
28 of 30 stops.
Overall, the season was a success for the Aeros as they improved 32 points over last season's 64 points, the largest single-season improvment in franchise history led the story lines among a number of other team and personal achievments along the way. Stay tuned to AEROS.com
for a season review and to keep up with other content throughout the off season.
The IceHogs put Houston on a power-play on six seconds into the game giving the Aeros an immediate chance. An intercepted Houston pass led to the first special teams goal of the series as IceHog Kris Versteeg
netted a short-handed goal at 1:55 in the first period. Houston out-shot Rockford 6-4 in the first frame but the Hogs were able to hold on for a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The lead marked the first time this series that either club has held a lead into any intermission.
The second period was played evenly with only three penalties called and each team scoring one goal. Rockford scored first in the period for a 2-0 lead when Mike Blunden
netted an even strength marker at 13:22 in the frame. Jim Fahey
and Colin Fraser
earned the assists on the goal. Houston answered keeping the team within one at 14:33 when Peter Olvecky
jammed in a rebound in front of Crawford. Adrian Foster
took the initial shot getting the puck in front of the net, earning him the assist for a 2-1 Rockford advantage heading into the second intermission.
Rockford took back their two goal lead and put the Aeros in a desperate situation when Bryan Bickell
netted the eventual game winner at 1:13 in the final frame. Five minutes later Houston was put on a power-play and pulled Brust for a 6-on-4 chance to bring the game back within one. However, a turnover turned into another short-handed goal for the IceHogs when Jake Dowell
potted the puck for a 4-1 lead.
Houston wouldn’t leave quietly when a nice move along the boards by Olvecky made room for him to center the puck to Morten Madsen
who flipped the puck into the top of the net to cut Rockford’s lead in half with 7:34 to play. In another effort to provide the extra edge Brust was pulled for a 6-on-5 situation in favor of the Aeros but again, the IceHogs were able to capitalize on the open net with Derek Nesbitt
tallying the final goal with 4:25 remaining in the contest.
The game marked the final game of the Aeros season losing the series 4-1 to the IceHogs. Rockford will go on to play the winner of the Milwaukee-Chicago series in the West Division Finals with dates to-be-determined.
- The two short-handed goals by Rockford marked the only two special teams goals in the five-game series.
- Houston's two goals tonight was the first time this series they scored multiple goals. Each of the first four games the club netted only one goal, the first time in team playoff-history the Aeros recorded fewer than two goals in four straight playoff games.
- Houston's playoff appearance marked the sixth in seven seasons in the AHL and they have made the playoffs in 12 of 14 seasons including IHL.
- The Aeros had 96 points this season, a 32-point improvement over last year’s 64. It marks the largest single season improvement team history. Houston recorded a 30-point improvement between the 1995-96 and 96-97 seasons while in the IHL.
- The Aeros are now 4-5 in elimination games including 1-4 at home when their opponent has a chance to eliminate the Aeros.
The Maple Leaf Pub Three Stars of the Game:
#1 – Bickell
#2 – Versteeg
#3 – Dowell
-- HOUSTON AEROS --