From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Thursday, April 02, 2009
HOUSTON AEROS FALL 5-3 TO IOWA CHOPS THURSDAY NIGHT
HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Aeros tied the game twice but couldn’t take the extra step to pass the Iowa Chops as the West Division foe took a 5-3 win Thursday night at Toyota Center. Houston (37-28-1-9) remains tied with Peoria at 84 points but slipped behind them based on number of wins – the first tiebreaker. The win brought Iowa (33-30-4-9) within three points of Rockford for the final playoff spot in the division. The Aeros head to Peoria tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. CDT where the winner will take sole possession of second place.
In an effort to avenge Tuesday’s loss, the Chops got on the board first with an even strength marker 3:46 into the game. T.J. Trevelyan, Iowa’s leader in goals, tallied his 23rd of the season for the early lead. Houston couldn’t convert on their only power play of the period and Mitch Love dropped the gloves with Charlie Kronschnabel late in the frame to round out the early excitement. Iowa posted seven shots to the Aeros’ six as the home team took a 1-0 deficit into the intermission.
The Chops took a 2-0 lead at 8:41 into the second period when Brennan Evans wristed the puck from the top of the right-wing faceoff circle past Barry Brust’s left pad. The goal, Evans’ first of the season, was assisted by Ryan Dingle and Adrian Veideman. Houston cut Iowa’s lead in half when Marco Rosa sent the puck to Corey Locke who brought it just inside the offensive zone and pulled up looking to pass. He sent the puck along the blue line to Tomas Mojzis who had lots of room around him and sent a hard slap shot into the back of the net at 12:59 of the period.
Tony Hrkac tied the game up with his second goal in as many nights when he potted the even-strength marker with 2:23 remaining in the second period. The goal was assisted by Benoit Pouliot and Brandon Rogers but wouldn’t be the last of the period. Iowa took their one-goal lead back with 54 seconds left to play in the period when defenseman Brian Salcido tallied his 40th point on the season with the marker. The goal, giving Iowa a 3-2 lead heading into the final 20 minutes of play, was scored with the Chops on a 5-on-3 advantage.
Houston tied the game at three apiece at the 6:25 mark in the third period when Rogers centered the puck along the goal line into the crease where Rosa tipped it between Jean-Phillipe Lavasseur’s pads. The Chops took back their lead with 6:32 remaining, a lead that would stick as Ryan Dingle tallied his second point of the night with the goal. With just over two minutes remaining Brust was pulled from net in favor of an extra attacker which created a couple good looks at tying the game. Iowa was able to fight off those attacks and added an empty net marker when Troy Bodie sent the puck into the open net with 15 seconds remaining.
The teams finished the contest with 25 shots apiece but Iowa took the 5-3 win while keeping the Aeros scoreless on four power-play chances. The Chops converted on one of their three man advantages for the evening.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: 15 Seasons, One Reason --