From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
MOOSE STOMP AEROS 5-2, SERIES HEADS TO HOUSTON
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Manitoba Moose scored five straight goals to start the game and beat the Houston Aeros 5-2 Saturday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Michael Grabner scored twice and Jason Krog tallied a goal and an assist in Manitoba’s ninth straight win in front of 9,736 fans at MTS Centre. Houston got goals from J.P. Testwuide and Marco Rosa, but now trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
The teams will head to Houston for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) on Monday, May 18, Wednesday, May 20 and Friday, May 22 respectively. Tickets are available for all three games by calling (713) 974-PUCK or visiting AEROS.com. Fans that have already purchased playoff packages should use ticket I for Monday’s game at Toyota Center and ticket J for Wednesday's game.
The Aeros got the start they wanted in Game 2. Houston earned a power play just 1:08 into the opening frame when Alexandre Bolduc went to the penalty box for boarding. At the two-minute mark, Cory Schneider made a brilliant glove save on Corey Locke while the Aeros were on the power play to keep the game scoreless. Houston kept up the pressure and earned another power play at the 7:36 mark, but the visitors were unable to convert.
The momentum quickly turned after the Aeros second power play opportunity and Jason Krog notched his fifth goal of the playoffs at the 11:00 mark. Krog took a loose puck in the left wing corner and backhanded a centering pass that bounced off Aeros’ defenseman Paul Albers stick and into the net. At the 14:07 mark, Michael Grabner gave the Moose a 2-0 lead when a shot from the point was blocked by Khudobin and Grabner sent home the rebound. Raymond Sawada made it 3-0 on a power play goal at the 17:49 mark when he found a loose puck in a scrum in front of the net and netted his third of the playoffs over a sprawling Khudobin. After one period, the Moose had a 3-0 lead and outshot the Aeros 12-8.
Aeros’ goaltender Nolan Schaefer started the second period in relief of Khudobin who allowed three goals on 12 shots in the first. Cody Hodgson quickly added to the Moose lead when he wristed a shot from the right circle that was redirected off an Aeros’ defenseman into the back of the net. It marked Hodgson’s first professional goal. Grabner notched his second of the game on Manitoba’s second power play on a nice backdoor pass from Krog to make it 5-0 Moose. The goal came at the 4:37 mark and was the fifth goal in 13:37 of game time for Manitoba.
Houston continued to battle and J.P. Testwuide tallied his first professional goal at the 7:25 mark of the second period. The puck came loose to Testwuide at the top of the slot and he lifted a wrist shot over a sprawled out Schneider. The Aeros made it 5-2 with just 10 seconds remaining in the period when Marco Rosa snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Schneider for Rosa’s second of the playoffs.
After two periods, Houston held the edge in shots at 25-21, but the offensive outburst by Manitoba kept the score 5-2. Manitoba was 2-4 on the power play after two periods while Houston did not convert on five chances.
The Aeros never really gave themselves a chance to get back in the game in the final period as the visitors were whistled for four penalties in the first 14 minutes. Neither team was able to light the lamp in the final period and Manitoba outshot the Aeros 11-5 in the period.
The Moose finished 2-8 on the power play and killed all seven of Houston’s chances. Manitoba held the edge in shots for the game at 32-30 and won for the ninth straight time in the playoffs matching their regular-season high win streak. Schneider stopped 28 of 30 shots and improved his record to 10-2 in the playoffs. He has stopped 59 of 62 shots through two games against the Aeros.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: The Calder Cup, Our Reason --