From: Robert Desimone
, Communications Manager
, Asst. Communications Manager
December 28, 2009
CONSTANTINE EARNS 100TH AHL VICTORY
HOUSTON - D J.P. Testwuide recorded his first professional two-point game including the overtime game-winner to push the Houston Aeros (17-14-2-1) past the Syracuse Crunch (10-18-3-2) 5-4 in front of 5,085 at Toyota Center Monday night. G Barry Brust (1-1-0) recorded the win in his first start of the season saving 21 of 25. G Dan LaCosta tallied 29 saves in the loss. The win is Head Coach Kevin Constantine's 100th behind the Houston bench.
"I think our guys were really determined to be a better team tonight and a lot of things we did a lot better tonight," Constantine said. "We kept battling, it’s hard to win against any team you’re playing when you don’t score first and we managed to hang in there long enough to find a way to win the game."
Each team traded goals in the first period. Syracuse netted a power play goal at 10:43 off a D Brett Regner snap shot from the left circle that beat Brust glove side. Houston answered a little under five minutes later when D Ryan Lannon ripped a one-timer from the left point top shelf past LaCosta; LW Robbie Earl and RW Danny Irmen got credit for the assists. Irmen extended his assist streak to four games with the helper. The goal is Lannon's first of the year and first since March 15, 2008 at Albany.
The Crunch took back the lead at 4:32 in the second period off a right point bid off the stick of D Brendan Bell. The Aeros answered back though at 6:54 when C Chad Rau battled his way down the sideboards and ripped a pass to the stick of C Andy Hilbert, who drove one to the twine tying the game 2-2.
"Andy was very determined tonight," Constantine said. "He’s a really good guy and he’s a good leader, I think he wanted to do something to make a contribution to get our team playing a little better and obviously we needed those points tonight. He was a big part of this game."
Captain RW Jon DiSalvatore then gave Houston its first lead of the game off a power play marker at 15:15. The goal gives DiSalvatore a four-game goal streak and he’s now scored in six of his last seven games.
The Aeros entered the final session a perfect 5-0-0-0 at home when leading after two periods, but Syracuse looked to put a dent in that record just 44 seconds in. Bell converted for his second goal of the game off the Crunch’s second power of the game. The Crunch then took a 4-3 lead with another power play goal at 2:37 off the stick of C Tomas Kana. It marks the first time this season the Aeros have given up more than one power play goal in a game and the first time since Dec. 26, 2008 vs. San Antonio the team has given up three goals on the man advantage.
RW J-M Daoust had the answer for Houston at the 4:05 mark with his team-leading 11th of the year. Hilbert fed Daoust from behind the Crunch net who sent a back hander past LaCosta to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime.
It wouldn’t take long for the Aeros to send the fans home happy. Just 52 seconds into the overtime period Testwuide sent a wrister to the back of the net for his first professional regular season goal. DiSalvatore got credit for the assist, the 200th of his AHL career.
The Aeros outshot Syracuse 34-25 and went 1-for-6 on the power play. Houston’s penalty kill allowed goals on all three Crunch power plays making it only the second time this season the Aeros have managed to register a win while giving up a PPG (5-3 win vs. Grand Rapids, 12/20).
The Aeros begin a three-in-three on the road with a stop in Chicago on Wednesday. Houston will then travel to Rockford on Thursday and finish the trip with a New Year's Day game at Milwaukee. Puck drop between the Aeros and Wolves on Wednesday is 7:00 p.m. from Allstate Arena. Watch the game on ahllive.com or listen on 1070 AM-KNTH. Follow the in-game blog at aeros.com.
Joe O'Donnell Calls of the Game
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