Game Summary - HERE
AEROS ROLL OVER GRIFFINS 5-2
Aeros Return to Toyota Center on Feb 1. With Texas
Grand Rapids, MI – The Houston Aeros (21-15-4-3, 49 points) defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins (24-14-2-2, 52 points) 5-2 on Saturday night in front of 10,834 fans at Van Andel Arena. Houston scored four times over a 5:39 span to dispose of a 1-0 deficit and roll to its third straight road win. Rookie forward Charlie Coyle scored twice and goalie Darcy Kuemper (8-4-0) made 33 saves to lead the Aeros over the Midwest Division leaders. Defensemen Chay Genoway and Paul Mara, as well as forward Justin Fontaine, each pocketed a pair of assists, as Houston improved to 9-9-2-1 away from home. Forwards Nick Palmieri, David McIntyre and Johan Larsson also scored, giving the Aeros their highest goal total since a 5-1 win over San Antonio at home on Dec. 11. Grand Rapids goalie Petr Mrazek (14-7-1) took the loss with 22 saves on 26 shots. Houston will return home to host Texas on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center.
The Griffins tallied the lone goal of the first period, striking at 5:18 for the 1-0 lead. Defenseman Chad Billins launched a shot from the blue line, through traffic and past a screened Darcy Kuemper. Grand Rapids forwards Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar each had an assist on Billins’ second goal of the year.
Houston tied the game 1-1 at 17:14 of the second period, as winger Nick Palmieri scored his 10th goal of the season. Defenseman Chay Genoway set up the play, blasting a shot from the blue line and Palmieri tipped the puck past goalie Petr Mrazek. Forward Justin Fontaine added an assist on the Aeros first goal of the night. Houston used the power play to claim a 2-1 lead at 19:10 of the second frame. Genoway found Charlie Coyle racing down the right-wing side towards the Griffins net. Coyle snapped a wrist shot past Mrazek for his 13th goal of the year. Defenseman Paul Mara picked up his first point with the club, adding the second assist on the play.
Houston continued the scoring in the third period, as Coyle connected for his second goal of the night 53 seconds into the final frame. Right wing Jason Zucker found Coyle in the slot alone and the rookie forward snapped a wrist shot in for the 3-1 Houston lead. Mara picked up his second assist of the night on Coyle’s 14th tally of the season. The Aeros expanded their lead to 4-1 at 2:53, when David McIntyre put in a rebound for his ninth goal of the season. Fontaine and defenseman Tyler Cuma each had an assist on the goal. Grand Rapids used a power-play goal by Riley Sheahan at 9:18 to cut the Aeros lead in half at 4-2. His 13th goal of the season was set up by Landon Ferraro and Tomas Tatar. Houston made it 5-2 at 16:33 of the third period when Johan Larsson scored an empty-net goal. Larsson’s 11th goal of the season was assisted by defenseman Kris Fredheim.
The Aeros return to Toyota Center after the All-Star break, hosting Texas on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,000 youths to the game receive an Aeros youth jersey, compliments of Belknap Plumbing and Bellknap Concrete. The Aeros will stay on home ice on Sunday, Feb. 3 with a 12:05 p.m. faceoff against the Rockford Ice Hogs. Every Sunday game is a Family Day, with four tickets, parking and four Aeros gifts starting at just $54. Houston wraps up the home stand with San Antonio on Monday, Feb. 4 at 7:05 p.m.
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