From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Sunday, January 9, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
IceCats 1, Aeros 0Official Box Score
Jason Bacashihua made 29 saves for his eighth career shutout, outdueling former goaltending-mate Mike Smith, as the Worcester IceCats handed the Houston Aeros their second straight shutout loss, 1-0, at Toyota Center. Jon DiSalvatore scored 7:20 into the second period for Worcester, which hasnt allowed a goal at Toyota Center in the two games it has played there. The IceCats, winners of three straight and five of six, improved to an impressive 12-2-1-2 in one-goal games.
Smith made 17 saves for Houston, which has dropped four of five and was blanked 2-0 in Milwaukee on Saturday. Ironically, the Aeros were last shut out in back-to-back games last January 8-9, the same dates as these two games. Worcester handed Houston the second shutout in a scoreless tie.
The Aeros will carry a scoreless streak of 120 minutes, 46 seconds into game No. 2 of their homestand, Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. against the defending Calder Cup champion Milwaukee Admirals. Houston fell into sixth place in the West, a point behind both Cincinnati and San Antonio, although the Aeros have five games in hand on the Ducks and six on the Rampage, a 2-1 overtime winner in Chicago today.
Bacashihua made 11 saves in the first period, eight in the second and 10 in the third. to win for the ninth time in 10 decisions. He is also 3-0-1 in his last four starts versus Houston. Bacashihua and Smith spent the last two seasons together in Utah.
The teams skated to a scoreless tie at Toyota Center exactly one year ago tonight in Worcesters only other trip to the building.
The Aeros had to kill off 1:25 of a 5-on-3 midway through the first after a too many men on the ice penalty, and a delay of game call to Smith, who played the puck outside the goalie crease behind the net. Peter Sejna had the best chance on the man advantage, but Smith made a pad save on his rocket from the point.
Houston had a chance of its own after the first penalty expired, as Kyle Wanvig was sprung on a clear breakaway, but the Aeros winger wristed a shot high over the net.
Bacashihua, who has won eight of his last nine starts, was great with 6:52 left in the first, stopping Junior Lessard three times in a span of seconds. He equaled those stops and then some when he robbed Mikko Koivu with his glove and Houston on the power play as time expired in the opening period.
The Aeros had 33 seconds of a 5-on-3 early in the second but didnt score.
Worcesters Brendan Brooks couldnt find the handle on a breakaway four minutes into the second, but DiSalvatore put the IceCats on the board at the 7:20 mark. Mike Glumac won a battle behind the net and fed DiSalvatore in the right circle. His original shot was blocked in front, but he pounced on the rebound and put it in for his 10th goal of the season tying Glumac for the team lead.
Bacashihua withstood a barrage of shots with Houston on the power play late in the second, and then Smith kept his team within one. Glumac sprung from the box and took a headman pass with no one within 50 feet of him. He skated in on Smith, who got a piece of the puck with a pokecheck, then kicked out his left pad to keep the shot out of the net.
In the third, Bacashihuas best save came with 7:40 left, when he just got a piece of his blocker on a Stephane Veilleux attempt, pushing it over the net.
Houston went on its fourth power play with 6:49 left when Aaron MacKenzie got called for high sticking, and Bacashihua kicked out Brent Burns rocket from the top of the left circle.
The Aeros chances took a hit with 3:07 remaining when Rickard Wallin went off for slashing. After the advantage was over, Houston had a good 3-on-2 chance broken up by a stick in front as Ray Giroux was about to slap at the puck. Then with 30 seconds remaining and Veilleux having a head of steam up the left wing, Pierre-Marc Bouchard was called for hooking, and then got an unsportsmanlike minor for arguing the call.
Houston finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage, while Worcester went 0-for-7. The Aeros havent scored a power play goal in their last two outings after 10 straight games with at least one.
The Aeros havent scored since Wallins goal with 46 seconds left New Years Eve in Norfolk.
Houston is 1-4-0-0 to begin a stretch of nine straight games versus teams with records above .500.
Worcester won for the first time ever in four trips to Houston (1-2-1-0).
Smith has appeared in 11 straight games nine starts.
Houston has been shut out five times this season, tying its 2003-04 total in 34 games.
Hartford began Houstons last back-to-back shutout sequence with a 1-0 overtime victory.
Smith has allowed four goals in his last three starts but has a 1-2-0 record to show for it.
Houston failed to score a power play goal at home for just the third time in 15 games.
Worcesters January 9 shutout at Toyota Center last season, behind Reinhard Divis, was Houstons last home shutout against.