From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 7, Admirals 0Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas
Rickard Wallin notched a goal and two assists, Ray Giroux was one of five players with a goal and an assist, and Mike Smith made 16 saves for his third shutout of the season, as the Houston Aeros crushed the defending Calder Cup champion and first-place Milwaukee Admirals 7-0 at Toyota Center for the biggest home win in their 11-year history.
Giroux and Wallin finished the evening with a plus-four rating, while Kirby Law, Junior Lessard, Mikko Koivu, Stephane Veilleux and Matt Foy (two assists) each tallied two-point nights for Houston, which owned a massive 55-16 shot advantage and had lost its first six Toyota Center meetings with the Admirals by a combined 26-10 margin. Marc Cavosie added a goal.
The Aeros (37 points), who set a new team record for goals at the two-year-old downtown arena, moved to fourth place in the West Division, just three points in back of Grand Rapids, with two games in hand. Houston plays host to Manitoba, which moved into first place in the North with a 6-3 win over San Antonio tonight, Friday at 7:35 p.m. on Derek Boogaard Bobblehead Night.
Smith made six saves in the first and second periods and four in the third for his fifth career shutout. He has three this season one more than he had in his first two AHL campaigns. He has allowed only four goals in his last four games, and tonight he appeared in his 13th straight game 11th start.
Tonight was Houstons second biggest shutout in team history. Frederic Chabot won 8-0 in Las Vegas on November 28, 1998.
Brian Finley allowed four goals on 29 shots for Milwaukee, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Finley entered the game with 10 career victories against the Aeros, most of any active AHL netminder and one off the overall lead. The Admirals fell into second place, two points behind Chicago, a 4-2 victor tonight over Hamilton.
Houston didnt come out like a team that hadnt scored in two games in 2005, outshooting the Admirals 20-6 and claiming a 2-0 lead in a spirited first period. The tone for the frame was set by Houstons starting line of Boogaard, Cavosie and Marius Holtet, who didnt let the puck out of the Milwaukee zone.
Both teams had good chances before the Aeros started scoring. Smith turned aside a Cam Severson deflection 3:10 in and then covered up in a fray in front of the net. Three minutes later, Law pushed a breakaway just wide.
Houston scored its first goal in 129 minutes, 53 seconds, at 9:07 of the first. Foy worked the puck loose to Veilleux behind the net, and Veilleux fed Wallin between the circles. The puck went off several bodies, and Wallin recovered it at the edge of the right circle and beat Finley, who was down on the ground, for his sixth goal of the season.
The Aeros padded their lead to two goals with 3:47 left in the first. Todd Reirden got the puck down low to Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who skated in the right circle and slid a nifty pass to a streaking Giroux between the circles, and the defenseman ripped a one-timer past an out-of-position Finley for his third of the season first at even strength.
There were a pair of heavyweight bouts in the first, both involving Milwaukees Yuri Moscevsky. He got thrown down by John Erskine 4:01 in, and then he got involved with Boogaard, whose stick was slashed out of his hand by Jordin Tootoo. Boogaard and Jeremy Yablonski nearly went off the opening draw.
Houstons 20 first-period shots tied a season-high for one period, but that lasted just more than a half an hour, until it put up 21 in the second.
The Aeros continued to pour it on in the second, outshooting Milwaukee 21-6 and scoring three more goals. The second period had recently been Houstons downfall, as it had gone five straight games without a goal and had scored an AHL-low 19 goals in the period.
Law atoned for his earlier breakaway miss, scoring shorthanded 1:56 into the stanza. He stole the puck at his own blueline, raced around Andrew Hutchinson and got in on Finley alone. Law faked left and went right past the sprawled goalie for his eighth goal of the season.
Veilleuxs team-best 13th made it 4-0 at 6:54. Wallin pushed a faceoff in the neutral zone ahead, and Veilleux caught up to the pass, took a couple of steps and blasted a shot by Finley.
Finleys night ended with 10:02 left in the second after stopping 25 shots.
Seamus Kotyk didnt fare much better, as Lessards fifth of the season, on a 5-on-3 with 5:51 left in the middle period, made it 5-0. Koivu, below the left circle, threaded a perfect pass to Giroux, who wound up and banked a shot in the net off a falling-down Lessard.
Houstons massive defenseman Erskine was high-sticked to the ice by 5-foot-9 Simon Gamache with 4:20 left in the second.
Koivu made it a six-goal advantage just 3:22 into the third, with his seventh of the season.
Gamache fought Holtet in the ultimate-lightweight contest midway through the third. The crowd stayed on its feet less than a minute later, when Cavosie took a drop pass from Wallin inside the left circle and beat Kotyk five-hole for his second of the season.
Smith stoned Vernon Fiddler on a shorthanded near-breakaway with 6:11 left to preserve the shutout.
Houston finished 1-for-7 on the power play, while Milwaukee went 0-for-5. The Aeros have killed off 41-of-44 shorthanded chances over the last 10 games. Notes:
Wallins goal snapped a 122 minute, four second scoreless streak against the Admirals dating back to December 23.
Over the last three seasons, Gamaches teams (Chicago/Milwaukee) have never beaten Houston (0-4-2-0) when he hasnt had a point. They are 12-1-1-0 when he has a point.
Smiths 13-game run is two off Chabots franchise record of 15, set December 8, 1999, to January 21, 2000.
The Aeros improved to 2-4-0-0 to begin a nine-game stretch where their opponents are all above the .500 mark and have compiled a combined .649 points percentage.
Houston last scored seven goals in a home game on February 3, 2002, against Utah.
Houston previously won five home games by six goals, the last coming November 20, 1999, in a 7-1 victory over Long Beach.
The Aeros had never scored more than five goals at Toyota Center.
Houstons record for shots in a game is 59, set March 9, 2003, against San Antonio at Compaq Center.
Every Aero was on the ice for at least one goal but Dan Cavanaugh and Boogaard.