From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, February 4, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Admirals 5, Aeros 3Official Box Score
Jordin Tootoo snapped a tie with 9:19 left in regulation and Andrew Hutchinson tallied a goal and two assists, as the Milwaukee Admirals held off the Houston Aeros 5-3 at Toyota Center. Darren Haydar, Tony Hrkac and Jerred Smithson also scored and Brian Finley made 32 saves for his 12th career win against Houston as Milwaukee tied a season-high with its fifth straight win.
David Bararuk scored in his Aeros debut and Mikko Koivu and Erik Reitz also scored for Houston, which fell in regulation for just the second time in seven games (3-2-1-1). The Aeros rallied from two goals down to twice tie the game in the third period.
The same two teams meet Saturday at 7:35 p.m. at Toyota Center on Car Flag Night.
The frantic game saw the teams combine for four goals in the opening 11 minutes of the third period. Houston actually got its comeback started late in the second.
Milwaukee led 2-0 until Koivu scored his 13th, with 5:17 left in the second period. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, behind the net, slid a perfect backhanded pass to Koivu, skating untouched between the circles. Koivu proceeded to rip a shot far side by Finley.
Houston knotted things up at 2-2 only 1:44 into the third after great work by the fourth line of Bararuk, Marius Holtet and Matt Foy. Foy had his chance from between the circles blocked, and Holtet worked to jar the rebound in front. The puck slid to the corner, where Bararuk sent an innocent shot off the back of Finleys skate and into the net for his first goal in his first game with Houston.
But Milwaukee went back on top with 13:52 left on a 4-on-4 goal. Hutchinson, with four Aeros around him, unleashed a quick wrister that got through Smith for his 10th of the season.
Reitz evened things up just 1:06 later. Reitz shot from the left point was wide, but Kirby Law kept the puck alive along the boards. It got back to Reitz in the right circle, and the defensemans shot went off a crush of bodies in front and just over the line for his second goal of the season.
The tie was short-lived, as Tootoos sixth of the season gave the Admirals a 4-3 edge with 9:19 left. Smith ranged post to post to save Bryan Lundbohms attempt from the left circle, but the rebound came right back to him. Lundbohm touched a great pass to Tootoo alone at the right doorstep, and the fiery winger poked the puck into the open net.
The Aeros pulled Smith with 1:16 left but allowed Smithsons empty-net goal with 48.4 seconds left. Houston has allowed five goals combined in the third period of its last two games.
Finleys best stop of the opening period came two minutes in with Houston on the power play, as he reached out with his glove to snag a Stephane Veilleux attempt from the right circle.
Each team had a goal waved off within a two-minute span midway through the second.
First, Haydars attempt on the power play went in with a high stick. Two minutes later, Junior Lessard appeared to put Houston on top after a nice hustling play by Christoph Brandner. Brandners first attempt was blocked, and his centering pass went off Lessards shoulder and into the net. Referee Jeff Smith ruled the goal went in with the motion of the hand.
Milwaukee got on the board less than a minute later, when Haydar finished off a nifty3-on-1 for his 20th goal of the season. Haydar, streaking down the left wing, slid a pass to Hutchinson between the circles, and the leagues second-leading defensive scorer fed the puck right back to Haydar, who poked it under Smith at 14:02.
With Houston killing off a double minor to Kyle Wanvig late in the first, Admirals leading scorer Simon Gamache rang a shot off the post.
Milwaukee extended its lead to two goals at 4:35 of the second. Dan Hamhuis corralled a failed clear at the center point and sent a shot well wide of Smith. Hrkac, seeing the puck the whole time, skated to the low left circle, got the rebound and popped it over a screened Smiths shoulder for his ninth goal.
Houston went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Milwaukee finished 0-for-5.
The Aeros scratched Dan Cavanaugh, Marc Cavosie, Derek Boogaard and John Erskine.
Law went over the 1,000 career penalty minute mark with a high-sticking minor in the first period.
Bouchard extended his point streak to a season-high five games.
Finleys 12 career wins against Houston are the most for any netminder ever versus the Aeros.
Houston fell to 10-16-2-2 when outshooting an opponent.
Milwaukee improved to 8-1-0-0 at Toyota Center.