From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Thursday, March 3, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Rampage 4, Aeros 3 (OT)Official Box Score
SAN ANTONIO, Texas
Joel Kwiatkowski scored a power play goal with 23 seconds left in overtime, as the San Antonio Rampage saw a late two-goal lead disappear, but then recovered for a 4-3 win over the Houston Aeros at SBC Center. Tonight marks the second time in five days that the Aeros have lost an overtime game on a power play goal in the final 23 seconds after rallying from a multiple-goal deficit.
Chris Nielsen and Ryan Jardine tallied a goal and an assist apiece 81 seconds apart in the second period for San Antonio, which salvaged the finale of the three-game, five-day set with the Aeros. Kamil Kreps also scored, Jardine added an assist on the game-winner and Patrick DesRochers made 23 saves for San Antonio.
Zbynek Michalek forced overtime with 34 seconds left after Brent Burns got the Aeros within one with a power play goal with 3:14 remaining. Junior Lessard also scored and Mike Smith turned aside 28 shots for Houston, which picked up a point to move within three points of third-place Cincinnati with three games in hand. Fifth-place Grand Rapids is four back of the Aeros with one game in hand, with a big matchup set for Monday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
The Aeros return home to take on Hartford on Friday at 7:35 p.m. The first 3,000 fans will receive an Aeros CD holder. Houston will also debut its Third Jerseys. Kids ages 4-14 can shoot on goal after the game.
The Rampage led 3-1 into the third, and it appeared to be cruising to the victory. However, the Aeros had different plans.
DesRochers stacked the pads on Matt Foy midway through the third period, helping the Rampage keep the two-goal lead. The goalie made a similar save on Kyle Wanvig with five minutes left.
Jacina took a holding penalty with 4:00 remaining, and Burns made the Rampage pay, taking a nifty pass from Pierre-Marc Bouchard and depositing it past DesRochers for his ninth of the season sixth on the power play. The tally came with 3:14 left.
With Smith pulled for the extra attacker, Michalek forced overtime with 33.3 seconds remaining, as he converted a feed from Rickard Wallin when the Rampage left him alone in front of the net.
Houstons Marc Cavosie was called for holding with an odd-man rush developing with 13 ticks left in regulation. The Aeros were able to kill off the Rampage power play, which extended into the extra session, but Houston also went shorthanded with 42 seconds left in overtime, when Burns went for tripping. Prior to the penalty on Cavosie, there had been just five minor penalties in the entire game.
With just 23 ticks remaining on the clock, Kwiatkowski got a shot through traffic that beat a screened Smith high glove side for his 12th goal.
Houston went 1-for-3 on the power play, while San Antonio finished 2-for-4.
The Aeros fell to 2-6 in overtime, tied with Albany for the most extra session losses in the AHL. In the past two seasons, Houston has just two overtime wins in 26 chances, with 10 losses and 14 ties. All ties came in 2003-04. After winning two of their first three overtime games this season, the Aeros have lost five straight.
Houston has picked up points in 10 games when trailing after two periods, an AHL high. The Aeros are 5-16-3-2 in such situations.
DesRochers, in just his second game back from a two-week assignment in ECHL Texas, won for the first time since January 30, and for only the second time in eight decisions dating back to January 7. He benefited from a sudden surge of offense by the Rampage, which scored three goals for the first time in 14 meetings with the Aeros. San Antonio had scored two goals or less in eight of its last 10 games overall.
For the third game in a row, the Aeros came out dominating the Rampage early on. Houston got six shots on DesRochers before Smith was tested.
There was hardly a whistle in the opening 15 minutes, but then the fun began, as the teams combined for two goals and a fight in a span of 18 seconds.
Kreps, recalled from ECHL Texas this afternoon, cracked the scoreboard with his fourth goal, with 4:23 left in the first. Jacina fed Kreps in the left circle, and Kreps ripped a wrister over Smiths blocker.
Houstons Derek Boogaard knocked T.J. Reynolds to the ice with a series of right uppercuts in a bout two seconds after the goal.
Only 16 ticks after the fight, and 18 seconds after Kreps goal, Lessard tallied his sixth goal to even things up. Dan Cavanaughs shot caromed off Lessard, then hit both posts and went in the net. Lessards goal was his first in 21 games dating back to January 11.
San Antonio began to assert itself in the second, taking six of the periods first seven shots.
Paul Healey nearly put the Rampage back on top early in the second, but he rang a shot off the post and over the glass. Less than a minute later, Smith made a great glove save on Lukas Krajicek, after an Aeros misplay turned into a 3-on-2 for San Antonio.
Neither team was given a power play until the 6:09 mark of the second, when Scott Kelman held Cavanaugh. DesRochers gloved aside an attempt by a cutting Ray Giroux at the end of the advantage.
San Antonio scored twice in a 1:21 span later in the second to build a two-goal lead.
The Rampage went back on top at 12:20 of the middle period with Wanvig in the penalty box for elbowing. Kwiatkowski let one loose at the point, and Nielsen deflected the puck by Smith for his seventh of the season third on the power play.
The second goal came as a result of a crazy bounce off the boards. The rebound of a Andre Savage shot popped into the slot, and Jardine beat Smith to the puck and slid it under the stunned netminder for his 11th goal. Nielsen also assisted on the tally.
The Aeros scratched Chris Heid, Joey Tetarenko, Erik Reitz, Marius Holtet and Christoph Brandner.
San Antonio scratched leading scorer Stephen Weiss.
Lessard last had a point January 29 versus Chicago.
Cavanaugh celebrated his 25th birthday tonight.
Cavanaugh, in his seventh game back after missing nine due to injury, got his first point in 20 games since December 16.
Boogaards fighting major was his 44th with the Aeros, tying him with Trent Cull and Steve Jaques for second on the teams all-time list.
Boogaard now has 438 penalty minutes, one behind Gord Kruppke for sixth place and two behind Wanvig for fifth place on the teams all-time list.
Savage, acquired on loan from Hershey last week, picked up his first point in four games with the Rampage.
Foy had his four-game goal streak and five-game point streak snapped.
Houston, which has never swept three straight meetings on the schedule from an opponent, fell to 2-5-1-0 in game three of such situations after going 5-2-1 in each game one and game two.
The Aeros have still only lost twice in regulation to the Rampage in 19 meetings (11-2-4-2).
Houston has points in 16 of 21 games overall (10-5-4-2).
San Antonio improved to 2-7-1-1 in its last 11 contests.
The Aeros are 9-17-4-3 when allowing the games first goal.
Only two AHL teams (Rochester and Manitoba) have fewer road regulation losses than Houstons nine.