From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Saturday, April 9, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 2, Rampage 1Official Box Score
SAN ANTONIO, Texas
Josh Harding made 29 saves for his fifth straight win, and John Erskine returned from an 11-game absence to score an early first-period goal, as the Houston Aeros defeated the San Antonio Rampage 2-1 at SBC Center to remain tied with Cincinnati for third place in the West Division. Dan Cavanaughs shorthanded goal went down as the game-winner for Houston, which has 87 points, as do the Ducks, who won 1-0 at home tonight versus Cleveland. Fifth-place Grand Rapids fell 4-3 in Utah tonight, dropping three points back. The top four teams make the post-season.
Houston finished its grueling five-game, six-day road trip at 3-2-0-0 and plays host to the Rampage for a Family Day game Sunday at 5:05 p.m. Get four tickets, four pucks, $20 in Toyota Bucks and free parking, all for just $59! Visit www.aeros.com/themenights
to order. Username is Family, password is Aeros.
Travis Scott made 29 saves and Kamil Kreps scored for San Antonio, which has lost seven straight and 11 of 12. San Antonio has been held to two or fewer goals in 17 of its last 18 games against the Aeros, with the lone exception a 4-3 overtime win March 3.
Harding stopped seven shots in the first period, 13 in the second and nine in the third, lowering his gaa to 2.02. Hes 5-0-0 with a 1.40 over his last five starts overall. This season against the Rampage, he is 5-1-0 with a 1.15 gaa versus the Rampage, including five straight wins and a 0.82 gaa since dropping a 2-1 opening night decision at SBC Center.
Houston is 8-1-2-0 against San Antonio this season, outscoring the Rampage 40-17 in the process and 21-3 in the last four wins. Houston has outscored San Antonio 11-4 in the first period, 17-5 in the second and 11-6 in the third. The Aeros have only two regulation losses in the last 22 meetings (14-2-4-2), and they have points in each of the last 10 meetings this season (8-0-2-0). The Aeros have points in 12 of their last 13 trips to SBC Center (7-1-3-2).
The Aeros showed no sign of weariness, outshooting the Rampage 15-7 in the first and taking a 1-0 lead.
Rookie defenseman Martin Tuma turned the puck over in the deep slot, and Kirby Law picked up the loose puck and fed Erskine, whose blast beat Scott for his third of the season first since January 19 at 3:51. Erskine last played March 18. The Aeros improved to 7-0-1-0 when Erskine has a point.
Houston had allowed the first goal in each of the last three games of the road trip.
A minute later, San Antonio got its best chance of the opening period, but veteran Andre Savage hit the post. In the final minute of the first, the Rampages Lukas Krajicek also hit the pipe.
Tempers flared late in the first. Cavanaugh fought Greg Jacina in a lightweight matchup, then Erskine took exception to Greg Campbells whack at Harding. Erskine got an extra minor penalty.
San Antonio had 1:25 of 5-on-3 bridging the first and second periods, but Houston didnt allow a shot.
The Rampage hit yet another post after the two-man advantage expired, and another shot went just wide of the net.
Houston built its lead to two goals, at 9:03 of the second, with Cavanaughs shorthanded goal. Marc Cavosie stole the puck at the blueline, and he and Cavanaugh broke in 2-on-0 on Scott. Cavosie fed Cavanaugh, who went under Scotts pads for his eighth goal. Cavanaugh has three goals and seven assists in his last 13 games. His goal marked Houstons first shorthanded tally since his goal March 7 against Grand Rapids.
The Aeros are a perfect 7-0-0-0 when Cavanaugh scores a goal and 12-2-1-1 when he has a point, and they are 12-3-0-2 when Cavosie has a point.
The Aeros got three minutes of a power play early in the third when Grant McNeill high-sticked Law to the face late in the second. Kyle Wanvig came to Laws aid, picking up 17 penalty minutes, but Houston still eventually went on the power play.
Just more than a minute into the man advantage, Rickard Wallin was whistled for a high-sticking major, setting up a long San Antonio power play. Harding made three outstanding stick saves midway through the 3:15 advantage.
Houstons Bill Kinkel hooked up with T.J. Reynolds midway through the third.
The Aeros appeared to have taken a 3-0 lead with 5:41 left, but referee Scott Hoberg ruled that Law was in the crease. Law was also sent to the penalty box, as he and McNeill threw punches after the puck went in the net. McNeill earned his third major penalty of the game, resulting in an ejection. There were 12 major penalties in the game, including 10 for fighting.
San Antonio pulled Scott with 3:30 left, and just seconds later Houstons Matt Foy picked up a tripping penalty, giving the Rampage a 6-on-4 advantage. Kreps answered for San Antonio with a rebound goal with 1:56 remaining, getting the Rampage within 2-1.
However, San Antonio couldnt get the equalizer.
Houston finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while San Antonio went 1-for-7.
The Aeros scratched Joey Tetarenko, Erik Reitz, Zbynek Michalek, Maxime Fortunus, Mark Cullen, Ryan Stokes, Stephane Veilleux, David Bararuk, Christoph Brandner and Derek Boogaard.
Cavanaugh is the lone one Aero with more than one shorthanded goal this season. Other than Cavanaugh, the last to score a shortie was Law on January 11 versus Milwaukee.
Until being held scoreless in the third period, Houston had scored at least one goal in 14 straight periods over its last five wins.
Law went over the 900-penalty minute mark in his AHL career.