Director of Communications
Saturday, January 28, 2006
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Photos by Kirk Sides
Aeros 5, Wolves 4 Official Box Score
Aeros owner Chuck Watson, leading Boy Scout seller T.J. Shull and Aeros special assistant to hockey Cam Stewart present a check for $6,500 to the Vince Young Scholarship Fund for the Mount Horeb Missionary Baptist Church. Accepting the check is Reverend Dr. Samuel Smith and 2006 Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player Vince Young.
AHL leading scorer Erik Westrum snapped a tie with his second goal of the game with 5:18 gone in the third period, as the Houston Aeros outlasted the Chicago Wolves 5-4 to the delight of 11,672 the second-largest Aeros crowd at Toyota Center, including Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player Vince Young and thousands of Boy Scouts. Patrick OSullivan added a goal and an assist, and Josh Olson and Matt Foy also scored for Houston (34-12-1-1), which moved to 70 points still six up on second-place Milwaukee, a 4-2 victor in Cleveland tonight. Seamus Kotyk made 29 saves for the Aeros.
Ramzi Abid tallied a goal and two assists, and Mark Popovic and Pat Dwyer each added a goal and a helper for Chicago, which has lost four straight. Jared Ross also scored and Michael Garnett stopped just 11-of-16 shots for the Wolves.
The Aeros return home next Saturday at 7:35 p.m. to face second-place Milwaukee. Click here
to buy tickets.
Houston improved to 14-4-1-1 in one-goal games, while Chicago dropped to 6-6-2-6.
Westrums 23rd goal and league-best 70th point got things started just 47 seconds into the game. He took a Roman Voloshenko pass and skated in on the left wing. He centered a feed for Kirby Law, and the puck went off a Wolves defenseman and past Garnett.
Chicago answered back less than three minutes later at 3:39, as Abid got loose in the mid slot and popped a Kip Miller feed by Kotyk for his team-leading 23rd goal.
Houston reclaimed the lead with 1:31 left in the first, with hard work from its checking line. Peter Olvecky won a battle behind the net and got the puck to Bryan Lundbohm in the right circle. Lundbohm hit a cutting Olson at the far post, and the winger popped the puck into an open corner of the cage for his ninth of the season.
In their last six victories, the Aeros have outscored their opponents 14-3 in the first period. In the last 13 games overall, Houston has a 25-10 goal margin in the opening 20 minutes, and overall on the season the Aeros are an AHL-best plus-26 (60-34).
The Wolves again got even just 2:36 of the second, with Houstons Scott Ferguson in the box for tripping. Dwyer, in the right circle, found a streaking Popovic at the left post, and the defenseman got it by Kotyk for his seventh goal.
Houston took another one-goal lead at 4:45 of the middle period, with Foy scoring his eighth goal, with the Aeros on the power play. Rem Murray (two assists) got the puck in the right corner and hit Erik Reitz at the right point. Reitz shot got blocked in front, but Foy, with a defender draped all over him, lifted the puck up and over Garnett.
OSullivan scored Houstons fourth goal, on only seven shots, with 7:07 gone in the second. Law sprung the rookie on a breakaway from the blueline, and OSullivan wristed the puck by Garnett for his 25th goal of the season.
Seconds later, OSullivan rang one off the post on a great feed from Foy.
After a Wolves power play expired, Ross scored his eighth goal to get the Wolves within 4-3 at 10:38 of the second. Stephen Baby sent the puck through traffic from the left circle, and Ross, camped out at the right doorstep, tapped it into the open net.
Murray just missed the net on a nifty OSullivan 2-on-1 shorthanded feed with 5:30 left in the middle period. Two minutes later, Garnett just got a piece of a Westrum point blast from the right side with Houston on the power play. The puck deflected up into the protective netting.
Kotyk made a game-saving stop with Chicago 2-on-1 shorthanded with 10 seconds remaining in the second. Dwyer hit a cutting Derek MacKenzie for a mini breakaway, and Kotyk stayed with the deke to cover up.
The Wolves tied the game for the third and final time just 2:49 into the third, as Dwyer popped the puck by Kotyk from the left circle on a pass from Popovic.
But the Aeros answered right back at 5:18 with Westrums game-winner, his 24th of the season. OSullivan stole the puck at the right point and fed Westrum, who wristed a shot from the mid-slot far glove side.
Houston killed off a pair of penalties in the final 4:46, and it played the final 1:49 down 6-on-4 when Reitz went for interference and Chicago pulled Garnett. But the Wolves couldnt solve Kotyk.
Houston finished 1-for-7 on the power play, while Chicago went 1-for-8.
Not dressing for the Aeros were Josh Harding, Joel Ward, Joey Tetarenko and Andrei Nazarov.
OSullivan leads all AHL rookies with 50 points (25-25=50).
Houston has scored five goals or more in 14 of its 27 home games, and four or more in 18.
Westrum (31 points) and Law (29) each have points in each of the Aeros last 15 home games.
Houston had drawn 7,000 or more in each of its last three home games, the first time thats happened since the final four games of the 1998-99 season. The only Toyota Center crowd larger than tonight was when 13,342 jammed in for Roger Clemens/Boy Scout Night on January 16, 2004.
The Aeros improved to 32-3-0-0 when scoring three or more goals, and won for just the fourth time (4-8-0-0) when yielding four or more.