Joel Ward scored a shorthanded goal for Houston (Photo by Jason Villanueva)
From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Thursday, February 22, 2007
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Stars 3, Aeros 2 Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Chris Conner’s second power play goal of the game snapped a tie midway through the third period and former Aero Marius Holtet also scored a man advantage goal, as the Iowa Stars outlasted Houston 3-2 at Toyota Center. Dan Ellis made 26 saves for Iowa (28-24-3-1), which enjoyed a 13-5 advantage in power plays and moved within a point of fourth-place Peoria. The Stars entered the game 22nd in the AHL on the power play at 15.3 percent.
Peter Olvecky and Joel Ward scored a goal apiece and Dieter Kochan made 29 saves for Houston (21-27-3-5), which hosts Iowa again on Friday at 7:35 p.m. The first 3,000 fans receive an Aeros logo pen. Call 1.866.GO.AEROS for tickets! Houston has been “out power played” 24-9 in its last two games.
The Aeros just missed taking a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game, when Benoit Pouliot blistered a cross-crease pass from Mattias Weinhandl off the crossbar.
Olvecky’s sixth of the season got Houston a first-period lead with 8:35 remaining. Weinhandl took a pass from Olvecky and swung behind the net. He slid a pass to a cutting Olvecky in the low slot, and Olvecky went low on Ellis for the goal.
Iowa got 27 seconds of a 5-on-3 with 6:12 remaining in the first, but didn’t score. However, on that second man advantage – set up when Erik Reitz roughed up former Aeros teammate Holtet in front of the Houston bench – Iowa evened the score. Mark Ardelan hit Conner streaking up right wing. Conner skated around a defender and roofed a quick shot from short range, high glove side over Kochan.
Kochan kept the game tied with 2:30 left in the opening period, kicking out Janos Vas’ breakaway attempt.
Iowa received another 31 seconds of a two-man advantage early in the second. Again, they didn’t score on the first penalty, but they capitalized on Peter Ratchuk’s holding penalty, getting Holtet’s 12th goal with 2:20 gone in the second. Kochan came out of the net to block Mario Scalzo’s shot from low in the right circle, but Holtet hopped on the rebound and found the empty net.
Ratchuk almost scored shorthanded with 6:30 gone in the second. Ellis first made a left pad save on his shot from the left circle, and then Ratchuk chipped the rebound wide of the far post.
Aeros veteran winger Joey Tetarenko fought Iowa rookie Matt Nickerson with 5:45 left. Tetarenko finished off the youngster with a massive left.
The Aeros evened things up with Ward’s shorthanded goal with 4:37 remaining in the first. Iowa thought former Aero Junior Lessard had a power play goal, and most of the players on the ice stopped playing. But the goal light never went on and the referee, Chris Ciamaga, never signaled goal. Ward raced up ice with Bryan Lundbohm, and took a 2-on-1 pass from Lundbohm and scored his seventh goal of the season.
Kochan was brilliant in the opening seconds of the third period, with Iowa on its eighth power play. First, he kicked out Ardelan’s right point blast. Vojtech Polak had a great look at the rebound from the left circle, but a sliding Kochan stacked the pads to make the save.
Two minutes later, Weinhandl broke in alone on Ellis, who made a pad save.
Ellis was unbelievable on a flurry of Aeros chances on the power play less than seven minutes into the third. His best stop came while flat on his back, when Roman Voloshenko shot at an apparently empty net. Ellis went to the bench for some work on his blocker hand as a result of the play.
As soon as Houston’s third power play expired, Lundbohm went off for tripping, setting up the Stars’ ninth man advantage, with 12:02 remaining in regulation.
Ward nearly nailed his second shorthanded tally of the night, but Ellis kicked out his left circle blast.
Seconds later on the other end, Conner’s second of the game and 11th of the season put Iowa back on top. Polak picked off a bad Aeros pass up the middle, and immediately fed the puck to a cutting Conner all alone in front of the net. Conner had all the time he wanted to put a fake on Kochan, and he lifted a shot over the goalie’s blocker with 11:15 remaining.
Iowa rookie defenseman Mark Fistric went off for hooking, and 42 seconds later Ardelan was whistled for tripping, setting up 1:18 of a 5-on-3 with 7:30 left. The Aeros didn’t get a shot on the two-man advantage, and Ellis made two good saves on Shawn Belle on the one-man advantage
Ward then went for hooking with 5:05 left. Aeros rookie defenseman John Scott followed that up with an interference call with 18 seconds remaining on Ward’s penalty. With 35 seconds still left on Scott’s penalty, Josh Olson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Matt Foy got loose with a shorthanded rush up the right side with 1:06 left, but Ellis made the save. Aeros head coach Rob Daum pulled Kochan for the extra attacker. But Pouliot was called for a double minor (roughing and slashing) with 30 seconds left. Reitz picked up a 10-minute misconduct.
Houston finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Iowa went 3-for-13. The Aeros tied a season-high in shorthanded chances.Notes:
Not dressing for the Aeros were Jason Morgan, Chris Ovington, Ben Thomson and Clayton Stoner.
Aeros defenseman Curtis Murphy has 198 points (55-143=198) in 296 career games in Houston.
The Aeros have scored first in seven of their last nine games, after going eight in a row allowing the first goal.
Houston was outshot 32-28. The Aeros haven’t had a shot advantage in nine games.
The Aeros won four of the five home meetings with the Stars last season, but have lost both in 2006-07.
Houston dropped to 8-12-3-5 in one-goal games, and just 2-9-3-1 in its last 15 one-goal decisions.
The Aeros fell to 2-18-2-1 when scoring two or fewer goals.
The Aeros are 3-12-2-1 this season in games in which goalie Josh Harding doesn’t play. Harding remains on recall to NHL Minnesota.