From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
January 7, 2009
AEROS DRAMATIC COMEBACK ENDS IN 4-3 SHOOTOUT LOSS AT BRIDGEPORT
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Houston Aeros scored three power play goals in the final 2:53 of regulation to force overtime against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Wednesday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard, but Houston ultimately fell 4-3 in a shootout. Marco Rosa tallied a goal and assist in the final three minutes for Houston and Kuris McLean scored twice for Bridgeport to lead their respective teams. The Aeros (17-15-1-7) lost their seventh shootout of the season and will head to Hershey to take on the Bears Friday night at Giant Center. Listen live to Joe O’Donnell on KNTH 1070-AM or watch online via AHLLIVE.com.
McLean gave the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead at the 6:21 mark of the first period when he tipped in a shot off the stick of Jack Hillen. The goal marked McLean’s 10th of the season, and Mike Iggulden earned the second assist on the play. Bridgeport outshot the Aeros 11-8 in the period and neither team was able to convert on one power play chance.
Aeros’ goaltender Nolan Schaefer came up with a big save just 2:33 into the second frame on a shot from the slot by Sound Tigers’ left wing Micheal Haley to keep it a one-goal game. The Sound Tigers continued their pressure and took a 2-0 lead when Ben Walter took a feed from Sean Bentivoglio from the corner and Walter snuck a wrist shot under the glove of Schaefer for his sixth goal of the season. The goal came at the 5:15 mark of the period and proved to be the only one of the second frame. The Aeros didn’t score on either of their two power play chances in the second and killed Bridgeport’s only chance.
It only took Bridgeport ten seconds to take a 3-0 lead in the third period when McLean tipped another shot through the legs of Schaefer, but the Aeros continued to fight. At the 15:51 mark of the period Vladimir Nikiforov was whistled for a five-minute major for boarding against Aeros’ defenseman Maxim Noreau meaning the Aeros would have a power play for the rest of regulation.
Houston took advantage of the opportunity and made a comeback reminiscent of the team’s comeback in Peoria on December 28. At the 17:07 mark of the period, Rosa scored the first of the Aeros’ three power-play goals on assists from Brandon Rogers and Peter Olvecky. Just 40 seconds later, Ryan Hamilton buried his sixth goal of the season on the doorstep in a scrum in front of the net to make the score 3-2. Finally, Corey Locke netted his 14th of the season at the 18:29 mark to complete the Aeros comeback. Houston was unable to score the winner during the remainder of the Nikiforov penalty, but the team earned a point in the standings after trailing by three goals with less than three minutes to play.
Neither team scored in the overtime forcing the shootout. Houston was unsuccessful in the shootout for the seventh time in eight tries this season. None of the four Aeros to shoot scored in the shootout and Bridgeport scored twice on their three shooters to earn the two points and the win.
- The three goals in a span of 1:22 in the final period were the fastest three goals by the Aeros in franchise history.
- Ryan Hamilton’s goal was his first since November 14, a span of 14 games played. Hamilton missed 10 games with injury in that span as well.
- Houston wasn’t able to convert on a power-play in the last three games until Wednesday’s three man-advantage markers. The night marked the first time since October 28 the club recorded three power-play goals in a single game.
-- HOUSTON AEROS: 15 Seasons, One Reason --