Game Summary - HERE
AEROS STRONG THIRD PERIOD LEADS TO 5-2 WIN OVER CHECKERS
Houston Returns Home on Thursday to host Abbotsford at 7 p.m.
Charlotte, NC – The Houston Aeros (30-21-4-4, 68 points) defeated the Charlotte Checkers (35-20-2-3, 75 points) 5-2 on Sunday in front of 7,975 fans at the Time Warner Cable Arena. After defenseman Kyle Medvec opened the third period with a goal at 6:02, center Jake Dowell added two goals to cap off a third-period surge and the Aeros cruised to a victory over their division rival. Houston rookie goalie Cody Reichard (1-0-0) made his first AHL start, stopping 23 of 25 for his first AHL win. Forwards Chad Rau and Justin Fontaine also added tallies, helping Houston pick up its first regulation win of the season over Charlotte. Defensemen Brian Connelly and Marco Scandella, as well as forwards Nick Petersen and Johan Larsson, each picked up two assists and the Aeros improved to 16-13-2-2 on the road this year. Charlotte goalie John Muse (5-3-0) stopped 18 of 23 in defeat, as the Checkers slipped to 15-11-0-1 at home this season. The Aeros return home on Thursday at 7 p.m. to host the Abbotsford Heat at Toyota Center.
Houston struck just 2:59 into the game when Chad Rau put in a rebound off a Ryley Grantham shot for the 1-0 lead. Rau’s ninth of the season was also assisted by defenseman Brian Connelly. Houston took advantage of its first power play, taking a 2-0 lead at 10:11 on Justin Fontaine’s 16th tally of the year. Center Johan Larsson and Connelly each picked up an assist on the team’s second goal of the day.
Charlotte got on the scoreboard at 9:52 of the second period, trimming Houston’s lead to 2-1. Matt Marquardt jammed in a rebound, beating Cody Reichard for his team’s first goal. Beau Schmitz and Rasmus Rissanen each had an assist on Marquardt’s first goal of the season. The Checkers evened the scoring at 16:36 of the second period off Brody Sutter’s first AHL goal. He deflected a Rissanen shot from the point, tipping the puck past Reichard for the 2-2 tie. Justin Kruger added an assist on the Charlotte tally.
Just 6:02 into the third period, Houston pushed back in front 3-2 with Kyle Medvec’s fifth goal of the year. Center Johan Larsson won a faceoff back to Marco Scandella, who sent a pass to Medvec. With a slapshot from the blueline, Medvec sailed the puck past Muse and into the Charlotte net. The Aeros doubled their lead 1:37 later when Jake Dowell found a rebound in the Checkers crease. Winger Nick Petersen was credited with the assist after rifling a shot at the Charlotte net for the 4-2 lead. Dowell struck again for his second goal of the day at 11:52 of the third period for the 5-2 Houston lead. Scandella and Petersen were each credited with an assist on the team’s third goal over a stretch of 5:50.
After playing 12 of their last 13 games on the road, the Aeros return home on Thursday, Mar. 14 at 7 p.m. as the team hosts Abbotsford at Toyota Center. The game marks a “Thirsty Thursday”, where fans (21 and older) receive a “second drink free coupon” for The Maple Leaf Pub (Smith and Elgin). The first 500 fans to The Maple Leaf Pub after the game will be able to redeem their coupon for their second drink free.
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