From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Sunday, November 14, 2004
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Road Runners 6, Aeros 4Official Box Score
HOUSTON, Texas Dan Baum snapped a tie midway through the third period and Raffi Torres scored twice late in the second period and added an assist, as the Edmonton Road Runners defeated the Houston Aeros 6-4 at Toyota Center. Dan Smith, Joe Cullen and Rick Mrozik also scored and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 35 saves for Edmonton, which has just one road loss in regulation this season (5-1-2-0). The Road Runners won despite being outshot 39-21.
Mark Cullen, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Junior Lessard scored 3:58 apart midway through the first period and Patrick Traverse also scored for Houston, which rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes. Mike Smith made 15 saves for Houston, which lost for only the second time in six games and remained in a first-place tie in the West with Milwaukee.
Edmonton scored on two of its first three shots to take a two-goal lead at the 5:39 mark. Just 2:46 in, a Brock Radunske cross-crease pass got deflected into the high slot, and Dan Smith rocketed the puck top shelf over the goalie for his second goal of the season.
Less than three minutes later, Joe Cullen put the Road Runners up two, when he rifled a loose puck from the left faceoff dot past Smith short side.
Houston wasted no time getting back into it, scoring three times in a span of 3:58 to take the lead.
Mark Cullens fourth goal of the season got the Aeros within one at 9:35, with a great hustle play. Cullen got cross-checked into Drouin-Deslauriers at the right doorstep, but got up in time to skate between the circles and acrobatically tip an Erik Reitz point blast past the netminder.
Then Bouchard, who drew a hooking penalty on Mike Bishai with a highlight-reel toedrag move to create a breakaway, made it 2-2 at 11:40. Stephane Veilleux, behind the net, centered the puck to Bouchard in front, and the diminutive center tapped a shot under Drouin-Deslauriers, his junior teammate, for his fourth goal of the season.
Lessard scored 1:53 later to put Houston ahead for the first time. A loose puck bounced to Lessard in the right circle, and the reigning Hobey Baker winner clocked one off Drouin-Deslauriers, and the puck trickled across the goal line for his third goal.
The score stayed that way until the 13:06 mark of the third, when Torres tied things up. Bishai slid a pass from the left wing to a streaking Torres, who waited for Smith to commit before lifting the puck over the fallen netminder.
Torres put the Road Runners back on top with 1:40 left in the second. He picked Traverses pocket at the blueline and skated in alone on Smith. Torres faked right and went left for his fourth goal in five games with the Road Runners.
Drouin-Deslauriers, meanwhile, was brilliant in the second period with 17 saves.
The Aeros evened things up at 4-4 at 7:04 of the third, just eight seconds after a power play where they came tantalizingly close to the equalizer. Veilleux and Bouchard combined to get the puck to Traverse at the point, and the lanky defenseman flipped one through a screen and into the back of the net for his second of the season. The goal came on Houstons ninth shot of the opening seven minutes, while Edmonton had just one in that span.
It took only 3:12 for Edmonton to answer and reclaim the lead on Baums first goal in 14 games, at 10:16. Rocky Thompson, who picked up his first point in 16 games, carried the puck around two defenders on the right wing, and he slid a cross between the circles. Baum, with a defender draped all over him, got the edge of his stick on the puck and lifted it high over Smith on just Edmontons second shot of the final period.
The Aeros pulled Smith with 90 seconds left but couldnt get the equalizer, and Mrozik added the empty netter with 23 seconds remaining.
Houston finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Edmonton went 0-for-2.
The Aeros have now allowed an AHL-high 20 first-period goals.
Houston scratched Chris Heid, Todd Reirden, Christoph Brandner and Derek Boogaard.
Aeros centerman Mikko Koivu assisted on Bouchards goal and now has a goal and an assist in three games since returning from an appendectomy, which forced him to miss 12 contests.
This marked the first time the Aeros have lost a game in which theyve held the lead.