From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, January 21, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Aeros 4, Rampage 2Official Box Score
SAN ANTONIO, Texas
Mikko Koivu scored two goals, giving him four in his last three games, and Mike Smith made 28 saves, as the Houston Aeros held on for a 4-2 victory over the San Antonio Rampage at SBC Center. Ray Giroux and Kirby Law also scored and Stephane Veilleux tacked on two assists for Houston, which has won two straight and equaled its 2003-04 road victory total (10) in just its 19th road game.
The Aeros welcome Grand Rapids to Toyota Center on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. (Cap Night/Chillys Birthday Party) and Sunday at 5:05 p.m. (Girl Scout Night).
Houston got an emotional lift as Josh Harding backed up Smith, putting on an Aeros uniform for the first time since he was knocked out with a concussion November 28 against Utah. (Harding thanks fans
Juraj Kolnik and Joel Kwiatkowski each scored and Patrick DesRochers stopped 11-of-14 shots for San Antonio, which has lost three straight. Travis Scott made 14 saves in relief of DesRochers.
Koivu got things going just 2:02 into the game, after a high-sticking call to Victor Uchevatov. Veilleux set up Zbynek Michalek at the point, and the defenseman ripped a shot on DesRochers. The goalie made the rebound, but Koivu pounced on the rebound for his third goal in as many games and 10th of the season.
San Antonios chances the rest of the period were few and far between, as it recorded only six shots. The Rampage did get a power play midway through as Kyle Wanvig was called for tripping, but the Aeros killed it off.
But the Rampage did get a great chance with five minutes left, but a shot rang off the post.
Wanvig set up Koivu for the second time in as many games with 1:51 left in the first, a tally originally uncalled because it hit the back of the net and bounced out so quickly. Veilleux also assisted on Koivus second goal, the Finland natives 11th of the season. Tonight marked his team-best third two-goal game of 2004-05.
Koivu now has a five-game point streak (5-2=7), the longest such streak by an Aero this season. His three-game goal streak is tied for the longest by an Aero this season.
Smith made a superb skate save on Joe Cullen midway through the second, a period that saw Smith record half of his 28 saves.
Seconds later at the other end, Junior Lessard drove to the net and was stopped by DesRochers as he fell down, but Giroux followed up and popped the rebound by the goalie to end his night at 11:37. The tally was Girouxs fifth of the season and went down as the game-winner.
With Wanvig in the box for roughing late in the second, Nathan Horton fed Kolnik in the far circle, and Kolnik beat Smith for his 10th of the season. The tally came on San Antonios 19th shot and ended Smiths shutout streak at 95 minutes, 26 seconds.
Scott robbed Koivus attempt at a hat trick two minutes later.
Houstons Matt Foy clanged a shot off the post four minutes into the third, as the Aeros lead stayed at two.
The Rampage got within a goal with 9:42 left, on Kwiatkowskis sixth of the season. Petr Taticek left a drop pass for the defenseman, who got the puck by Smith. The Aeros had just one shot in the period at the time San Antonio scored.
Houston was helped by a holding call to San Antonios Filip Novak with 4:24 left.
Laws 11th of the season, into an empty net, closed the scoring with 1:14 remaining.
The Aeros were outshot 30-28, but they improved to an amazing 10-2-0-0 when getting outshot, or the shots are even.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play.
The Aeros scratched Kyle Kettles, Erik Reitz, Dan Cavanaugh and Christoph Brandner.
Koivu became the first Aero this season to score two goals in a period.
Five of Koivus 11 goals have come in four games against San Antonio.
Houston is 10-7-1-1 on the road this season. In 2003-04, the Aeros were 10-22-6-2.
Smith appeared in his team-record 17th straight game. He has allowed two goals or less in six of his last eight starts.
San Antonio is a woeful minus-17 in the first period (46-29).
Houston allowed just its second third-period goal in six games. The Aeros have yielded only 25 third-period goals this season, the second lowest total in the AHL.
The Aeros are a perfect 10-0-0-0 when leading on the road.
Veilleux was the other Aero with a three-game goal streak, from December 2-16.
The Aeros are 10-4-0-0 when Koivu has a point.