From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Thursday, March 10, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Admirals 5, Aeros 0Official Box Score
Brian Finley finished with 24 saves for his second straight shutout, Scottie Upshall tallied two goals and Simon Gamache scored just 21 seconds into the game, as the Milwaukee Admirals routed the Houston Aeros 5-0 at Bradley Center. Libor Pivko and Paul Brown also scored for Milwaukee, which moved four points clear of second place Chicago in the West Division.
Mike Smith made 22 saves for the Aeros, who suffered their worst loss of the season and remained one point behind Cincinnati for third place in the West. Houston fell to 1-5-2-0 in its last eight trips to Bradley Center and has lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since January 14-16.
Houston returns to the friendly confines of Toyota Center for a 7:35 p.m. Saturday tilt against the San Antonio Rampage.
Finley made nine saves in the first period, nine in the second and six in the third for his sixth shutout of the season. After going winless in five straight starts, Finley is 3-1-0 in his last four, including two consecutive shutouts. Finley improved to 14-6-1 in his career against the Aeros, the most wins ever for a netminder versus Houston.
Milwaukee wasted no time, as Gamache scored his 24th goal only 21 seconds into the game. Newcomer Brendan Yarema, a former Aero, fed Gamache off the faceoff and beat Smith five hole. The tally was just Gamaches second in the last 14 games. Hes the AHLs third leading scorer.
The Aeros allowed the games first goal for the third time in as many games, and they have led after one period only once in eight contests.
Pivko followed with his fifth tally, at 9:41 of the first. Smith got a piece of Pivkos rebound attempt after a Wyatt Smith shot, but Pivko quickly scooped up the rebound and slid it by the netminder.
Houstons Bill Kinkel had his first AHL fight with 7:47 remaining, taking on Cam Severson while also getting an instigator penalty and 10-minute misconduct.
Smith saved further damage seven minutes into the second period, as Gamache took a headman pass from Tony Hrkac and skated in alone. Smith didnt fall for the deke, kicking the attempt out with his pad.
But Smith could only stem the tide so long, as the Admirals scored twice in a 13-second span to build a commanding four-goal advantage.
At 13:22 and with one second left on a holding penalty to Dan Cavanaugh, Upshall redirected a Ryan Suter shot from the low slot up and over Smith for his 11th of the season sixth on the power play.
Just 14 seconds later, Browns first goal made it 4-0. Smith nearly corralled Bryan Lundbohms attempt, but Brown got to the doorstep to push the rebound by the goalie.
The teams came together after the second-period buzzer, and Milwaukees 5-foot-9 sparkplug Jordin Tootoo challenged 6-foot-5 John Erskine.
Houston had 4:28 of a power play after Brown was called for a high sticking major early in the third, but the Aeros couldnt find the scoreboard.
Gamache completed the two-point night when he dropped a pass for Upshall with 12:46 gone in the third, and Upshall deposited the puck by Smith for his second of the game and 12th of the season.
The Aeros finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Milwaukee went 1-for-5. Houston hasnt scored on its last 19 man advantages and is 4-for-43 in its last 11 games.
The Aeros scratched Chris Heid, Joey Tetarenko, Erik Reitz, Stephane Veilleux, Christoph Brandner and Derek Boogaard.
Houston announced prior to the game that it loaned right wing/defenseman Jason Beckett, currently in ECHL Pensacola, to the Syracuse Crunch in exchange for former 51-point AHL scorer Jeremy Reich. Reich played nearly three full junior seasons for Aeros head coach Todd McLellan.
The Aeros were blanked for the sixth time this season, the first since being shut out in back-to-back games January 8-9.
Gamache has 32 points (14-18=32) in 29 career games versus Houston.
Milwaukee defensemen Greg Zanon and Kevin Klein were each plus-four with an assist.