From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Sunday, April 17, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Grizzlies 4, Aeros 3 (SO)Official Box Score
Randall Gelech scored twice and Martin Sonnenberg tallied a goal and two assists, leading the Utah Grizzlies past the Houston Aeros 4-3 in a shootout. The Aeros, who finished 40-28-6-6 for 92 points, open up the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs West Division Semifinals Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Allstate Arena against the Chicago Wolves. Houstons first home game in the best-of-seven series is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The Aeros and No. 1-seeded Wolves have played each other in four of the last six post-seasons.
2005 Calder Cup Playoffs West Division Semifinals
Game 1 Tuesday, April 19, 7 p.m., Allstate Arena
Game 2 Thursday, April 21, 7 p.m., Allstate Arena
Game 3 Saturday, April 23, 7:05 p.m., Toyota Center
Game 4 Sunday, April 24, 5:05 p.m., Toyota Center
Game 5 (if necessary) Tuesday, April 26, 7:05 p.m., Toyota Center
Game 6 (if necessary) Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m., Allstate Arena
Game 7 (if necessary) Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m., Allstate Arena
Marius Holtet, Zbynek Michalek and Kyle Wanvig each scored for Houston, which had its five-game home winning streak snapped. Josh Harding finished with 30 saves.
Only Gelechs second goal, with 8:23 left in regulation, kept Harding from becoming the youngest goalie in the 69-year history of the American Hockey League to post a sub 2.00 gaa. He finished the regular season with a 2.01 gaa, just behind Lowells Cam Ward (1.99) for the leagues rookie lead.
David LeNeveu made 30 saves for the Grizzlies, who got the game-winner from veteran Peter White in the shootout.
Utah played its third game in three cities in three nights, and the Aeros took full advantage early. After a Grizzlies shot in the opening 15 seconds, Houston reeled off eight straight attempts. The Aeros outshot the Grizzlies 13-7 in the first, but didnt take a lead until late in the frame.
With 4:29 left in the first, Harding robbed Gelechs wide-open attempt from the mid slot.
Holtets seventh goal got Houston on the board with 3:12 remaining in the opening period. Jeremy Reich hit the post from the left circle, but Holtet popped the rebound by a diving LeNeveu. Seconds later on the other end, Harding watched as Erik Westrum snapped a shot off the post.
Things continued to open up on the offensive end, as LeNeveu made an outstanding save on Bill Kinkel, who was attempting to finish off a 2-on-1 with Kirby Law.
Houston pushed its lead to two goals at 11:58 of the second, on Michaleks power play goal his seventh tally of the season. Marc Cavosie (two assists), behind the cage, slid a pass to a cutting Michalek between the circles, and the defenseman hammered the puck home.
The Grizzlies climbed back within a goal with 5:42 left in the middle period, as Kiel McLeod wrapped a pass around the net to Geleche, who got the puck by Harding for his 14th goal of the season.
Wanvig restored the lead back to two goals with 2:21 remaining in the second, as he streaked up the slot and, with a defenseman draped all over him, poked a Cavosie pass by LeNeveu for his 13th goal of the season.
The goal came with the teams 4-on-4, and the Grizzlies answered back only 36 seconds later, as Sonnenberg slipped a wraparound attempt under Harding for his 13th goal.
The Aeros have been outscored 18-4 in 4-on-4 situations this season.
Houston had to kill off only one shorthanded chance over the first two periods, but it knocked down two more early in the third and four total in the third period and overtime.
Gelechs second of the night, at 11:37 of the third, forced overtime.
Houstons Rickard Wallin picked up an interference minor with 1:05 left in regulation, but Harding made a juggling glove save early in overtime on Aaron Gaveys rocket from the right circle, one of his best stops in recent memory.
LeNeveu was equally as brilliant with 3:45 left in the extra session, kicking out his right pad to stone Dan Cavanaughs rebound attempt.
In the shootout, Westrum led off for Utah, but Harding made a nifty glove save. Mark Cullen went for Houston, but LeNeveu robbed him with the glove. Veteran Terry Virtue went low on Harding in round two for a goal, and Law couldnt squeeze the puck under LeNeveus pads.
Harding made a smothering save of Gelechs round three attempt, and Junior Lessards shot went high and wide. In round four, Harding deflected Jakub Koreis shot just wide, and Wanvig faked LeNeveu to the ground and lifted a top-shelf goal that lifted up the water bottle.
White slid his fifth-round attempt under Harding, and Cavanaugh shot high and wide, clinching Utahs victory.
Houston finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while Utah went 0-for-5. Houston tied an AHL record by allowing only 12 power play goals at home.
The Aeros yielded 195 goals this season, a new team record by two. Houston allowed 197 in 1999-2000. At home, the Aeros 90 goals allowed are also a team mark.
The Aeros scratched Erik Reitz, Ryan Stokes, Mikko Koivu, Stephane Veilleux, Patrick Traverse, Christoph Brandner, Matt Foy and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Law became the second Aero in the teams four-year AHL history to skate in all 80 games. Curtis Murphy turned the trick twice.
Houston fell to 5-6 in shootouts.
The Aeros are 27-1-2-2 when leading after two periods, including a 17-1-1-2 home mark.