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Thursday, October 20, 2005
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AEROS 4, Knights 3 (SO)
Official Box Score
Kurtis Foster forced overtime with 2:23 left in regulation and Miroslav Kopriva (kop-CHEEV-kah) made 29 saves and four more in the shootout in his North American debut, as the Houston Aeros rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights at Omaha Civic Auditorium. Erik Reitz and Petr Taticek also scored and Erik Westrums shootout goal in the sixth round of his 300th pro game was the game-winner for Houston, which became the first AHL team to reach 10 points.
The Aeros return home Friday to face Grand Rapids at 7:35 p.m. Three-time NHL All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup winner Chris Osgood, down from Detroit on a rehabilitation assignment, is scheduled to start in net for the Griffins. The first 5,000 fans will receive A Winning Tradition posters.
to buy tickets for Friday or Saturdays home games.
Tomi Maki tallied a goal and an assist and Brent Krahn made 30 saves for Omaha, which trailed 2-0 midway through the game but had a one-goal lead in the waning minutes. Cam Severson and Richie Regehr also scored for Omaha (2-2-0-2).
Houston (5-1-0-0) has won five of its first six games for just the third time in team history. In both of the previous seasons (1998-99, 2002-03), the Aeros won the league title.
Houston finished off its five-game road trip with four straight wins, the first time theyve won four consecutive games away from home since a five-game streak from October 18-24, 2002 early in the Calder Cup championship season.
The Aeros entered the third period trailing 3-2 and controlled play for much of the period, despite taking three minor penalties in a span of 7:02 in the opening 11 minutes.
With the teams 4-on-4 with just over eight minutes left, Krahn made his best save of the night. Patrick OSullivan slid a pass between defenders to an open Curtis Murphy on the left wing. Murphy tip-toed towards the net and deked Krahn, but the goalie made the save. Seconds later, Reitz whipped a shot just wide with a near open net.
Fosters third goal in two games forced overtime, with 2:23 remaining in regulation. Kirby Law fed Foster at the center point, and the massive defenseman ripped a high shot by Krahn. Aeros leading scorer Erik Westrum also got an assist, moving him into a tie for the AHLs scoring lead with 13 points and also extending his point streak to six games.
Houston has now scored in an impressive 10 consecutive regulation periods.
With 2:52 left in overtime, Houstons Chris Heid went off for tripping. The Aeros had the best shot, with Murphy and Rem Murray getting foiled on a 2-on-1. The Knights finished overtime with a 5-1 shot advantage.
Houston finished 1-for-7 on the power play, while Omaha went 1-for-10.
The first four shooters failed to score in the shootout, but OSullivan gave the Aeros the lead in round three. The rookie made a headfake and got a quick forehand snapshot by Krahn. But Darren Lynch countered for Omaha, going through Koprivas pads to tie things up.
Taticek lost his balance in round four and pushed a shot wide, and then Kopriva made a daring move on veteran Craig MacDonald, the Knights captain. Kopriva came out to meet MacDonald, diving and poking the puck back to center ice.
Rem Murray, in his second game for the Aeros after missing the last 21 months due to cervical dystonia, scored low on Krahn, pushing Omaha to the brink of elimination. But Maki went glove side to beat Kopriva, forcing sudden death.
Westrum beat Krahn blocker side for Houston, and then Kopriva pushed aside Lynchs attempt with his glove, securing the victory.
The Aeros broke on top at 7:42 of the first, just six seconds after a holding penalty to Carsen Germyn expired. Houston got five shots on the power play, and its next shot hit the back of the net. Krahn got a piece of Peter Olveckys shot from the left circle, but he left a bouncing rebound on the deck. Taticek, nearly on the ground, swiped the puck into the net.
Houston got a five-minute power play late in the first when MacDonald was given a high sticking major, but the Aeros couldnt extend the lead.
Reitz power play goal his second of the season extended Houstons lead to 2-0 at 7:40 of the second. With Mark Giordano in the box for holding, OSullivan won the faceoff back to Reitz at the right point. Reitz took several steps into a booming shot from the right point, and it eluded Krahn. OSullivans assist pushed his assist streak to four to begin his pro career.
Shortly thereafter, Omaha scored twice in a 50-second span to tie the game up.
The Knights answered back with a power play goal of their own 1:58 later after Houston was whistled for too many men on the ice. Regehr, who had three assists in Tuesdays game, took a pass from Maki at the right point and shot through traffic. The puck bounced off an Aeros stick in front of Kopriva and into the net.
Only 50 seconds later, Severson broke in on the wing and snapped a shot under Kopriva from an odd angle. Seversons second goal of the season knotted the score at 2-2.
With 2:28 remaining in the second, Makis second goal put Omaha on top for the first time. The Knights broke into the Houston zone 3-on-2. David Moss and Brandon Prust worked a nifty give-and-go, and Prust then slid a pass from the left circle all the way to a waiting Maki at the right doorstep. Maki put the puck into a near empty net for the go-ahead tally.
The Aeros scratched Ryan Stokes, Anders Myrvold, Adam Courchaine, Mark Rooneem and Joey Tetarenko.
Westrums 13-point start in six games is the best in team history. It sets up a battle Friday for the leagues scoring lead with Grand Rapids Jiri Hudler.
The Aeros have been shorthanded 59 times in six games.
Fosters goal was just the third given up by Omaha in the third period this season. Houston, meanwhile, has given up a league-high 10 in the final 20 minutes. However, the Aeros were perfect in the third tonight.