Game Summary - HERE
LARSSON LEADS AEROS PAST HEAT 5-1
Houston Will Play in Charlotte Next Saturday at 6 p.m.
Abbotsford, BC – The Houston Aeros (29-21-4-3, 65 points) defeated the Abbotsford Heat (27-23-3-5, 62 points) 5-1 on Saturday night in front of 2,356 fans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. Rookie forward Johan Larsson registered two goals and two assists, leading the Aeros to a split in Abbotsford over the weekend. Houston goalie Matt Hackett (19-19-3) made 24 saves, as the Aeros moved to 15-13-2-1 on the road this year. Abbotsford goalie Barry Brust (11-12-2) made 21 saves, as the Heat slipped to 19-10-2-1 at home this season. Center Chad Rau had a goal and an assist, while forwards Justin Fontaine and Zack Phillips added goals in the Houston win. The Aeros continue their four-game road trip next Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT) in Charlotte.
Houston opened the scoring at 2:37 of the first period, taking a 1-0 lead off a power-play goal. Defenseman Paul Mara played the puck down low towards the Abbotsford net. Forward Johan Larsson redirected the puck past goalie Barry Burst for the 1-0 lead. Defenseman Brian Connelly added an assist on the game’s opening goal, Larsson’s 14th goal of the season.
The Aeros doubled their lead 23 seconds into the middle period, taking at 2-0 advantage off Larsson’s second goal of the night. Forward Dan DaSilva ripped a shot to the Abbotsford net and Larsson stuffed in the rebound for his 15th goal of the season. Abbotsford picked up its first goal of the night at 9:18 of the second period. Greg Nemisz finished off a scoring play, netting his second goal of the season for the 2-1 deficit. Forwards Krys Kolanos and Roman Horak each picked up an assist on the play. The Aeros regained their two-goal lead at 14:13 of the middle frame. Larsson fired a cross-crease pass to Zack Phillips, who potted his third goal of the season with a one-timer past Brust for the 3-1 lead. Defenseman Kris Fredheim added an assist on the team’s third goal of the evening.
Houston expanded its lead to 4-1 at 10:42 of the third period, as Chad Rau scored a power-play goal for his eighth tally of the season. Defenseman Paul Mara’s shot was redirected by Larsson and kicked aside by Barry Brust. Rau tucked in the rebound for the three-goal Aeros lead. Houston closed out the scoring with the team’s third power-play goal of the night for the 5-1 score. Rau picked off an errant clearing attempt and slipped the puck to the Heat crease. Right wing Justin Fontaine put in the rebound for his 15th goal of the season.
Houston will play a pair of games in Charlotte next weekend, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday Mar.9. The teams will also play on Sunday, Mar. 10 at 2 p.m. to round out a two-game set at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Aeros return home on Thursday, Mar. 14 at 7:05 p.m. as Houston hosts Abbotsford at Toyota Center. The game marks a “Thirsty Thursday”, where fans may take their ticket stub to The Maple Leaf Pub (Smith and Elgin). The first 500 fans to The Maple Leaf Pub will receive a second drink free with their ticket stub.
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