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HOUSTON AEROS PULL AWAY FROM BARONS 4-2
Aeros Continue Three-Game Home Stand Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Houston, TX – The Houston Aeros (17-10-2-3, 39 points) defeated the Oklahoma City Barons (17-11-1-3, 38 points) 4-2 on Tuesday night in front of 5,419 fans at Toyota Center. Right wing Jason Zucker scored twice and added an assist, helping Houston double up Oklahoma City. Houston goalie Matt Hackett (13-9-3) took care of the rest, finishing with 28 saves on 30 Barons shots. Center Mikael Granlund added two assists, as the Aeros ended the Barons four-game winning streak. Forwards Charlie Coyle and Johan Larsson also scored, helping Houston improve to 6-1-0-0 against the Barons this season. Barons goalie Yann Danis (13-8-3) stopped 24 of 27 Houston shots in the defeat. Barons Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall each had a goal in the loss. Houston remains at Toyota Center for a pair of games, starting with Texas on Friday and San Antonio on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Oklahoma City picked up the game’s opening goal at 8:16 of the first period. Taylor Hall sent a wrist shot past Matt Hackett, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead. Forwards Jordan Eberle and Mark Arcobello each had an assist on the power play goal, Hall’s 13th goal of the season.
Houston stormed back in the second period with a pair of goals to take the lead. The Aeros tied the game 1-1 just 1:42 into the period, as Jason Zucker tallied his 14th goal of the season. Forward Mikael Granlund and defenseman Brian Connelly each had an assist on the power-play goal. The Aeros claimed a 2-1 lead at 4:40 of the second. Nick Petersen made a nice pass to the Barons slot, finding Charlie Coyle for the team’s second goal of the night. Coyle’s 12th goal of the season was also assisted by Granlund. Oklahoma City pulled even with Houston at 11:13 with its second power-play goal of the night. Eberle put in a rebound, scoring his 24 goal of the season, with assists from Teemu Hartikainen and Arcobello.
Houston jumped in front for good at 5:10 of the third period, as Zucker scored his second goal of the evening. The Aeros rookie picked off a puck at the Barons blue line and rifled a shot to the net. Zucker’s shot feathered through traffic and past Danis for his 15th goal of the season and a 3-2 Aeros lead. Houston finished off the scoring at 18:49 of the final frame, as Johan Larsson added an empty-net tally. Larsson’s eighth goal of the year was assisted by Drew Bagnall and Zucker for the 4-2 final.
The Aeros continue a three-game home stand to ring in the New Year. Houston will host Texas at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4 and San Antonio at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5. The first 2,000 youths to the game receive an Aeros youth jersey, compliments of Belknap Plumbing and Bellknap Concrete. The Aeros round out the weekend with a 5 p.m. faceoff on Sunday, Jan. 6 at Texas.
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