Official Box Score SAN ANTONIO, Texas – David LeNeveu made 53 saves, Yanick Lehoux scored two goals and Pascal Rheaume added one, as the San Antonio Rampage defeated the Houston Aeros 3-0 at AT&T Center. San Antonio has beaten Houston twice in a row in regulation for the first time in its four seasons in the AHL. The Rampage finished its 10-game homestand 3-6-0-1 behind the strong play of LeNeveu, who had 44 saves in a 4-2 win over Houston on March 5.
Seamus Kotyk made 20 stops for the Aeros (45-19-1-2), whose magic number to clinch a Calder Cup Playoffs berth remained at three points, a combination of their own points gained and points lost by idle Iowa.
Houston plays host to the Rampage Sunday at 5:05 p.m. as the teams complete the home-and-home. It’s an Aeros Family Day. Beginning at just $59, get four tickets, $20 in Toyota Bucks, four Aeros pucks and free parking! Bring out the whole Family! Log on to www.aeros.com/themenights
to order. Username is Family, password is Days. Or, call 713.974.PUCK to order. Special offer not available at the Toyota Center Box Office. Kids can also take a shot on goal after the game.
LeNeveu posted the highest save total ever in a shutout against the Aeros. Manitoba’s Jason Elliott made 45 saves in a 1-0 victory March 10, 2000.
The Aeros dominated the first period, outshooting the Rampage 21-6, but San Antonio owned a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Houston got the first seven shots, including a breakaway near-miss by Matt Foy.
But San Antonio scored on its first shot, 5:25 into the contest. Lehoux blocked a pass between a pair of Aeros at his own blueline and won a race to the puck. He skated in on Kotyk, deked and lifted a backhander over Kotyk for his 13th goal of the season.
The Aeros continued to press, thanks to a pair of first-period power plays, but LeNeveu was outstanding. He made a juggling save as Bryan Lundbohm burrowed his way into the low slot late in the first.
LeNeveu was up to his tricks again throughout the second period, making 15 saves.
Kirby Law and Roman Voloshenko did everything but find the net in a six-minute stretch in the second. With 11:14 left, Voloshenko found Law at the left doorstep with a seemingly open net. Law didn’t get the shot off cleanly, and it headed for the far post, where LeNeveu rolled back over and made the save.
Law tried to hit Voloshenko with a 3-on-1 pass four minutes later, but it was just outside his reach deep in the San Antonio zone at the end of a shift.
With 5:45 left in the second, Law found Voloshenko alone in the left circle while skating towards the blueline. LeNeveu stoned Voloshenko, who was all alone, from close range.
Newcomer Brendan Bernakevitch almost evened the score with 3:06 remaining in the middle period, firing an Olvecky feed on net from the edge of the left circle.
Voloshenko had an off-balanced shot ring off the post 45 seconds into the third.
Lehoux walked around a pair of Aeros defenders at the midway point of the third and got in alone on Kotyk again, but the netminder made a fine glove save.
The goalies continued their strong play in end-to-end action with less than six minutes left. Houston’s Erik Westrum got loose in the left circle and let rip, but LeNeveu made the save. The long rebound led to an odd-man rush for San Antonio, but Kotyk ranged left to right.
Moments after LeNeveu made another unbelievable save, this one on the AHL’s laeding rookie Patrick O’Sullivan, Rheaume scored on a 2-on-1 for a two-goal lead with 4:10 remaining.
Lehoux added an empty netter with 33 seconds left for the final margin.
The Aeros have been outscored 16-3 in the third period over their last eight games. They are 3-5-0-0 in that stretch.
Houston finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while San Antonio went 0-for-3. A night after Houston and Milwaukee combined for 23 power plays, there were only six tonght. Notes: Not dressing for the Aeros were Colin Peters, Bill Kinkel, newcomer Greg Mauldin and Andrei Nazarov. Kinkel sat out the final game of a seven-game AHL suspension. He’s eligible to return Sunday at home against San Antonio. O’Sullivan has been held without a point in back-to-back games for the first time since November 6-9. The Aeros fell to 2-8-1-1 on the road in March in 2005 and 2006. Houston has a five-game road trip left this month after Sunday’s home game.