Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Rich Peverley notched a goal and an assist and Pekka Rinne made 31 saves, as the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Houston Aeros 3-1 at Toyota Center. Bracken Kearns and Ville Koistinen also scored for Milwaukee (29-21-4-6), which remained six points behind second-place Omaha.
Jason Morgan scored a goal and Dieter Kochan made 23 saves for Houston (21-28-3-6), which went 0-3-1-0 in its final four games of a five-game homestand after a 4-1 win over first-place Chicago. The Aeros, winless in eight straight on the road, begin a stretch of nine out of 10 games away from Toyota Center on Friday in Omaha.
Milwaukee scored twice in a 29-second span of the first period to take a 2-0 lead.
Peverley got his team-leading 27th goal – ninth on the power play – with 10:24 gone in the first, and Mattias Weinhandl in the box for hooking. Kochan kicked out Jason Guerriero’s attempt from the right circle, but the rebound came right to Peverley in the left circle, who buried it for a 1-0 advantage.
Kearns tallied his eighth of the season to push the lead to two goals 29 seconds later. John Laliberte picked up a loose puck in the right corner and threaded a pass to Kearns, who went low on Kochan for the goal.
Houston nearly got within a goal on a power play midway through the second, but leading scorer Matt Foy chipped a pass from Curtis Murphy just over the crossbar and into the protective netting.
It appeared the Aeros would stay within two goals after two, until Koistinen tallied his seventh goal with 1:39 left in the second. Peverley beat three Aeros and carried the puck behind the net. Kochan stopped Peverley’s wraparound attempt at the right post, but a cutting Koistinen pushed the puck under the netminder.
The Aeros dominated the third period, outshooting Milwaukee 16-4, but the rally wasn’t enough.
Morgan notched his seventh goal of the season just 1:05 into the third. Joel Ward carried the puck in front of the net and got tied up. Morgan hopped on the puck and slid it by Rinne.
Houston had two great chances at the midway point of the third to get back into the contest. First, Shawn Belle hit the post on a 2-on-1 pass from Bryan Lundbohm with 8:19 gone. With 9:20 remaining, Lundbohm chipped a rebound of a Danny Irmen shot just wide of the right post.
The Aeros got Kochan off for the extra attacker with 1:45 remaining, but couldn’t get any closer.
Houston went 0-for-4 on the power play, while Milwaukee finished 1-for-5. Notes:Not dressing for the Aeros were Peter Ratchuk, Josh Olson, Chris Ovington and Ben Thomson. Murphy still has 199 points (55-144=199) in 298 career games in Houston. After scoring five goals in a four-game stretch, Foy doesn’t have a point in the last four games. The Aeros fell to 2-19-2-2 when scoring two or fewer goals. The Aeros are 3-13-2-2 this season in games in which goalie Josh Harding doesn’t play. Harding remains on recall to NHL Minnesota. Houston has outshot two straight opponents after getting outshot in nine straight games. The Aeros held an advantage in third period scoring for just the second time in 11 games.