Official Box Score MILWAUKEE, Wisc. –
Karl Goehring made 29 saves and Ville Koistinen and Chris Durno scored 53 seconds apart in the first period, leading the Milwaukee Admirals past the Houston Aeros, 3-1 at Bradley Center. Koistinen added an assist, Cal O’Reilly also scored and Ramzi Abid posted two helpers for Milwaukee (39-25-4-9), which snapped a two-game skid and will enter the Calder Cup Playoffs as the West Division’s third seed.
Curtis Murphy scored his second goal in as many games and Tony Quesada made 31 saves for Houston (26-40-4-6), which returns home for three of its final four games, beginning Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. versus Iowa. Call 713.974.PUCK to order a Maple Leaf Pub Happy Hour package, or to order tickets and be entered into a special drawing for items such as autographed Aeros memorabilia and Cirque du Soleil tickets.
Houston is 4-10-3-0 in its last 17 regular season trips to Bradley Center, and 4-12-3-0 in 19 games counting the playoffs.
The Aeros, already with a team-record 16 shorthanded goals, nearly scored two on the same shift in the first period. Danny Irmen was first denied by Goehring on a breakaway, and then hit the post.
However, seconds after that, Milwaukee scored the first of two goals in a 53-second span.
Koistinen’s ninth of the season made it 1-0. The defenseman’s rising slapshot beat Quesada, with 5:35 remaining, and just two ticks left on the man advantage.
Durno put up his 17th goal, 53 seconds later. Houston defenseman Erik Reitz crushed Bracken Kearns, but the puck squirted to a wide open Durno, who tapped the puck into the net.
Admirals leading scorer Rich Peverley hit the post in the opening minutes of the second period.
On the opening faceoff of the third period, Aeros winger Aaron Voros tangled with Milwaukee defenseman Kevin Klein. But Voros picked up an additional two minutes for elbowing, setting up an Admirals power play.
Murphy got the Aeros on the board 5:39 into the third, with his 10th of the season and second in as many games. Murphy took a pass from Jason Morgan and fired from the point. With Mattias Weinhandl creating a screen in front, the puck banged off Geohring, off the post and into the net.
But O’Reilly restored the lead to two goals with 8:15 remaining, deflecting an Abid shot by Quesada.
The Aeros got a power play with less than five minutes left to spearhead a possible comeback, but Goehring stopped everything sent his way.
Houston finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Milwaukee went 1-for-3. Notes:Not dressing for the Aeros were Dieter Kochan, Josh Olson, Ben Thomson and Clayton Stoner. Morgan has nine points (3-6=9) in his last nine games, including a season-long three-game point streak (0-3=3). Rookie defenseman John Scott also assisted on Murphy’s goal, giving him six points (1-5=6) in six games after putting up a single assist in his first 55 games. Murphy finished plus-one. He has been even or better in his last 10 games, going plus-six in that span. The Aeros haven’t outshot any of their last 13 opponents.