Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Drew McIntyre made 35 stops for his third straight win, and former Aero defensemen Maxime Fortunus and Dustin Wood each scored a goal, as the Manitoba Moose topped Houston 4-1 at Toyota Center. Nathan Smith and Adam Keefe also scored for Manitoba (13-12-3-2), which has won three straight – all with MacIntyre in between the pipes instead of former Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Wade Flaherty.
Erik Reitz scored a goal and Josh Harding
made 24 saves for Houston (10-14-0-3), which is 0-3-0-2 in its last five games and failed to pick up a point for the first time in five home games (2-1-0-2). The Aeros played their 1,000th regular season game in team history, and also their 500th home game.
The Aeros travel to San Antonio on Thursday before returning to Toyota Center to face Manitoba on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. You can buy tickets by calling 1.866.GO.AEROS, or online 24/7
Just more than a minute in with Manitoba on the power play, Wood clipped the outside of the right post.
Both team spent a minute with the man advantage early, but through the game’s opening 6:30, there were no shots on goal. Houston took another minute for its first attempt, and then held Manitoba without a shot for six minutes.
Just before the midway point of the first, Houston’s Josh Olson tipped a Clayton Stoner
point shot just off the post and wide of the net.
Manitoba nearly found the net first with 7:17 left in the first, scoring in the aftermath of a 2-on-1, but the puck was played by a high stick.
MacIntyre made fine saves on Roman Voloshenko and Ryan Hamilton back-to-back with 4:45 left in the first.
Manitoba solved Harding with 17.7 seconds left on the first-period clock, getting Smith’s seventh goal of the season. Jannik Hansen flipped the puck in front of the net from the left corner and. Smith controlled it and fired a shot that went underneath Harding, ricocheting off his pads and just over the line.
The Aeros dominated play to begin the second period, getting 11 of the stanza’s first 13 shots, but they couldn’t get on the board and later saw Manitoba take a two-goal advantage.
Houston’s Matt Foy, who arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport aboard an Air Canada jet at 5:15 p.m., nearly got Houston even a minute into the second, getting loose in the right circle and transition and winding up with a slapshot. But MacIntyre made the save and didn’t allow a rebound.
MacIntyre made a great glove save 4:13 into the second, when Peter Olvecky took control of a loose puck in the right circle and fired low.
Four minutes later, Alex Leavitt stole the puck deep in the Manitoba zone and fed Ben Thomson, whose slapper was gobbled up by MacIntyre.
Aeros 6-foot-8 rookie John Scott nearly lit the lamp at the midway point, but he popped a shot over the crossbar, and then was called for holding. With 29 seconds left in that man advantage, Harding was called for tripping, setting up a 5-on-3.
The Harding penalty cost dearly, as Fortunus scored his first goal of the season 14 seconds later. He found a Milan Gacij rebound in the right circle and fired into a nearly open net before Harding could get back to the other side with 8:46 left in the second.
Foy fired off the left post with 6:10 remaining in the middle period.
Harding was magnificent in keeping it a two-goal game late in the second, robbing J.J. Hunter from the low slot with a right pad save.
Bryan Lundbohm fed Olson in the left circle 2-on-1, three minutes into the second, but MacIntyre made the save.
Reitz finally got Houston on the board 4:41 into the third, with the teams 4-on-4. Foy carried the puck around the net and fed a pass through traffic to Reitz at the center point. Reitz wound up a one-timer that went under MacIntyre for his second goal of the season.
MacIntyre made his best save of the night with 8:58 left in the third. Lundbohm took the puck, and several defenders with him, deep in the right circle and threw a blind backhand pass to a cutting Olson low in the left circle. Olson redirected the puck at MacIntyre, who snared it with his glove.
Keefe added his first goal of the season with 6:14 remaining. An Aero blocked Joe Rullier’s right point blast in the mid slot, but Keefe jumped on the puck and got it by Harding.
Wood, who scored one goal in 64 games for Houston last season, tacked on a power play goal with 3:42 remaining for the final margin.
Houston finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Manitoba went 2-for-5. Notes:Not dressing for the Aeros were Dieter Kochan, Mattias Weinhandl, Jason Morgan, Mark Rooneem, Chris Ovington, Benoit Pouliot and Joey Tetarenko. Aeros second-year winger Joel Ward was recalled by NHL Minnesota prior to the game. It’s the first NHL recall for Ward, a product of the Canadian College system. The Aeros signed center Marco Rosa to a PTO prior to the game. He was joined in Houston by Texas Wildcatters teammate Mark Rooneem, who was there in case Foy’s plane was delayed. Fortunus has four goals in 124 AHL games. He played 25 games with the Aeros from 2003-05, registering two assists. Harding has 29 penalty minutes in his three seasons with the Aeros. His 10 this season are just one shy of his career-high, set in his rookie season of 2004-05.