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Aeros 2, Rampage 4

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
Rampage 4, Aeros 2

Official Box Score

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – David LeNeveu made 44 saves, Layne Ulmer tallied a goal and two assists and Brad Tiley scored his first goal in 53 games this season, as the San Antonio Rampage sent the Houston Aeros to their second straight defeat, 4-2 at AT&T Center. Steve Gainey chipped in a goal and an assist, Eric Chouinard also scored as San Antonio won for just the fourth time in its last 13 games (4-8-1-0).

Rookies Patrick O’Sullivan and Roman Voloshenko each scored a power play goal and Seamus Kotyk made 22 saves for the Aeros (42-16-1-2), who haven’t scored an even strength goal in the two losses in the last 24 hours.

The Aeros return home Tuesday and Thursday against Chicago. Gametime is 7:05 p.m. for both contests.
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Houston veteran Joey Tetarenko tangled with Dwayne Zinger 8:05 into the game. Zinger landed the early punches, but Tetarenko came back to send Zinger to the ice at the end of the bout.

Houston’s best chance of the opening period was Peter Olvecky’s tip of a Scott Ferguson left point blast, with the Aeros on the power play and 7:16 left.

A minute later, Kotyk made his first difficult save of the stanza, swallowing up a Randall Gelech drive from the left circle.

Ulmer’s 17th of the season put San Antonio up with 2:41 left in the first. He skated out from behind the net and stuffed a wraparound attempt through Kotyk. The goal came after the Rampage spent two consecutive minutes in the Aeros zone.

The Aeros trailed after one period for just the third time in 21 games. Houston entered the game as the AHL’s best first-period team, while San Antonio was the worst.

Houston dominated the second period, outshooting the Rampage 20-6, but LeNeveu allowed just one goal while San Antonio also scored once.

Matt Foy nearly tied the score 3:40 into the second on the power play, but LeNeveu just got a piece of his top-shelf rebound attempt. Less than a minute later, O’Sullivan hit the outside of the net from the right circle.

O’Sullivan did get the Aeros on the board at 10:12 of the second, with his team-leading 36th goal of the season with Houston on the power play. Just seconds after Kirby Law whiffed on O’Sullivan’s right-to-left pass, Law collected the puck and sent it back across ice to a waiting O’Sullivan. The dynamic rookie, on one knee, blasted the puck over LeNeveu’s shoulder.

San Antonio was quick to answer back, reclaiming a 2-1 lead 1:19 later. Ulmer, behind the net, fed Tiley, cutting in from the right point. Tiley snuck the puck under Kotyk for the veteran’s first goal in 53 games this season. Tiley entered the game a team-worst minus-28.

LeNeveu continued to impress with 4:11 left, stopping a Law drive from the right point, then covering up after a pair of rebound attempts from Petr Taticek. LeNeveu was a bit slot to get up, shaking his left leg, but he stayed in the game.

Gainey, assigned to San Antonio from the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes earlier in the day, made it 3-1 with a power play goal 45 seconds into the third. Gainey deked Kotyk out of position, then got the puck by the netminder’s stick and just inside the far post for his ninth goal of the season.

Westrum was bothered by Zinger on a near clear breakaway with 12:01 left in the third, and LeNeveu covered up.

Chouinard finished off San Antonio’s scoring with 8:36 remaining, with the teams 4-on-4. He sidestepped Curtis Murphy and went five-hole on Kotyk for his 14th goal of the season.

Voloshenko tipped a Murphy drive from the right point into the net with 3:22 left in regulation, drawing Houston within 4-2.

Houston finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while San Antonio went 1-for-4.

  • Not dressing for the Aeros were Colin Peters, Bill Kinkel and Andrei Nazarov.
  • Veteran center Rem Murray has signed a one-year contract with the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. Murray made his much-anticipated return to the NHL this afternoon at Rexall Place against the Nashville Predators. The eight-year, 559-game NHL veteran was with the Aeros this season while coming back from cervical dystonia, a serious nerve disorder in his neck that can cause paralysis. The 33-year-old Murray, named an Aeros’ alternate captain December 15, broke into the NHL with Edmonton in the 1996-97 season. Murray last played in the NHL in Nashville in January, 2004. Murray skated on a line with enforcer Georges Laraque and rookie Yan Stastny, taking nine shifts for 6:35 of ice time. He had one shot, won one of three faceoffs and finished with an even rating.
  • Houston fell to 2-12-1-1 when scoring two or fewer goals, and 5-12-0-1 when yielding four or more.
  • O’Sullivan’s 36 goals are tied with Cam Stewart for the fifth most by an Aero in any single season.
  • Murphy earned $100 for “Murphy’s Mission”, in which an anonymous local donor is pledging money per Murphy goal and assist to go towards “I Have a Dream”. Murphy’s mission has now raised $400 in three games. A Murphy hat trick at Toyota Center will net $10,000.
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