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Aeros 3, Rampage 1

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
Aeros 3, Rampage 1

Official Box Score

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Josh Harding finished with 41 saves and Mattias Weinhandl scored a power play goal on his first shot in an Aeros uniform, as Houston defeated San Antonio 3-1 at AT&T Center to snap a pair of five-game winless streaks. Rookie Ryan Hamilton and Matt Foy had a goal apiece for Houston (11-14-0-3), which was 0-3-0-2 in its last five games overall and had lost five straight road games in regulation. The Aeros moved into fifth place in the West Division, just a point behind fourth-place Iowa.

Yanick Lehoux scored a goal and Josh Tordjman made 28 stops for San Antonio (9-17-0-0), which has lost six of eight and lost to the Aeros at home for the first time in five games.

The Aeros return 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. The first 3,000 fans will receive an Aeros stocking. It’s also the Aeros Teddy Bear Toss, and the conclusion of the Aeros Charities Toy Drive.

The Aeros got 23 seconds of an early 5-on-3, and Weinhandl scored on his first shot in a Houston uniform with 6:38 gone by in the game. Curtis Murphy sent a long centering pass to Peter Olvecky at the right doorstep. Olvecky just missed a goal, tipping the puck off the crossbar, but Weinhandl collected the rebound low in the left circle and ripped the puck into the open net. Weinhandl was assigned by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild earlier this week.

Houston extended to a 2-0 lead with 6:39 remaining in the first. Ben Thomson (two assists), behind the net, threaded a pass to Hamilton in the low slot. Hamilton quickly one-timed a shot by Tordjman glove side for his fourth goal of the season.

San Antonio closed the gap to 2-1 with 3:02 remaining in the first. Donald MacLean fire from the center point, and Harding left the rebound on the deck. Lehoux corralled the puck with his skate, and fired it into a near open net for his team-leading 11th goal.

Houston led 2-1 after one, after having scored just one first period goal during its five-game losing streak. It marked just the second time in 10 games the Aeros led after one period. The Aeros also held lead after one on the road for just the third time this season.

Harding made a great pad save on Nick Martens’ blast from the left point seven minutes into the second. He kicked the puck into the corner.

Weinhandl nearly had his second goal two minutes later, set up by Ryan Hamilton in transition at the edge of the right circle. But Tordjman made a sprawling pad save.

Lehoux hit the outside of the net with a 4-on-3 rebound shot with 8:20 left in the second.

Lehoux tried to set up Jakub Koreis five minutes into the third period, but the pass was just too far ahead for a streaking Koreis in the right circle.

Lehoux, who has seven goals and 11 points in nine career games against Houston, broke in alone on Harding with 5:40 left in the third, but Harding got just enough of the puck with his blocker to push it wide of the net.

And just 59 seconds later, Foy added the insurance marker – his 12th goal and fifth this season against San Antonio. Foy took a pass from Thomson at center ice and skated in on Tordjman, with Martens back. Foy ripped a shot that deflected off the defenseman’s stick and floated up and over Tordjman.

The Rampage pulled Tordjman with 55 seconds left with a power play. Jeff Taffe just put a backhander wide for San Antonio’s best chance.

Houston went 1-for-3 on the power play, while San Antonio finished 0-for-8. Houston was 2-for-38 with the man advantage in its previous six road games, and has scored just eight power play goals on the road all season. The Aeros had allowed four power play goals ini their last two games.

Notes:
  • Not dressing for the Aeros were Dieter Kochan, Jason Morgan, Chris Ovington, Benoit Pouliot and Joey Tetarenko.
  • Aeros second-year winger Joel Ward did not make his NHL debut tonight with Minnesota. Ward was recalled by the Wild yesterday.
  • The Aeros released center Marco Rosa from his PTO prior to the game. He played in last night’s game, after earlier seeing action in four games this season.
  • The Aeros are 20-4-2-1 in the last 27 overall meetings with San Antonio.
  • Harding, who was 0-3-2 in his last five decisions, improved to 13-3-1 against the Rampage in his career.
  • The Aeros improved to 5-4-0-1 in the back end of back-to-backs.
  • Thomson had his first career two-assist game.
  • Foy moved his point streak to a team season-best five games, with nine points (6-3=9) in that span. He is the Aeros’ leading scorer with 24 points (12-12=24).
  • Houston is 10-4-0-2 when scoring three goals or more, and just 1-10-0-1 when scoring two or fewer.
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