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Aeros 3, Stars 4

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
Stars 4, Aeros 3

Official Box Score (Note: AHL scoreboard experiencing technical difficulties)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Joel Lundqvist snapped a tie midway through the third period, leading the Iowa Stars to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Aeros at Wells Fargo Arena. Vojtech Polak, Mike Green and Loui Eriksson each scored first period goals as the Stars moved to 4-0-0-0.

Curtis Murphy and rookies Danny Irmen (pictured) and Benoit Pouliot scored a goal apiece and Steve Shields made nine stops before being pulled in his Aeros debut. Houston, which rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game early in the third, is 0-4-0-0 for just the second time in team history. The Aeros are in San Antonio for a 5 p.m. faceoff Sunday.

Polak’s first goal of the season got Iowa on the board just 2:19 into the game. With the Stars on the power play, Murphy joined a shorthanded rush going the other way. Iowa got the puck back the other way, and Polak ripped a shot by Shields short side from the left circle.

Green scored his first goal to make it 2-0, only 41 seconds later. Green took a Junior Lessard feed and put it on net, but Shields made the save. Green, untouched, tapped the rebound by Shields.

The Aeros drew within 2-1 at 5:59 of the first with Irmen’s first pro goal, which came the Stars on a 4-on-3. Irmen stole the puck at center ice and pushed it ahead. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher beat two Stars down the ice and slid a backhander under Tobias Stephan.

Aeros winger Matt Foy nearly tied things up eight minutes in on the power play, but his rebound of a Murphy drive hit the outside of the net. Seconds later, rookie sniper Pouliot got a shot off through the crease, but it slid just wide.

Eriksson’s first goal restored the lead to two goals, at the 10:12 mark. The tally came after what appeared to be a poorly organized 2-on-1. Toby Petersen turned and fired from the left circle, and the puck went well wide of the net. Shields came out to play the angle, but the hard shot ricocheted to a cutting Eriksson in the right circle. Eriksson had an easy time getting the puck into an open net and by a sliding Aeros defender for his seventh goal in 13 career games against Houston. The tally ended Shields’ night.

Second-year Aero Peter Olvecky split the defense and got in alone on a breakaway with 4:30 left in the first period, but he shot it high and wide.

A high-sticking call to Eriksson gave the Aeros a five-minute power play spanning the first and second periods. Houston had two full minutes of a 5-on-3, thanks to a penalty on Marty Wilford.

Just seconds after Petersen stole the puck and nearly scored on a two-man shorthanded breakaway, Aeros winger Roman Voloshenko found himself alone in front of the net. But Stephan robbed him point blank.

Foy got loose down low early in the second on the power play, but Stephan pokechecked the puck off his stick.

Seconds later, Pouliot saved a goal for Houston, as Harding got trapped out along the boards by the hash marks, but a sliding Pouliot pushed a shot attempt wide.

Pouliot made amends with 6:32 left in the second, with his second pro goal. Stephan stopped Foy’s wraparound attempt, but Pouliot crashed the net from the left wing and popped the puck by the prone goalie. Pouliot’s goal was just the second by an Aero after the first period in the opening four games of the season.

Lundqvist, who scored a goal last Sunday against Houston, ripped a shot just over the crossbar from point blank range less than a minute later.

Stephan made a nifty save on former Aero Shawn Belle’s blast from the right circle in the waning seconds of the second.

Murphy got the equalizer with his first goal of the season, just 1:52 into the third. Pouliot, on the left wing, found Murphy cutting up the right side. Murphy let a slapper loose from the right circle, and the shot got through traffic and by Stephan to become just the 13th player – and first defenseman – in team history with 50 goals.

But Lundqvist avenged his earlier miss, getting the game-winner with 9:04 gone in the final period. He ripped a long shot from along the left boards that eluded Harding high for his second goal of the season.

Belle picked up a minor penalty in the final minute, so the Aeros never got Harding out of the net for the extra attacker.

Houston finished 0-for-8 on the power play, while Iowa went 1-for-7. The Aeros are 2-for-39 with the man advantage this season.

There were 13 penalties called in the game’s first 27 minutes, but just two after that.

  • Not dressing for the Aeros were Tony Quesada, Ryan Stokes, Alex Leavitt, Ryan Hamilton, Bryan Lundbohm and Clayton Stoner.
  • Aeros winger Josh Olson, a scratch in each of the first three games, made his season debut.
  • The Aeros trailed after one period for the first time this season.
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