Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas - Kirby Law scored on a power play with 20.9 seconds left in overtime after Matt Foy’s second goal tied the game with 7:10 remaining in regulation, as the Houston Aeros rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 4-3 victory over the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights at Toyota Center. Erik Reitz also scored and Josh Harding made 38 stops, including a third-period penalty shot, for the Aeros, who are 22-8-1-1, their most wins after 32 games in team history.
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Carsen Germyn, Warren Peters
and Cam Severson each scored and Curtis McElhinney made 37 saves for Omaha, which has seen all but five of its 34 games decided by one or two goals. The Knights fell to 1-4-1-2 in their last eight.
Harding stopped Lynn Loyns on a penalty shot with 5:09 left in regulation after the Aeros tied the contest. His 38th victory in 1 ½ seasons with the Aeros make Harding the team’s all-time leader in wins since joining the AHL in 2001-02.
Houston got a power play with 6:38 left in the third when Brandon Prust went for slashing, but the Knights were awarded a penalty shot when Erik Westrum pulled down Loyns. But Harding made the kick save with 5:09 remaining, keeping the game tied.
Westrum had a great whack at a Ward cross-crease feed with 3:22 left in the extra session, but McElhinney was able to range back to his left to make the stop.
Forty seconds later, but McElhinney robbed Scott Ferguson’s massive blast from the top of the left circle. The puck was headed top right corner.
The Aeros got a power play with 37 seconds left in overtime, and Law danced by a defender on a feed from Curtis Murphy. Law said after the game it went off two defenders, and then his own skate. While being dragged to the ground, Law slid the puck by McElhinney for his 18th of the season.
Murphy’s point was his 125th as an Aero - moving him into first place on the team’s AHL points list.
Germyn got Omaha on the board first at 7:58 of the first with his team-leading 16th goal of the season, rebounding a Brantt Myhres left circle shot just inside the right post. Referee Jeff Smith didn’t originally signal goal, but the puck was clearly across the line.
Houston’s best chance of the first half of the opening period came with 8:10 remaining. Joel Ward broke in on the left wing and McElhinney made the save, and the rookie then pushed aside Josh Olson’s rebound attempt.
Peters made it 2-0 with 6:29 left, when he was credited with a goal that Harding carried with him into the net while sliding back into the net. Peters then tangled with Reitz, as a crush of bodies were in the crease on top of the goalie. This time, the goal light didn’t go on, but the goal counted.
Foy cut the lead in half with 1:50 remaining in the first, just 14 seconds into an Aeros power play. Patrick O’Sullivan dug the puck out of the corner and slid a pass to a cutting Foy in the low slot. Foy roofed a one-timer by McElhinney for his first of the season.
Severson’s ninth goal of 2005-06 pushed the Omaha lead back to 3-1, just 2:03 into the second. He tipped a Brandon Rogers blast well clear of Harding.
Harding kept the Aeros in the game midway through the second, making seven stops on an Omaha power play.
The Aeros killed off another man advantage late in the second, and it led to Reitz’ breakaway goal. Olson picked off a pass in the Houston zone and banked a pass off the side boards to Reitz, who broke in alone on McElhinney. He beat the goalie top shelf for his fourth goal of the season.
O’Sullivan had two golden chances for the tying goal with 12:45 left in regulation. McElhinney stopped his first attempt from the right wing, and then O’Sullivan threw a centering pass right back through the crease and in front of an open net, but no one was there.
Law nearly tied it with 9:30 remaining, but McElhinney just pushed his rocket from between the circles wide with his glove. A minute later, rookie defenseman Clayton Stoner
pushed a shot just wide from the low slot.
Foy finally got the Aeros even for the first time with 7:10 left. Rem Murray, in the mid slot, kept the puck alive to Dustin Wood at the center point. Wood’s shot was blocked wide, but Foy gathered the rebound below the goal line and pushed it in the net in one motion for his second of the night.
Houston finished 2-for-6 on the power play, while Omaha went 0-for-2. Notes: Not dressing for the Aeros were Miroslav Kopriva, Colin Peters, Peter Olvecky, Mark Rooneem, Joey Tetarenko and Andrei Nazarov. With rookie winger Roman Voloshenko playing for Team Russia in the World Junior Championships, Adam Courchaine saw action for the first time since November 17. Houston has scored a goal in 11 straight regulation periods. Westrum, the AHL’s leading scorer, extended his point streak to a season-best eight games on Law’s game-winner. Olson has 10 points (4-6=10) in his last 11 games. His four-game point streak (2-3=5) is a new career-high. Houston is 21-1-0-0 when scoring three or more goals. The Aeros have trailed at some point in 11 of their 22 victories. Tonight marked the Aeros’ third comeback from two goals. They had 16 come-from-behind victories in 2004-05. Foy has six points (2-4=6) in his last two games after a career-high four assists last Saturday against Peoria. Harding is 32-1-1 in his last 34 decisions when the Aeros score three or more goals in support of him. Houston is 13-2-1-1 at Toyota Center this season, and 19-2-1-3 in the last 25 regular-season games there and 27-4-1-3 in the last 35. Murphy also moved into eighth place on the team’s all-league (AHL, IHL) points list with 125. He’s now in the top five in assists overall with 87. Greg Hawgood is fourth with 109. Houston hadn’t played a one-goal game in its last 10 tries. Law notched his 12th multiple-point game (1-1=2), one behind Westrum’s team lead. Foy has three career two-goal games.