Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas - Twenty-year-old rookie Patrick O’Sullivan notched his first career two-goal game, and Clayton Stoner, Rem Murray and Roman Voloshenko also scored, as the Houston Aeros knocked off the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 5-1 at Toyota Center. Josh Harding made 29 saves for the Aeros, who are 4-0-0-1 so far on a six-game homestand that wraps up Saturday at 7:35 p.m. against San Antonio. Click here
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Houston (11-4-1-1) improved to 24 points - six better than second-place Peoria, a 4-2 home loser to Toronto tonight. The Aeros also took sole possession of first place in the entire AHL over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (11-0-1-0=23).
Brent Krahn stopped 14 shots for the Knights.
Houston’s Kurtis Foster
ripped a shot off the post on the power play with 13:00 left in the first. Houston then got 26 seconds of 5-on-3 time, and just after the second penalty expired, Stoner struck for his second goal of the season with 10:52 remaining.
Erik Westrum (two assists) carried the puck from the right point all the way to behind the net and slid a pass into the low slot for Voloshenko. The rookie fanned on his shot, but Stoner stepped in from the center point and unleashed a shot that eluded Krahn’s glove for his second of the season.
Murray made it 2-0 Houston with 7:06 left in the first. Peter Olvecky fed Murray from behind the net, and the veteran centerman rifled a one-timer from low in the right circle by Krahn for his first goal as an Aero.
Omaha’s Richie Regehr hit both pipes with the Knights on the power play early in the second, and Harding quickly reached to his right to cover up the rebound.
O’Sullivan’s fourth of the season on a spectacular individual effort pushed the lead to 3-0 with 7:05 left in the second. Harding played the puck along the right boards to Petr Taticek (two assists), who fed O’Sullivan just shy of the blueline. O’Sullivan shuffled into the offensive zone, put a move on a defender and ripped the quickest wrister around short side on Krahn from just inside the right circle.
O’Sullivan got his second of the game and fifth of the season just 1:20 into the third period, ending any hope of an Omaha comeback. Taticek stole the puck inside the Aeros zone and quickly fed the speedy O’Sullivan for a clear breakaway. The rookie went with the forehand and lifted a shot glove side over Krahn.
Voloshenko made it 5-0 at 6:58 of the third. Westrum won a faceoff to Krahn’s left, and Voloshenko one-timed a shot past a stunned Krahn for his team-best 11th of the season.
Tomi Maki helped Omaha avoid the shutout 8:16 into the third, after Harding failed on a pokecheck.
Houston finished 0-for-10 on the power play, while Omaha went 0-for-7. The Aeros have killed off 22 straight shorthanded chances over their last four games, after allowing at least one power play goal in each of their first 13 games. Notes: The Aeros scratched Miroslav Kopriva, Colin Peters, Adam Courchaine, Mark Rooneem, Joey Tetarenko and Andrei Nazarov. Aeros captain Kirby Law played in his 97th straight game with the Aeros, tying Mark Freer’s franchise record. Houston led after one period for only the third time in nine home games. The Aeros are a perfect 10-0-0-0 when scoring three or more times. Westrum has a five-game point streak. He began the season with points in seven straight games. He moved into first place in the AHL in scoring with 26 points (8-18=26). The first three games between these teams were all decided by one goal. Aeros defenseman Curtis Murphy assisted on Stoner’s goal, giving him 77 in his Aeros career. That ties him with Mark Cullen for seventh on the team’s all-time list. Murphy also moved into a tie for 15th on the team’s points list with Kyle Wanvig. Omaha has scored nine goals in eight road games this season. Nine of Voloshenko’s 11 goals have come at home. He has five points (2-3=5) in his last three games overall.