Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas - Kirby Law scored two goals to take over the AHL goal lead with 20, Erik Westrum added three assists to pad his advantage in the AHL points race, and former Phoenix prospect Dustin Wood snapped an 84-game goal-less streak, as the Houston Aeros rolled to a 7-1 victory over the San Antonio Rampage at Toyota Center. Former Rampage forward Petr Taticek added a goal and two assists, Patrick O’Sullivan and Joel Ward also scored and Bryan Lundbohm and Curtis Murphy each supplied two assists for Houston, which got 27 saves from Josh Harding.
Houston, which has 23 wins in its first 33 games for the first time in team history, tries to finish off a perfect five-game homestand Wednesday against Iowa at 7:05 p.m. Click here
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The Aeros have won five straight overall to tie a season-high, and they’ve won six straight at Toyota Center since a 3-0 loss to Milwaukee on November 30. The six-game home winning streak is tied for the second-longest in team history, and the Aeros have outscored their opponents by a whopping 35-13 margin in that span.
Houston has also won eight straight home meetings with the Rampage, tied for the longest home winning streak against an opponent. The Aeros’ 11-0-1-0 home run versus San Antonio is the best in team history against a team.
Brent Cullaton scored and David LeNeveu made 20 saves before being pulled for the Rampage, which had won five of seven. LeNeveu entered the game with a 3.50 gaa versus the Aeros, fourth-highest of any active goalie.
Law had two good chances to get Houston on the board back-to-back with less than 14 minutes remaining in the first. LeNeveu kicked out a mini breakaway attempt from the left circle, and seconds later Law floated a Westrum feed just wide of the far post.
But Wood’s first goal since December 18, 2004 snapped his goal-less streak at 84 games. Ward worked the puck to Lundbohm in the right corner, and Lundbohm floated a rising shot on net. Wood cut in from the left point and tipped the puck over LeNeveu’s glove with 11:20 left in the first.
Cullaton’s third of the season got San Antonio even with 8:31 remaining in the opening period. Harding stopped Chris McAllister’s shot from the left point, but Cullaton hopped on a short rebound and poked it low by Harding.
The Aeros had Josh Olson’s apparent go-ahead goal wiped out with 4:33 left in the first when referee Brian Pochmara ruled the net was off its moorings.
Taticek’s seventh of the season, on the power play, put Houston back on top with just 1:04 remaining in the opening frame. Scott Ferguson pushed a pass to Westrum at the right point, and the AHL’s leading scorer launched a laser just wide of the near post. The puck caromed to Taticek at the left post, and the former Rampage forward knocked it by LeNeveu.
The Aeros are a perfect 11-0-0-0 this season when scoring a goal in the final two minutes of a period.
Houston is also 11-0-0-0 when scoring in the opening two minutes, and that’s exactly what the Aeros did only 31 seconds into the second. Lundbohm and Olson worked the puck to Ward between the circles, and the rookie fired a shot under LeNeveu for his second goal of the season.
San Antonio’s Krystofer Kolanos rang a shot off the far post on a 4-on-3 power play 2:30 into the second.
Law scored his 19th of the season with 5:31 gone in the middle period. Westrum carried the puck in along the left wing boards and floated a 40-foot saucer pass right on the mark to a streaking Law at the right doorstep. Law tapped the puck out of the air and by a stunned LeNeveu.
A minute later, with Houston on the power play, Matt Foy almost made it 5-1 but LeNeveu robbed him off another saucer pass, this one from Law behind the net. Seconds after that, Erik Reitz popped a shot high over an empty cage.
Houston kept pressing with the man advantage, and got O’Sullivan’s 15th goal of the season at 7:47. Murphy kept the puck alive at the left point and got it to O’Sullivan. The rookie had all the time in the world in the left circle and snapped a shot high over LeNeveu, ending the goalie’s night after making 16 saves on 21 shots.
Law’s second of the night and new league-best 20th of the season made it 6-1 with 8:37 left in the second. Murphy headmanned a pass for Westrum, who got into the San Antonio zone and dropped the puck to Law in the right circle. Law one-timed a shot that trickled under Karl Goehring’s pads and just across the goal line.
Westrum had a chance for a four-point night with 5:15 left and Houston again on the power play, but he roofed an O’Sullivan pass over the net.
Goehring stoned Taticek’s wide open look from the right circle with the Aeros circling on the power play 30 seconds later. Just after that, Olson hit the post as Houston kept bringing the pressure.
Two separate scrums late in the second led to 42 penalty minutes - 28 on San Antonio.
Rooneem’s first goal as an Aero - off a deflected Taticek pass - made it 7-1 with 49 seconds remaining. Ryan Stokes also picked up an assist, his first point in 29 games this season and 36 in the past two campaigns with the Aeros.
The teams finished with 122 penalty minutes - 74 on the Rampage.
Houston finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while San Antonio went 0-for-5. The Aeros are 15-1-0-0 when scoring more than one power play goal. They have at least two man advantage goals in each of the last four games, going 9-for-27 in that span. Notes: Not dressing for the Aeros were Miroslav Kopriva, Colin Peters, Adam Courchaine, Peter Olvecky, Joey Tetarenko and Andrei Nazarov. Houston has scored in 14 straight periods, including seven with more than one goal. Westrum now has 46 points (13-33=46) overall, and 14 points (1-11=14) in a nine-game point streak. It’s the longest point streak by an Aero since Rastislav Pavlikovsky from February 1-March 11, 2003, and it is tied for the sixth-longest run in the AHL this season. Westrum, who had never had a point streak longer than five games in his first four pro seasons, has three this season of at least six games. Westrum has eight more assists than any other player in the league. Law has 11 points (6-5=11) in a five-game point streak, a new season-high. Law has 10 goals in his last nine games. Murphy has six assists in a five-game point streak, tying a season-high, and he has eight assists overall in his last nine games. His five-game assist streak ties Westrum’s season-high. Murphy moved to 127 points with Houston, tied with Mike Yeo and David Oliver for seventh place on the team’s all-time list. Olson has 11 points (4-7=11) in his last 12 games. His five-game point streak (2-4=6) is a career-high. Foy has eight points (2-6=8) in a four-game point streak. O’Sullivan has six points (4-2=6) in a four-game point streak. Taticek’s three-game point streak (1-3=4) is a new season-high. Lundbohm notched his seventh career two-assist game - second of the season. The Aeros scored four goals in a period for the second time in three games and for the third time overall this season. Houston is 22-1-0-0 when scoring three or more goals. Harding is 33-1-1 in his last 35 decisions when the Aeros score three or more goals in support of him. Houston is 14-2-1-1 at Toyota Center this season, and 20-2-1-3 in the last 26 regular-season games there and 28-4-1-3 in the last 36. The Aeros are 13-1-1-0 in the last 15 overall meetings with the Rampage and 18-2-2-1 in the last 23 contests. Houston is 12-1-0-0 when outshooting an opponent. San Antonio has scored three or fewer goals in regulation in 29 of its last 30 games since a 6-5 loss to the Aeros on Opening Night. The Rampage fell to 2-14-0-0 in games decided by two or more goals. The teams meet twice in San Antonio in the next two weeks, this Saturday and again January 5. Wood was a team-best plus-four.