Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas –
Matt Foy scored two of Houston’s three power play goals and added two assists, and Danny Irmen tallied two goals, as the Houston Aeros routed the Peoria Rivermen 7-1 on Breast Cancer Awareness Night at Toyota Center. Curtis Murphy (goal) and Josh Harding
(27 saves) used their pink-taped sticks to their full advantage, and defensemen Clayton Stoner
and Ryan Stokes also scored for Houston (3-5-0-1), which has won three straight. The Aeros entered the game last in the AHL on the power play, against a Peoria penalty-kill unit ranked last in the league.
Houston plays host to Chicago on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. It’s a Maple Leaf Pub Happy Hour Game (www.aeros.com/tickets/special
). Get a center ice ticket, $10 in Toyota Bucks, free parking and a Maple Leaf Pub (http://themapleleafpub.blogspot.com/
) drink coupon for just $32. Package also available in lower end zone for $23. Visit www.aeros.com/themenights
to order. Username is Happy, password is Hour. Or, call the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK to order. Or, buy a single game ticket
Jason Bacashihua made 28 stops and Trent Whitfield scored a goal for Peoria (5-4-0-1), which was swept by the Aeros in last season’s West Division Semifinals.
The Aeros jumped on top of Peoria early when Foy prevented an icing call by cutting off a Peoria defenseman as he raced full bore into the boards. Foy fell to the ice but had the presence of mind to dish the puck to the front of the net where Murphy beat Bacashihua for his second goal of the season – his first since the season opener against Grand Rapids.
Harding starred in killing a penalty seven minutes into the first period as he made two sprawling glove saves. Harding lost a shutout in the third period of last night’s 2-1 win over Hamilton.
Houston extended the lead at the 11:52 mark when Foy found the top left corner of the net on a power play from 15 feet in the front of the goal. It was just the fifth power play goal of the season for the Aeros, and it came against the top penalty-killing team in the AHL. Foy accosted Aaron MacKenzie less than a minute later, and threw the Rivermen blueliner to the ground.
With five minutes left in the first, Aeros defenseman John Scott and Rivermen left winger D.J. King tangled to a duel and received five minute majors for fighting. At one point, Scott landed six straight blows to King’s head.
With less than 30 seconds left in the period, Whitfield tallied his fourth goal of the season, beating Harding on a scrum in front of the net. An assist was awarded to Tomas Mojzis, his first point of the season.
The Aeros dealt Peoria some of their own medicine as Houston proved stingy on a 5-on-3 power-play situation lasting 1:40 minutes nine minutes into the second period following two-minute minors assessed to Wyatt Smith and Shawn Belle.
At the 13:34 mark in the second period, Houston regained its two-goal lead when Foy rattled home a rebound off of a pair of shots from Alex Leavitt and Ryan Hamilton. Bacashihua left Hamilton’s rebound on the deck, and Foy popped it into an open net.
Houston didn’t waste much time adding to its three-goal lead as less than four minutes into the third period, defenseman Stoner sent a laser from just inside the blue line that beat Bacashihua who was screened Hamilton who notched an assist on the play along with Foy. The assist capped off a four-point night that doubled Foy’s season point total and equaled his career-high of four points in a game.
Irmen backhanded a pass from Joel Ward behind the net at the 6:43 mark of the third, beating Bacashihua short side for his second of the game and fourth of the season.
A Stokes’ left point blast got through a screen with 7:36 remaining for a 7-1 lead.
Houston went 3-for-6 on the power play, while Peoria finished 0-for-7. The Rivermen had allowed just six power play goals on 70 shorthanded chances entering the game. Notes:Not dressing for the Aeros were Steve Shields, Dieter Kochan, Josh Olson, Ben Thomson, Chris Ovington and Joey Tetarenkjo. Peoria’s Dave Baseggio became the first ever former Aero to coach against the Aeros as a head coach. Tonight’s game snapped a stretch of five-straight one-goal games for Houston. Houston is 7-1-0-0 all-time in the regular season at home versus Peoria. Harding is 8-0-0 against the Rivermen in his career. The Aeros played without veteran center Jason Morgan, recalled to NHL Minnesota earlier in the day.