Official Box Score HOUSTON, Texas - Jesse Schultz scored in regulation and notched the shootout’s lone goal, and Wade Flaherty stopped 24 shots and all five in the shootout, as the Manitoba Moose defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 at Toyota Center. Jason Jaffray added a goal and an assist for Manitoba, which has won four straight overall, five in a row on the road and six straight against the Aeros.
Kirby Law and Curtis Murphy each scored and Seamus Kotyk made 27 saves for Houston, which is 2-1-0-1 in its last four. The Aeros host a rematch Sunday at 5:05 p.m. Click here
Houston trailed 2-1 after two, and things looked bleak early in the third.
The Aeros’ comeback was halted for five minutes early on, when Houston’s Josh Olson was given a high-sticking major. But the Aeros were able to kill it off.
The penalty kill helped energize the Aeros and their crowd, and Law’s eighth of the season knotted the score with 4:48 remaining. Erik Westrum cycled behind the net and slid a pass from the right corner to a cutting Law in the low slot. Law one-timed a shot five-hole by Flaherty to tie the score.
Kotyk helped force overtime with a nifty kickout of Rick Rypien’s blast from the right point with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
Houston got only three shots in the third, but got the one that counted.
Houston’s Murphy got called for hooking with 1:22 left in overtime, just seconds after he got tripped up by a stick.
Kotyk was up to his old tricks again, making maybe his best save of the night with 32 seconds left. Sven Butenschon unleashed a rifle from the point, and Nathan Smith got a piece of the puck and redirected it towards the ground. Somehow, Kotyk recovered in time to get low for the save.
With only four seconds left, Manitoba’s Craig Darby clanged a shot off the near post, and the puck slid just out of harm’s way.
In the shootout, Jozef Balej led off for the Moose, and Kotyk went splitsville to rob him near post. Westrum countered for Houston, and Flaherty made an equally brilliant save on a similar deke and move.
Alexandre Burrows shot wide in round two for Manitoba, and Flaherty just deflected Patrick O’Sullivan’s shot wide.
Schultz went high glove side to score for Manitoba, and Law skated out for the home team. But his low shot didn’t get by Flaherty.
Jaffray shot in round four for the Moose, and Kotyk stayed low to the ground for the nice save. Roman Voloshenko, the Aeros’ leading goal-getter with nine, shot one well over the net.
With a chance to eliminate Houston, Darby hit the crossbar - just five minutes after hitting the near post in overtime. Veteran centerman Rem Murray was Houston’s last chance, but Flaherty snuffed out his five-hole attempt.
Houston finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while Manitoba went 0-for-5. Tonight marked the first time all season the Aeros didn’t allow a goal with the man advantage.
Kotyk stopped all but one of the eight shots he faced in the first period, and there were some beauties. Just after a Manitoba power play expired 4:15 in, Kotyk did the splits to rob Balej’s left-to-right move.
Houston broke on top on the power play at 5:52 of the first. O’Sullivan, in the right corner, slid a pass to a cutting Murphy in the right circle. Murphy slid a quick shot under Flaherty for his first goal of the season.
But Schultz answered back at the 8:34 mark for Manitoba. He took a bouncing puck at the blueline and skated around a defender and in on Kotyk on the left side. Kotyk stopped the original shot, but Schultz pushed the rebound by the prone netminder for his fourth of the season.
Kotyk was again brilliant with 8:05 remaining in the first, just getting a piece of Alexandre Burrows’ power play attempt.
It was great improvement in the first for an Aeros team that had been outshot 31-5 over their last two first periods.
Kotyk kept the game tied early on in the second, kicking out his left leg impressively to take a sure goal away from Smith.
But Jaffray got the Moose ahead with 7:50 left in the second. He broke in 2-on-1 with Darby. The veteran Darby, on the left wing, fired a shot off Kotyk’s shoulder. The rebound popped straight up in the air, and Jaffray knocked it out of the air and by the sprawled goalie for his first of the season. Notes: The Aeros scratched Josh Harding, Ryan Stokes, Anders Myrvold, Mark Eooneem, Petr Taticek, Joey Tetarenko and Andrei Nazarov. The Aeros are 2-3-0-0 against teams with losing records, but 6-1-1-1 versus teams at or above the .500 mark. The teams went to overtime/shootout 18 times in 44 International Hockey League meetings, but in just one of the first 20 in the American Hockey League, prior to tonight. Westrum’s assist was the 100th of his pro career. He has 99 career AHL assists. Houston had its first shootout loss of the season (3-1). Murphy’s goal at 5:52 in the first period broke Flaherty’s 125:52 minute scoreless streak.