|Wolves 5, Aeros 1 |
Official Box Score
HOUSTON, Texas - Brian Maloney scored two goals and Scott Barney added a goal and an assist, as the Chicago Wolves defeated the Houston Aeros 5-1 at Toyota Center. Ramzi Abid and Kevin Doell also scored and Steve Shields turned aside 19 shots for the Wolves. Peter Olvecky scored a goal and Josh Harding made 17 saves before leaving due to injury for the Aeros.
Houston embarks on a three-game road trip Friday in Milwaukee at 7 p.m. The Aeros play in Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. Saturday and Peoria at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead after a tightly-called first period that saw the teams skating at 3-on-3 before four minutes had passed.
Early on, Harding did the splits to rob Jared Ross’ attempt from in close, but he was slow getting up as a fight ensued in front of the net between Houston’s Clayton Stoner and Abid.
Houston’s best chance came 5-on-3, 4:50 into the game, when former Wolves defenseman Kurtis Foster rang a shot off the post.
The Wolves broke through on their seventh shot, with a delayed penalty upcoming to Chris Heid, who had two minors previously in the period. Chris Tamer, in the right circle, slid a pass to Maloney in the high slot, and Maloney one-timed a shot through traffic and by Harding for his second goal of the season.
Chicago extended to a 2-0 lead only 1:32 into the second, with Maloney’s second of the game, this time shorthanded. Maloney sent a shot from the left point in transition. Harding made the save, but the rebound popped straight up in the air. Maloney’s momentum carried him into the crease, and the puck bounced off his body and into the back of the net.
Houston answered back on that same power play, and with Harding off for another extra attacker. Petr Taticek, in the left circle, had his shot blocked, but Olvecky pounced on the rebound and banged it into the cage for his fifth goal of the season - 47 seconds after Maloney’s score.
The Wolves wasted little time extending back to a two-goal advantage, scoring at 5:09. Ross fed Barney on the blue line at the right wing. Barney, nearly across the line, waited for the pass, took three quick strides and powered a shot short side on Harding for his team-best fourth goal of the season.
Harding left due to injury at 9:08 of the second, and 2:41 later, Abid greeted Miroslav Kopriva with his third goal of the season. The Wolves enjoyed two full minutes of a 5-on-3, and nearing the end of the advantage, Abid cranked the rebound of a Mark Popovic shot inside the far post.
Doell finished the scoring at 7:04 of the third, putting a rebound into a clear net.
Houston went 1-for-9 on the power play, while Chicago finished 1-for-11.
Notes: The Aeros scratched Ryan Stokes, Erik Reitz, Anders Myrvold, Adam Courchaine, Mark Rooneem and Joey Tetarenko. Harding fell to 3-6-0 against the Wolves in the regular season and 3-8-0 including the playoffs. He is 23-13-3 versus the remainder of the AHL. Foster saw his five-game point streak snapped, one shy of his career-high. The Aeros have just six wins in the last 22 regular season matchups (6-10-6-0). Harding is listed day-to-day with a lower body injury.