March 21, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Houston Aeros
Houston, TX - The Houston Aeros (32-22-4-4, 72 points) defeated the Charlotte Checkers (36-23-2-3, 77 points) 4-1 on Thursday night in front of 4,803 fans at Toyota Center. The Aeros rattled off three goals in the first period and coasted to a three-goal victory over their South Division rivals. Forwards Nick Petersen and Justin Fontaine each enjoyed a multi-point night as Houston improved to 16-8-2-2 at Toyota Center this season. Carson McMillan, Fontaine, Zack Phillips and Marco Scandella all scored in the Aeros win. Houston goalie Darcy Kuemper (12-7-0) made 26 saves and added an assist in the victory. Charlotte goalie John Muse (6-6-0) was pulled after allowing three goals on ten shots in the first 17:44 of play. Rob Madore played the remainder of the game for the Checkers with 16 saves on 16 shots. The Aeros will play at Oklahoma City on Friday at 7 p.m. before returning home to host Rochester at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday at the Toyota Center.
Houston opened the scoring at 11:24 of the first period on Marco Scandella's second goal of the season. Mikael Granlund fed Scandella a pass left of the net, and Scandella rifled a wrist shot past Charlotte goalie John Muse. Darcy Kuemper added an assist on Scandella's goal. Less than a minute later, Zack Phillips upped Houston's lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal. Off Steven Kampfer's shot, Phillips grabbed the rebound and went high past Muse at 12:16 of the first. Nick Petersen had an assist on Phillips fifth goal of the year. Justin Fontaine chased Muse with a power-play goal at 17:25 of the first. Fontaine stickhandled into the crease and snuck the puck past Muse for his 17th goal of the season. Brian Connelly and Petersen each had an assist on the goal.
Charlotte used its power play to get on the scoreboard at 6:50 of the second period, trimming the Aeros lead to 3-1. Chris Terry fired a shot from the blueline, which deflected off traffic and past Houston goalie Darcy Kuemper. His 24th goal of the season was assisted by Jeremy Welsh and Bobby Raymond.
Houston concluded the scoring at 19:28 of the third period with an empty-net tally. Carson McMillan scored his eight goal of the year, firing the puck into the empty net. Fontaine added an assist as the Aeros won by a final of 4-1.
After a road game in Oklahoma City on Friday, Mar. 22, Houston will return to Toyota Center on Saturday, Mar. 23 vs. Rochester at 7:05 p.m. The Aeros will celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Night on Mar. 23. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Night, the team will hold a silent auction for charity on the concourse.
Information on mini-plans for the remainder of the season is available on the team website at www.aeros.com. Groups of 15 or more receive a discount on all tickets, to book your group outing to an Aeros game please call 713-974-PUCK (7825).