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Houston Aeros fall 2-1 in Rockford, remain second in West Division

March 29, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Houston Aeros News Release

ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Houston Aeros late comeback attempt wasn't enough as the Rockford IceHogs held on for a 2-1 victory at the Rockford Metrocentre Sunday night. The IceHogs held Houston (36-27-1-9) scoreless until only 2:25 remained in the game and moved within two points of the Aeros and Peoria who are tied at second in the West Division.

Rockford netminder Antti Niemi stopped 29-of-30 shots faced in the contest for his 17th win of the season as counterpart Nolan Schaefer stopped 22-of-24 in the loss. Pascal Pelletier led the contest with two points for the winning club as he netted the opening goal and assisted on the game winner, both in the second period.

The scoring began early in the second period as the IceHogs netted the opening goal at 1:28 into the middle frame. Pelletier recorded his 29th goal of the season on the even-strength marker, assisted by Rob Klinkhammer and Logan Stephenson. Hobson tallied the eventual game winner when he slapped the puck from the top of the left wing faceoff circle which banked off the shoulder of Schaefer and in the net at 6:55 of the second period. After 40 minutes of play the Aeros were unable to convert on any of their four power plays and killed off their only short handed situation of the game, coming in the first period.

Houston seemed to have more control of the puck in the third period but was held scoreless even through its fifth and final power play chance of the game. Brandon Rogers helped keep the Aeros from posting a zero on the scoreboard when he slapped the puck from just inside the blue line and Morten Madsen redirected it in mid air past Niemi. Mitch Love earned the second assist on the Aeros' lone goal of the night. With 91 ticks left on the clock Schaefer was pulled in favor of the extra attacker in an attempt to take a second straight game against Rockford into overtime. Niemi and the IceHogs defense kept the Aeros out of the net and from earning the extra point.

The Aeros travel to Iowa for a 7:05 p.m. contest at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday night. The game will be aired on 1070-AM KNTH with Joe O'Donnell on the play-by-play. Houston returns to Toyota Center on Thursday for Chilly's Pet Pals night where fans are invited to bring their dogs out to the game or purchase special tickets to benefit the Houston Humane Society. Call Laura in the Aeros from office at (713) 361-7947 for tickets but hurry, only 100 dogs tickets are available for the game. The Houston Humane Society will have a mobile pet adoption in the concourse if you are looking to rescue a dog of your own!

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