Houston sunk by Admirals in 5-3 loss
HOUSTON - C Mike Santorelli scored a pair of goals and LW Mark Santorelli scored a goal and added an assist as the Milwaukee Admirals (29-17-1-5) snapped the Houston Aeros (25-20-6-1) three-game winning streak 5-3 in front of 6,366 at the Bradley Center Friday. Forwards Nathan Smith, Cody Almond and Peter Zingoni scored for the Aeros while G Ryan Nie (0-1-0) made 14 saves to take the loss in his first career AHL start. G Chet Pickard (14-8-2) stopped 18 of 21 shots faced to earn his 14th win of the season.
The Admirals dug a deep hole for Houston in the first period. Mike Santorelli started the scoring with a sharp angle wrister at 7:39. Former Aero LW Peter Olvecky and D Jonathon Blum assisted on the goal. Milwaukee lit the lamp a second time off an odd-man rush 11:05 into the opening frame. C Nick Spaling sent a pass to the tape of Mark Santorelli who beat Nie glove side.
Milwaukee extended its lead to 3-0 when D Reid Cashman fired a snap shot over the left shoulder of Nie 5:04 into the second period. The Aeros battled back with a pair, though. Just over a minute later Smith beat Pickard with a slap shot from the high slot at 6:17. The Admiral lead was cut to one at the 13:49 mark when RW J-M Daoust set up Almond for his fifth of the year off a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. However, Milwaukee reclaimed its two-goal advantage at 14:19. Mark Santorelli snagged a loose puck at the inside hashes of the left circle where his backhander went five-hole.
Mike Santorelli pushed the lead back to three 2:06 into the third period with his second goal of the game and team-leading 18th on the campaign. Zingoni scored his first goal since coming back from injury Jan. 27 at Chicago, but that was as close as the Aeros would get.
The Aeros outshot the Admirals 21-19, the first time Houston has outshot an opponent since Jan. 15 at Rockford (8 games). Houston went 0-for-6 on the power play while the Admirals also went scoreless on the man advantage going 0-for-5.
The Aeros travel to Grand Rapids, MI to take on the Griffins at Van Andel Arena Saturday night. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST and the game can be seen live on ahllive.com. Listen to Joe O'Donnell's radio call on 1070 AM-KNTH and you can follow the interactive in-game blog on aeros.com.
Houston returns home Friday, February 12, vs. the Griffins, 7:35 p.m. from Toyota Center. It is the first of three games in three days at Toyota Center as the Aeros will host the Griffins Saturday, February 13, at 7:35 p.m., followed by the Chicago Wolves Sunday, February 14, at 4:05 p.m. Check out the Aeros "Sweetheart Deal" and get $25 Center Ice Seats, an Aeros fleece blanket and an autographed puck. For more information visit aeros.com or call 713-974-PUCK (7825).
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