Larsson's four points power Aeros past Heat

The Canadian Press
3/3/2013 1:05:58 AM
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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Johan Larsson scored twice and assisted on two other goals in the Houston Aeros' 5-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat on Saturday in American Hockey League action.

The 20-year-old Swedish right winger picked up his team-high 15th goal of the season and assisted on Zack Phillips's and Chad Rau's goals as Houston (29-21-7) rebounded from Friday's 4-2 loss to the Heat. Justin Fontaine also scored for the Aeros.

Matt Hackett stopped 24 shots in the win.

Greg Nemisz replied for Abbotsford (27-23-8) and Barry Brust made 21 saves for the hosts, who failed to score more than one goal for the seventh time in the past nine games.

The Aeros opened the scoring on the game's first power play. Larsson redirected a centring feed by Paul Mara from the corner past Brust at 2:37.

Houston doubled their lead 23 seconds into the second period. Larsson dished the puck to Dan DaSilva and went to the net where he slide a rebound around Brust for his team-leading 15th of the season.

Hackett had to make a few stops in the opening frame but his first quality save was a nifty glove save off of Tyler Ruegsegger from point-blank range about five minutes into the second period, keeping the Aeros up by two. Later on he faced Carter Bancks on a short-handed two-on-one but again he snared the shot with his quick glove.

However the Heat would get on the board at 9:18 of the second. Nemisz took a feed from Krys Kolanos at the blue-line and snapped a shot from the top of the right circle. Hackett got a piece of it but the puck trickled in just inside the post, giving Nemisz two goals on the year.

Houston regained the two-goal cushion about five minutes later. Larsson played setup man , faking a shot off a rush before finding Phillips at the back door. The Fredericton, N.B., native slid the puck into an open net for his third of the year.

With Kolanos in the box for the third time the Aeros had their second power-play goal of the evening. Larsson tipped Mara's point shot on Brust and though the goalie made the save, Rau was at the side of the net to bury the rebound for his eighth of the year.

Then on a late power play for Houston, Brust tried to clear the puck himself but it was gloved down by Rau and though the Eden Prairie, Minn., native hit the post, Fontaine was there to slide home his 15th of the year, tying Larsson.

Houston ended 3 for 6 with the man advantage while Abbotsford was 0 for 2.

Houston Aeros (Photo: TSN)


(Photo: TSN)
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