HOUSTON -- Houston Aeros goalie Darcy Kuemper was 16 seconds away from his fifth shutout of the season, taking advantage of a couple of power play goals by defenceman Brian Connelly, in a 4-1 victory over the Abbotsford Heat in AHL play Thursday.
Connelly opened the scoring for Houston (31-21-8) with his third goal of the season at 18:28 of the first period. He made it 2-0 with his second power play goal of the game at 7:30 of the second period. Rookie centre Zack Phillips made 3-0 with his fourth of the season before the period was out.
Jake Dowell made it 4-0 with his fourth goal of the season at 16:52 of the third.
Abbotsford winger Mike Testwuide ruined Kuemper's shutout bid at 19:46.
Kuemper stopped 33 shots for Houston, while Barry Brust made 20 saves for the Heat (28-27-9)
The Aeros were 2 for 5 on the power play, while Abbotsford was 0 for 7.