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Aeros edge Moose in OT, live to see another day


HOUSTON 5, MANITOBA 4 (OT)

Houston rookie Matt Beaudoin capped a four-point night with the game-winning goal just 2:01 into overtime as the Aeros staved off elimination with a 5-4 win over Manitoba on Wednesday at Toyota Center in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Houston still trails the series 3-1 and will now host Game 5 on Friday night.

Beaudoin finished with two goals and two assists, including a goal and a helper in the third period as Houston climbed out of a 3-2 deficit to briefly take a 4-3 lead. He now leads all AHL rookies this postseason with seven goals and 16 points in 18 contests.

Corey Locke posted three points (1-2-3) for the Aeros, who also received scores from Robbie Earl and Tony Hrkac. John Lammers (0-3-3) and Benoit Pouliot (0-2-2) each contributed multiple assists on the night.

Moose captain Mike Keane tallied two goals and an assist for his first multiple-point effort of the postseason, and Manitoba also got goals from Jason Krog and Mario Bliznak. The Moose suffered their first loss since Apr. 19, snapping a 10-game winning streak.

After Locke gave Houston its first lead of the series just 1:26 in, the Moose grabbed a 2-1 edge after the first period on Keane’s two scores. But Houston’s Earl notched his fifth of the playoffs at 13:58 of the second frame, making it a 2-2 contest after 40 minutes.

Krog regained the Moose’s lead just 25 seconds into the third period, becoming the fifth player in AHL history to record 100 career Calder Cup Playoff points.

However, Beaudoin and Hrkac struck for two goals in a 55-second span later in the stanza to grab a 4-3 advantage for Houston. The Aeros seemed headed for a regulation win before Bliznak found the open half of the net off a turnover with 2:49 left in regulation, sending the contest to overtime.

Beaudoin’s extra-session winner was his second even-strength goal of the night after his first five tallies of the playoffs had all been scored on the power play.

Aeros goaltender Anton Khudobin made 18 saves during regulation, and Nolan Schaefer took over in overtime and earned the victory despite not facing a shot on goal.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (MTB leads series, 3-1)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. W3-Houston Aeros

Game 1 – Fri., May 15 – MANITOBA 2, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 16 – MANITOBA 5, Houston 2
Game 3 – Mon., May 18 – Manitoba 4, HOUSTON 3
Game 4 – Wed., May 20 – HOUSTON 5, Manitoba 4 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 22 – Manitoba at Houston, 8:35
*Game 6 – Mon., May 25 – Houston at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 27 – Houston at Manitoba, 8:30
 
*if necessary… All times Eastern