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Aeros rally late, grab shootout win

Houston overcame a pair of one-goal deficits in the third period and eventually captured a 4-3 shootout victory over visiting Rockford in a Thursday afternoon matinee at the Toyota Center. With their second straight shootout win, the Aeros moved to 10-4-0-2 in their last 16 contests.

Aeros forward Jon DiSalvatore registered a goal and an assist in regulation before nabbing the decisive shootout goal in the fifth round, beating Rockford goaltender Hannu Toivonen.

After DiSalvatore put Houston on top late in the opening period, Rockford grabbed a 2-1 edge in the second period on goals by defenseman Brian Connelly and forward Ryan Potulny, who scored unassisted.

Jean-Michel Daoust brought Houston even 7:05 into the third period, only to watch Connelly score unassisted just 1:36 later to regain Rockford’s lead. But Cody Almond, who had already picked up two assists for the Aeros, tied it back up at 18:41 with just his third goal of the season and first since Nov. 8 at Abbotsford.

Houston’s Casey Wellman also scored in the shootout, and goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped four of Rockford’s five tries. Khudobin, who made 25 saves through the first 65 minutes, upped his season record to 8-5-1.

Ivan Vishnevskiy notched the lone shootout goal for the IceHogs, who fell to 1-3-0-2 in their last six games.

The teams will meet again in Houston on Friday night.