Chops continue playoff push with 5-3 win in Houston

Iowa climbed into sole possession of fifth place in the West Division with a 5-3 road win over Houston on Thursday at the Toyota Center. Two-time AHL All-Star Brian Salcido and rookie Ryan Dingle each posted a goal and an assist for the Chops, who moved three points out of a playoff spot with four games to play.

T.J. Trevelyan and defenseman Brennan Evans scored to give Iowa a 2-0 lad by the game’s midpoint, but the Aeros tied it by the 17:37 mark of the second on goals from Tomas Mojzis and Tony Hrkac.

Salcido’s power play goal in the second period’s closing minute put the Chops back on top, and it remained a 3-2 game until Houston forward Marco Rosa scored 6:25 into the third frame.

Dingle broke the 3-3 deadlock and put Iowa on top to stay with his 11th goal of the season at 13:28, and Troy Bodie added an empty-netter in the closing seconds.

Chops goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur earned the win with 22 saves on 25 shots between the pipes.

Iowa continues its playoff push with games in San Antonio on Friday and Saturday before wrapping up with a home-and-home against Quad City next weekend. The Chops are currently 33-30-4-9 (79 points), three behind fourth-place Rockford in the West.

The Aeros fell to 1-3-0-1 in their last five contests.