AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
FRI, vs. ROC, 7:35 p.m.
The Rochester Americans make their lone trip of the season to Toyota Center. The Americans are tied for fifth place in the AHL’s North Division with 42 points. Rochester has lost three of four and is 3-6-0-0 in its last nine. Houston beat Rochester 5-2 in New York on December 9 behind four points (1-3=4) from Kirby Law and two goals from Roman Voloshenko. Houston has only lost once in nine lifetime meetings with Rochester (5-1-3-0), but that defeat was in the Amerks’ last trip to Houston, a 3-2 decision December 2, 2004.
SAT, vs. PEO, 7:35 p.m.
Girl Scout Night/Pom Poms (3K)
The Aeros are 3-1-0-0 against the Rivermen this season, including a pair of wins in the lone Toyota Center meetings. Houston won 5-3 on December 16, before scoring seven times against former NHL All-Star Patrick Lalime in a 7-2 rout the next night. The Rivermen have won two straight heading into this week. Peoria plays in San Antonio on Tuesday and Friday before traveling east to Toyota Center.
SUN, at CHI, 4 p.m.
More than halfway into the season, the Aeros make their first trip to Allstate Arena and play the Wolves for just the second time. The Wolves beat the Aeros 5-1 at Toyota Center on October 25. Houston is 13-16-6-2 all-time in Chicago, and just 1-7-3-2 in the last 13 trips. The Wolves are 14-16-2-6 for 36 points, in sixth place in the West Division. Chicago enters the week winless in three straight (0-2-0-1).
All Aeros games are broadcast live on KNTH 1070-AM and through aeros.com. For $6, you can also watch the game live via B2 Networks. Visit aeros.com 10 minutes prior to gametime to order.
Player of the Week RW Kirby Law
1/10 vs. TOR 1-2=3, +2
1/12 vs. IOW 1-2=3, +2
1/13 vs. IOW 1-0=1, +1
1/15 vs. SAN 1-2=3, +1
Totals - 4gp, 4-6=10, +6
Aeros captain tallied 10 points (4-6=10) in four games as Aeros went 3-1-0-0 last week...Notched goal and two assists in three of four games...Scored a goal in each of the Aeros’ four games, the longest run for an Aero this season...Has 26 points (12-14=26) in 13-game point streak, one shy of career high and two off Brian Wiseman’s franchise record...It’s the fifth-longest point streak in the AHL this season...Has at least two points in eight of his last 13 games...Since being held to two assists over a four-game stretch 11/18-11/27, has posted 34 points (16-18=34) in 17 games...Tied for AHL points lead with teammate Erik Westrum...Has 59 points (26-33=59)...Point total is highest for an Aero since Jean-Guy Trudel and Hnat Domenichelli put up 85 and 63, respectively, over a full season in 2003-04...Leads AHL with 26 goals and is second with 33 assists.
The Aeros went 3-for-8 on the power play on Sunday against San Antonio, moving into a tie for the top spot in the AHL with a 21.6 percent power play percentage. Houston ranks fifth on the penalty kill at 85.1 percent, having scored 21 more PPG than it has allowed.
D Curtis Murphy has a six-game point streak (4-6=10) to tie his career-high. He has 19 points (4-15=19) in his last 17 games and has a three-game goal streak.
Houston’s nine-game home winning streak in a series against San Antonio is a new franchise record, having won eight straight versus IHL San Antonio April 11, 1997-March 20, 1998. San Antonio has only two regulation wins in Houston in 22 chances in its three-plus years in the AHL. The Aeros’ 13-game home unbeaten run versus the Rampage is their longest against any team.
Since getting shut out 3-0 by Milwaukee 11/27, the Aeros have scored 78 goals in 17 games for a whopping 4.59 gpg average. Just twice since the shutout have the Aeros been held to fewer than three goals, including Friday’s 3-2 loss to Iowa. The Aeros have scored 59 goals in 12 home games since the 11/27 loss for an unbelievable 4.92 gpg average.
Since finishing minus-three 12/10 at Hamilton, C Erik Westrum has posted an even rating or better in each of his last 13 games, going plus-14 in that span, including plus-12 in the last nine games.
C Erik Westrum and RW Kirby Law each have at least one point in each of the Aeros’ 12 home games since getting shut out 11/27 by Milwaukee. Law has 24 points and Westrum 23 in the last 12 home games.
C Erik Westrum scored his new career-best 19th goal Sunday in just his 41st game. He had 18 goals while playing in all 80 games for Utah last season.
Aeros pick up six of eight points
HOU 4, TOR 2; HOU 6, IOW 1; IOW 3, HOU 2; HOU 4, SAN 1
Houston won three of four last week to move to a Western Conference-best 29-10-1-1 (60 points). The Aeros’ lead in the West Division is six points over Milwaukee, which has one game in hand. Houston trails only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the top spot in the AHL. The Penguins are 29-5-3-1 for 62 points.
Tuesday: Josh Harding posted a franchise-record 56 saves, including 26 in a frantic second period, and Erik Westrum (2-1=3) and Kirby Law (1-2=3) each posted three-point nights to reclaim the top two spots in the AHL points race, as the Houston Aeros knocked off the Toronto Marlies 4-2 at Toyota Center. Rookie Clayton Stoner added a goal and an assist and Curtis Murphy chipped in two helpers for the Aeros.
Thursday: All-Stars Erik Westrum (2-1=3) and Kirby Law (1-2=3) each picked up three points for the second straight game and fellow All-Star Curtis Murphy notched a goal and an assist, as the Houston Aeros earned a 6-1 victory over the Iowa Stars at Toyota Center. Matt Foy and Roman Voloshenko also scored, Patrick O’Sullivan, Bryan Lundbohm and Peter Olvecky chipped in two assists apiece and Seamus Kotyk made 16 saves in relief of an injured Josh Harding for Houston.
Friday: Former Aeros Junior Lessard and Patrick Traverse each scored and Dan Ellis made 24 saves, as the Iowa Stars defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 at Toyota Center.
Kirby Law scored his league-leading 25th goal, Curtis Murphy also scored and Seamus Kotyk made 32 stops for Houston.
Sunday: Kirby Law tallied a goal and two assists to extend his point streak to 13 games, Matt Foy, Curtis Murphy and Erik Westrum each scored first-period power play goals and Seamus Kotyk made 29 saves, as the Houston Aeros defeated the San Antonio Rampage 4-1 at Toyota Center.
David LeNeveu made 24 stops and Tim Jackman scored for San Antonio.
Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Tuesday - 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Wednesday - 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Thursday - 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Friday - 10-11 a.m., pre-game skate, vs. ROC 7:35 p.m.
Saturday - vs. PEO 7:35 p.m.
Sunday - at CHI 4 p.m.
Aeros non game-day practices are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.
---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---