AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
TUE, vs. CHI, 7:05 p.m.
1/2 Price Center Ice/Young Professionals Night
Center ice tickets are half-priced! That’s just $14 for a great center ice ticket. Add parking for only $5! Log on to www.aeros.com/themenights to order! Username is Aeros, password is Tuesday. Or, call 713.974.PUCK to order. Special offer not available at the Toyota Center Box Office.
The surging Wolves (25-26-3-6) have won three straight and are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 to move to 59 points, just four points behind Omaha for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division. Chicago has a game in hand, but must also leapfrog Iowa (61 points). Houston faces Chicago four times over its final 19 contests, so the Aeros will play a big role in whether or not the Wolves will qualify for the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs.
THU, vs. CHI, 7:05 p.m.
Bring Out the Boys/Happy Hour
Get a $28 center ice ticket, $10 in Toyota Bucks and free parking, all for just $30! That’s a $45 value! And, get to meet Miss Aeros! Ladies – don’t think this package is just for the men! Log on to www.aeros.com/themenights to order! Username is Happy, password is Hour. Or, call 713.974.PUCK to order. Special offer not available at the Toyota Center Box Office.
The Aeros have won two straight against the Wolves for just the third time since joining the AHL in 2001-02. Houston’s last three-game winning streak versus Chicago was from 2/10-3/3/01, and it hasn’t won four in a row against the Wolves since a five-game run 4/9/95-1/11/97. Chicago LW Ramzi Abid is tied for 16th in the AHL in scoring at 59 points (27-32=59).
SUN, at OMA, 5 p.m.
Houston faces another red-hot team in Omaha, which has won nine of 11 to stake claim on the fourth spot in the West with 63 points (27-25-2-7). Each of the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights’ last four victories has come by one goal. Omaha plays host to Rochester on Tuesday and Cleveland on Saturday before Sunday’s tilt with the Aeros. G Brent Krahn is 19-16-6 with a 2.56 gaa – eighth-best in the AHL. The Aeros are 5-0-0-0 this season against the first-year Knights, tied with their best start against any “new” opponent. Houston went 5-0-0-0 against San Antonio to begin 2002-03. The teams haven’t met since a 5-4 Aeros OT win December 23 at Toyota Center. Houston plays five of its final 17 games against the Knights, including three trips to Omaha this month. The Aeros are 2-0-0-0 in Nebraska, with a pair of shootout victories in October. Four of the five meetings overall have been decided by one goal, including three that went to OT/shootout.
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.
Egg auction online – Monday, November 21, your Houston Aeros players spent the afternoon at Mad Potter in Sugar Land, creating their own hand-painted ceramic spring eggs for Houston Aeros Charities. Click here to access the auction, which runs through March 13 at 12:01 p.m. Beginning bid is $100, and bid increments are $15.
In other Houston Aeros Charities news… – Houston Aeros Charities would like to remind fans that Golden Puck and Chuck a Puck will take place at both home games this week. Also, the Celebrity Waiter Dinner is set for March 21. It’s not too late to book a table or sponsorship!
Player of the Week LW Roman Voloshenko
3/2 vs. HAM 1-1=2, +2
3/4 vs. HAR 0-0=0, -2
3/5 at SAN 1-1=2, -2
Totals 3gp, 2-2=4, -2
Totaled four points (2-2=4) in three games last week…Scored PPG and added assist in 3-2 win over HAM Thursday…Tallied PPG and assist in 4-2 loss at SAN Sunday…Has 46 points (28-16=46) to rank ninth among AHL rookies in points and tied for second in goals…Ranks fourth on Aeros in goals and fifth in points.
RW Kirby Law (34-51=85) leads C Erik Westrum (29-55=84) by one point for the AHL scoring lead. Grand Rapids LW Jiri Hudler is third at 81 points (32-49=81).
LW Patrick O’Sullivan continues to lead all AHL rookies in points (68) and goals (36). O’Sullivan has scored goals in each of his last two games and has 17 goals in 20 games since January 20. He hasn’t been held without a point in back-to-back games since November 6-9. O’Sullivan’s 36 goals are tied with Cam Stewart for the fifth most by an Aero in any single season.
In three games last week, D Curtis Murphy earned $400 for “Murphy’s Mission”, in which an anonymous local donor is pledging money per Murphy goal ($300) and assist ($100) to go towards “I Have a Dream”. A Murphy hat trick at Toyota Center will net $10,000.
D Curtis Murphy’s assist Sunday in San Antonio was the 109th of his Aeros career, tying him with Greg Hawgood for the most among defensemen in team history. Murphy already established team blueline records in goals (45) and points (154) earlier this season. Murphy is second among all AHL defensemen this season with 53 points (10-43=53). His 43 assists tie his professional career-high and rank tied for eighth among all AHL players.
Veteran center Rem Murray has signed a one-year contract with the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. Murray made his much-anticipated return to the NHL Sunday at Rexall Place against the Nashville Predators. The eight-year, 559-game NHL veteran was with the Aeros this season while coming back from cervical dystonia, a serious nerve disorder in his neck that can cause paralysis. The 33-year-old Murray, named an Aeros’ alternate captain December 15, broke into the NHL with Edmonton in the 1996-97 season. Murray last played in the NHL in Nashville in January, 2004. Murray skated on a line with enforcer Georges Laraque and rookie Yan Stastny, taking nine shifts for 6:35 of ice time. He had one shot, won one of three faceoffs and finished with an even rating.
Despite losing their last two games, the Aeros continue to have the best points percentage in the AHL with a 42-16-1-2 mark for a .713 percentage. Grand Rapids is right behind at .711 (43-16-1-4). Houston, with 87 points, trails only the Griffins for the top spot (91 points), but the Aeros have three games in hand. The Aeros’ 24-5-1-2 home mark is also best in the AHL.
The Aeros enter this week with a two-point lead on second-place Milwaukee, but they have two games in hand on the Admirals. The teams meet one more time this season, March 17 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Houston’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 13 points, a combination of points gained by the Aeros and points lost by fifth-place Iowa.
Sunday’s game in San Antonio marked the Rampage’s second regulation victory over the Aeros in 2005-06. Houston is still an impressive 7-2-0-0 against San Antonio, but this is the first time in the last three seasons that the Rampage has earned more than one regulation win against the Aeros. Houston went 9-1-2-0 in 2004-05 after a 7-1-2-2 mark in 2003-04.
The Aeros haven’t scored an even-strength goal in the last 128 minutes, dating back to Erik Westrum’s tally at 12:00 of the third period Thursday against Hamilton. Each of Houston’s three goals over the last two games has come on the power play.
Aeros 1-2-0-0 last week
HOU 3, HAM 2; HAR 5, HOU 1; SAN 4, HOU 2
Thursday: Erik Westrum tallied two goals – including the third-period game-winner – to reclaim the AHL’s scoring lead from teammate Kirby Law, as the Houston Aeros defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 at Toyota Center in a rematch of the 2003 Calder Cup Finals. Roman Voloshenko added a goal and an assist, Curtis Murphy supplied two helpers and Josh Harding made 29 saves for Houston.
Saturday: Alexandre Giroux and Daniel Girardi each scored two goals and Al Montoya made 23 saves, as the Hartford Wolf Pack rallied from an early deficit for a 5-1 victory over the Houston Aeros at Toyota Center. Colby Genoway also scored for Hartford, which has won six in a row and is 13-1-0-1 in its last 15 games.
Josh Harding made 28 saves and Patrick O’Sullivan scored a power play goal for Houston, which had its seven-game winning streak and eight-game home unbeaten in regulation streak snapped.
Sunday: David LeNeveu made 44 saves, Layne Ulmer tallied a goal and two assists and Brad Tiley scored his first goal in 53 games this season, as the San Antonio Rampage sent the Houston Aeros to their second straight defeat, 4-2 at AT&T Center. Steve Gainey chipped in a goal and an assist, Eric Chouinard also scored as San Antonio won for just the fourth time in its last 13 games (4-8-1-0).
Rookies Patrick O’Sullivan and Roman Voloshenko each scored a power play goal and Seamus Kotyk made 22 saves for the Aeros, who haven’t scored an even strength goal in the two losses over a 24-hour stretch.
Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 10-11 a.m., pre-game skate, vs. CHI 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday – TBA
Thursday – 10-11, pre-game skate, vs. CHI 7:05 p.m.
Friday – TBA
Saturday – Travel Day
Sunday – at OMA, 5 p.m.
Aeros non game-day practices are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.
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