AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
THU, at OMA, 7 p.m.
Houston had won its first five meetings of the season against Omaha – albeit four by one goal and three in overtime or a shootout – before the Knights whipped the Aeros 6-1 on March 12 in the last meeting between the teams. The Aeros, who kick off a five-game road trip in Omaha, play four of their final 12 games against the Knights.
The Knights are rolling along, having won five in a row by a combined 20-6 margin with a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-0-1). Omaha is six points clear of fifth-place Iowa for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the West Division. The Knights are at second-place Milwaukee tonight for a rare Monday game.
FRI, at CHI, 7:30 p.m.
The Aeros are 5-1-0-0 this season against Chicago, which knocked them out of the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs, including three wins in March. Houston has won back-to-back regular-season meetings at Allstate Arena for the first time in its five seasons in the AHL. The Aeros last won two in a row during a four-game streak from in the 2000-01 season. Houston has actually won three straight in the Windy City dating back to a 2-1 OT win last April 21 in Game 2 of the West Division Semifinals. Overall, the Aeros have won five straight versus Chicago for the first time since a five-game run April 9, 1995-January 11, 1997.
The Wolves enter the week 1-4-0-2 in their last seven and 11 points out of the fourth and final West Division playoff spot with just 13 games to play. Chicago plays host to San Antonio on Wednesday.
SAT, at IOW, 7:05 p.m.
Houston has won six of the first eight meetings of the season with the Stars, including three victories in seven days in February. Two of those wins came at Wells Fargo Arena, where the Aeros are 2-1-0-0 this season. Houston will also visit Iowa for its final regular season game on April 16.
The Stars went a respectable 3-2-0-1 on a six-game road trip, but a red-hot Omaha team is keeping them at bay. Iowa enters the week six points back of the fourth-place Knights for the fourth and final West Division playoff spot with just 13 games to play. After this game, Iowa plays host to San Antonio on Sunday and Tuesday, March 28 before opening up a crucial seven-game road trip.
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 LW Peter Olvecky
3/15 at CHI 0-1=1, +1
3/17 at MIL 2-0=2, +1
3/18 at SAN 0-0=0, -1
3/19 vs. SAN 0-0=0, E
Totals – 4gp, 2-1=3, +1
Totaled three points (2-1=3) and was plus-one as Aeros went 1-2-1-0 last week...Snapped six-game streak without a point Wednesday against Chicago...Tallied second two-goal game as an Aero Friday against Milwaukee.
Houston has reached the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of its five AHL seasons and has made 10 straight playoff appearances overall. The Aeros have qualified for the post-season in 11 of their 12 seasons.
Houston has 94 points with a magic number of 21 points to clinch the West Division title. That’s a combination of points gained by the Aeros and points lost by second-place Milwaukee (90 points). Both teams have played 68 games entering this week. The first tiebreaker is wins – currently, Houston owns 45 to Milwaukee’s 41. The Aeros own two division titles in their 11 seasons – 1998-99 and 2002-03. In both campaigns, they eventually won the championship.
The Aeros have now dropped two straight one-goal games after winning six in a row. Still, Houston is 21-6-2-2 in one-goal games and 28-10-2-2 in games decided by two goals or less.
The Aeros have been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since January 8 (Milwaukee) and January 9 (Worcester), 2005.
Sunday marked Houston’s first 1-0 overtime/shootout game since losing at Hartford on November 1, 2004.
Aeros C Erik Westrum was recalled today by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. His consecutive AHL games played streak will be snapped at 148. Westrum hadn’t missed an AHL game since finishing the 2003-04 season with NHL Phoenix.
Aeros went 1-2-1-0 last week
HOU 6, CHI 5; MIL 4, HOU 3; SAN 3, HOU 0; SAN 1, HOU 0 (OT)
Wednesday: Rookie sensation Patrick O’Sullivan netted one of Houston’s team record five power play goals and added two assists, and newcomer Shawn Belle added a goal and a helper, as the Aeros raced out to a five-goal lead and held on for an edge-of-the-seat 6-5 victory over the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena. AHL leading scorer Kirby Law, Roman Voloshenko and Matt Foy each added had a goal and an assist, Scott Ferguson also scored and Miroslav Kopriva made 33 saves for the Aeros.
Karl Stewart tallied two goals and an assist, Brian Maloney and Kevin Doell chipped in a goal and two assists apiece and Pat Dwyer also scored for sixth-place Chicago.
Friday: Sheldon Brookbank scored Milwaukee’s fourth power play goal of the night with 4:23 left in regulation – his first goal in 28 career games against Houston – as the second-place Admirals held on for a frantic 4-3 victory over the first-place Aeros at Bradley Center. Libor Pivko tallied a goal and two assists, while Darren Haydar added a goal and a helper for Milwaukee.
Peter Olvecky scored twice, Roman Voloshenko added a goal and Miroslav Kopriva made 24 saves for Houston, which trailed 2-0 and 3-2 but was in position to pick up at least one point until Brookbank’s goal. Matt Foy and Erik Reitz each chipped in two assists for the Aeros.
Saturday: David LeNeveu made 53 saves, Yanick Lehoux scored two goals and Pascal Rheaume added one, as the San Antonio Rampage defeated the Houston Aeros 3-0 at AT&T Center.
Seamus Kotyk made 20 stops for the Aeros.
Sunday: Karl Goehring picked up where teammate David LeNeveu left off Saturday with 41 saves and Yanick Lehoux scored the game’s lone goal 25 seconds into overtime, as the San Antonio Rampage knocked off the Houston Aeros 1-0 at Toyota Center in the back end of a home-and-home.
Seamus Kotyk was strong in defeat, making 15 saves for the Aeros.
Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Wednesday – Travel Day
Thursday – at OMA 7 p.m.
Friday – at CHI 7:30 p.m.
Saturday – at IOW 7:05 p.m.
Sunday – Travel Day
Aeros non game-day practices are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.
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