AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
TUE, at PEO, 7 p.m.
The Aeros are 5-2-0-0 against Peoria this season, but they are just 2-2-0-0 at Carver Arena. It will be more than two months since the teams met last, a 2-1 Houston win in Peoria on January 27. That was the third meeting in seven days, and the teams meet three times in a six-day stretch this week.
The Rivermen begin the week firmly entrenched in third place in the West Division with 87 points. They are eight points behind second-place Houston with a game in hand, plus three head-to-head meetings this week. Peoria has won two in a row and is 7-1-2-0 in its last 10.
FRI, at OMA, 7 p.m.
Houston won the season’s first five meetings – albeit four by one-goal and three in overtime or a shootout – but Omaha has won the last two. The Knights earned a 5-4 shootout win at home last Thursday.
The Knights are closing in on a Calder Cup Playoffs berth in their inaugural campaign. With 77 points, Omaha begins the week five points clear of fifth-place Iowa, which has a game in hand. The Knights have just two regulation losses in their last 14 games (10-2-0-2) and only three losses in their last 20 (15-3-0-2).
SAT, vs. PEO, 7:35 p.m.
5,000 Commemorative Pucks
The Aeros open up a five-game homestand through April 14. Houston has won all three home meetings with the Rivermen this season by a combined 17-6 score. Peoria hasn’t visited Toyota Center since January 21, a 5-4 Houston victory.
SUN, vs. PEO, 5:05 p.m.
The ever popular Family Day returns. Get four tickets, $20 in Toyota Bucks, four Aeros gifts and free parking, all starting at just $59! Log on to www.aeros.com/themenights to order! Username is Family, password is Aeros. Or, call 713.974.PUCK to order. Special offer not available at the Toyota Center Box Office.
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
3/23 at OMA 1-1=2, +1
3/24 at CHI 0-1=1, E
3/25 at IOW 1-2=3, -1
Totals – 3gp, 2-4=6, E
Totaled six points (2-4=6) in three games last week…Tallied goal and assist in 5-4 SOL at Omaha on Thursday…Assisted on one of two Aeros’ goals in 4-2 loss at Chicago on Friday…Had a hand in all three Houston goals, with tally and two helpers, in 4-3 loss at Iowa on Saturday…Leads AHL with career-best 99 points (38-61=99)…On verge of becoming 95th 100-point scorer in 70-year history of the AHL.
The Aeros are in a dogfight for the West Division title. Houston is 45-21-2-3 for 95 points, one point behind Milwaukee (44-21-6-2) for first place. However, the Aeros have two games in hand. Houston’s points percentage (.669) is better than Milwaukee’s (.658). The Aeros’ magic number to clinch their third division crown in 12 seasons is 16 points, a combination of their own points gained and points lost by Milwaukee. Six of Houston’s last nine games are against current playoff teams, while Milwaukee plays just two of its final seven games against teams currently in playoff position.
HOU (9, 5H, 4R): 3/28 at PEO, 3/31 at OMA, 4/1 vs. PEO, 4/2 vs. PEO, 4/9 vs. SAN, 4/11 vs. OMA, 4/14 vs. OMA, 4/15 at CHI, 4/16 at IOW
MIL (7, 2H, 5R): 3/29 at ROC, 3/31 vs. IOW, 4/1 at OMA, 4/6 at SAN, 4/8 at SAN, 4/14 vs. CHI, 4/15 at GR
RW Kirby Law has 99 points (38-61=99), one shy of becoming just the 95th player in the 70-season history of the American Hockey League to top the 100-point plateau. Just three players have reached that mark since 2000-01. Law is set to become just the second player in team history to reach 100 points. Brian Wiseman totaled a team-record 109 in the 1998-99 campaign. Law has 63 goals in his two seasons in Houston, in fourth place on the team’s all-time list. Law has 148 points in the last two campaigns, already making him the fifth-leading scorer in team history.
Houston is still second in the AHL on the power play at 21.0 percent, scoring a team record 102 power play goals. Rookie LW Roman Voloshenko has 20 power play goals, tied with Jeff Christian’s 1998-99 team record total.
Houston returns home this week off a five-game road trip for its final homestand of the season at five games. That’s good news for the Aeros, who are 26-5-2-2 at Toyota Center, outscoring their opponents 138-91. Houston’s .800 home points percentage trails only Grand Rapids (29-5-1-3, .816) for the best in the AHL.
The Aeros are winless in six straight for the first time since an 0-5-1-0 stretch February 6-February 16, 2004 – more than two seasons ago.
The Aeros have dropped each of their last five games when playing the previous day since a 5-2 win at Milwaukee on February 26. Houston is a combined 14-11-2-1 in the second or third of back-to-back situations this season.
Houston is 2-10-1-2 on the road in the month the last two seasons, 4-12-1-3 the last three seasons and 7-17-1-3 since 2002-03.
Join Chilly at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center this Saturday from 1-3 p.m. for his April Fool’s Party! Come act like a fool! Games include backward spelling bee, Simon says opposite, and silly relay races.
Aeros’ winless slide extends to six
OMA 5, HOU 4 (SO); CHI 4, HOU 2; IOW 4, HOU 3
Thursday: Mark Giordano scored a power play goal and added the deciding sudden death shootout goal, and Brent Krahn made 34 saves, as the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights held off the Houston Aeros 5-4 at Omaha Civic Auditorium. Tomi Maki tallied a goal and an assist, Ajay Baines added a power play goal and Cam Cunning notched his first pro goal for Omaha.
Roman Voloshenko, Kirby Law and Peter Olvecky each posted a goal and an assist for Houston.
Friday: Pat Dwyer scored twice, Brian Maloney and Scott Barney added a goal apiece and Michael Garnett made 32 saves, as the Chicago Wolves knocked the Houston Aeros out of first place with a 4-2 victory at Allstate Arena.
Scott Ferguson and Bill Kinkel each scored and Seamus Kotyk stopped 24 shots for Houston.
Saturday: Jim Fahey snapped a tie midway through the third period against former Cleveland teammate Seamus Kotyk, and former Aeros Mike Smith (36 saves) and David Oliver (goal, assist) played big parts, as the Iowa Stars rallied from a two-goal, first-period deficit for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Aeros at Wells Fargo Arena. Toby Petersen and Loui Eriksson also scored for Iowa.
Kirby Law had a goal and two assists to pad his league-leading point total to 99, Clayton Stoner and Roman Voloshenko scored power play goals 1:36 apart late in the first period, while Kotyk made 29 stops to drop his sixth straight start for Houston.
Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Monday – In Peoria
Tuesday – at PEO 7 p.m.
Wednesday – Travel Day
Thursday – In Omaha
Friday – at OMA 7 p.m.
Saturday – vs. PEO 7:35 p.m.
Sunday – vs. PEO 5:05 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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