AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
TUE, vs. OMA, 7:05 p.m.
1/2 Price at Center Ice/Young Professionals/Houston Dynamo Night
Get a center ice seat for just $14! 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 Aeros also welcome Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo to the game. Brian Mullen and goalie Pat Onstead, a Canadian citizen, will be on hand as honorary Aeros. The Dynamo will also have an information table on the concourse.
The suddenly struggling Knights are 0-3-1-1 in their last five, scoring six total goals in that span. The rut has pushed Omaha out of the final playoff spot in the West, and into a tie for fifth. The Knights enter the week three points behind fourth-place Iowa, but Omaha plays each of its four games this week on the road – two in Houston and two in San Antonio.
Houston won the first five meetings this season with Omaha, before going 0-1-1-1 in the last three. Six of the eight games have been decided by one goal, with five going to overtime or a shootout.
FRI, vs. OMA, 7:35 p.m.
Rally Towels (3K)
It’s the Aeros’ regular-season home finale. The Knights haven’t been to Toyota Center since December 23, when Kirby Law scored in overtime to give Houston a 4-3 win. The Aeros are a perfect 3-0-0-0 against the Knights at home.
SAT, at CHI, 7 p.m.
The Wolves finish their regular season by retiring the jersey of long-time Aeros nemesis Steve Maltais, who retired this season. The streaking Wolves have won 10 of 11 to get within three points of fourth-place Iowa, but Chicago has just three games remaining.
Houston is 5-2-0-0 this season against the Wolves, but dropped its last trip to Allstate Arena, 4-2 on March 24 during a winless five-game road trip. Four of the first seven meetings this season have been decided by one goal, but just one of three in Chicago.
SUN, at IOW, 5:05 p.m.
The Stars had their eight-game winning streak snapped by Chicago on Sunday, but the run has helped them take over the fourth and final playoff spot out of the West Division. Iowa has won four straight at Wells Fargo Arena, and like Houston will be finishing off the regular season with a three-in-three stretch.
Houston is 6-3-0-0 in the first nine meetings against the Stars, but the teams have split the last six meetings after the Aeros won the first three. Houston dropped a 4-3 decision in its last trip to Des Moines, March 25. The Aeros have scored 13 power play goals in the first nine meetings.
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 D Curtis Murphy
4/9 vs. SAN 2-1=3, +2
Totals - 1gp, 2-1=3, +2
Two-time Eddie Shore Award winner posted two big goals and added an assist in Aeros’ lone game last week, a 5-4 OT win over San Antonio on Sunday...Gave Aeros a 4-3 lead with SHG with 5:41 left in regulation, 11 seconds after assisting on Kirby Law’s game-tying goal...Gave Aeros the victory, with 18 seconds left in OT, his 12th goal of the season and third OT game-winner of his career...Hadn’t scored a goal in 17 games dating back to 2/26...Ranks second among all AHL defensemen with career-best 63 points (12-51=63)...Tallied first two-goal game since March 19, 2004, with Milwaukee at Utah...Has earned $1800 for "Murphy’s Mission" benefiting I Have a Dream, including $700 in Sunday’s game from an anoymous donor who is giving $300 per Murphy goal and $100 per assist.
Houston, which has qualified for the playoffs in 10 straight seasons and 11 out of 12, has a magic number of nine points to clinch the West Division title, although by winning out the Aeros would hold the tiebreaker of wins and the magic number would drop to eight. That’s a total of its own points gained and points lost by the Admirals.
West Division Standings (1st through 6th place), as of 4/10
MIL (104 points, 2 GR, 1H, 1R): Fri vs. CHI, Sat at GR
HOU (98 points, 4 GR, 2H, 2R): Tue vs. OMA, Fri vs. OMA, Sat at CHI, Sun at IOW
PEO (97 points, 3GR, 2H, 1R): Tue vs. SAN, Fri vs. IOW, Sat at IOW
IOW (84 points, 4GR, 3H, 1R): Tue vs. CHI, Fri at PEO, Sat vs. PEO, Sun vs. HOU
OMA (81 points, 4GR, 0H, 4R): Tue at HOU, Fri at HOU, Sat at SAN, Sun at SAN
CHI (81 points, 3GR, 1H, 2R): Tue at IOW, Fri at MIL, Sat vs. HOU
RW Kirby Law has an eight-game point streak (5-8=13), and he leads the AHL with 106 points (41-65=106). He’s just three points behind Brian Wiseman’s 1998-99 team record of 109 points, with four games left. Law, who leads Grand Rapids LW Jiri Hudler by nine points, is on pace to have the biggest margin over a second-place finisher since the 1999-2000 season, when Christian Matte (104) beat Mike Maneluk (87) by 17 points.
LW Patrick O’Sullivan has an AHL rookie-best 87 points (45-42=87), the fifth-highest total of any Aero in a single season in team history. O’Sullivan has the third-most goals of any AHL rookie since 1990-91, and the fifth most points.
Houston’s victory Sunday was its 20th come-from-behind win of the season. The Aeros, however, won for the first time in the last eight games when allowing the game’s first goal.
The Aeros are 13-0-2-0 in the last 15 home meetings with San Antonio, last losing in regulation on January 16, 2004.
Rookie D Chris Ovington, signed out of the University of Alberta last week, had an impressive debut Sunday, registering a team-best plus-three.
West Division Semifinals tickets on sale now – Tickets for Games “A” and “B” of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs West Division Semifinals are on sale now! The games are Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22, at 7:35 p.m. Opponent will be determined at a later date. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center Box Office, at select area Randalls locations, online at www.aeros.com or by calling 1.866.GO.AEROS.
The Toyota Center Box Office is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and from 12 p.m.-event time on Sunday event days. Two inside windows of the Toyota Center Box Office will also remain open until the end of the second intermission at Aeros home games. Single-game playoff tickets for the West Division Semifinals begin at $14. Please visit www.aeros.com or call the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK for more information on playoff packages, playoff vouchers and special group pricing for the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Calder Cup Kickoff Party is April 18 – Join us at Bayou City Wings at 12804 Gulf Freeway on Tuesday, April 18, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., to help celebrate with the Aeros as they begin their run at another Calder Cup Championship. Come and enjoy special guest appearances as well as an exciting announcement to be made at the end of the night! The Kickoff Party is open to everyone so bring out your friends and family members to enjoy food and drink specials with the Aeros! For more information, contact your individual ticket representatives or call (713) 974 – PUCK. Come kick off the playoffs with the Aeros as they begin their quest to Capture The Cup!
Aeros win lone game last week
HOU 5, SAN 4 (OT)
Sunday: Curtis Murphy’s second goal of the game, with 18 seconds left in overtime, lifted the Houston Aeros to a stirring 5-4 victory over the San Antonio Rampage at Toyota Center. Murphy added an assist, while fellow All-Stars Erik Westrum, Kirby Law and Patrick O’Sullivan each chipped in a goal and a helper. O’Sullivan’s 45th goal tied an Aeros team record, and Seamus Kotyk made 26 saves for his 50th AHL win as Houston (47-23-3-3) moved to 100 points – four behind idle first-place Milwaukee with four games remaining.
Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Monday – 11 a.m.-noon, Toyota Center
Tuesday – 10-11 a.m., pre-game skate, vs. OMA 7:05
Wednesday – 1-2 p.m., Sugar Land
Thursday – 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Friday – 10-11 a.m., pre-game skate, vs. OMA 7:05
Saturday – at CHI, 7 p.m.
Sunday – at IOW, 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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