JAN. 1, 2011: AEROS VS. RAMPAGE
The Houston Aeros (18-17-1-2) play host to the San Antonio Rampage (23-10-1-0) to begin the calendar year of 2011. The team finished the calendar year of 2010 with a 35-36-5-6 record and closed out the year with a 3-1 loss at Rockford on Thursday night. Tonight’s game ends a run of five games in seven days for Houston; the team is 2-2-0-0 so far. The first three games were decided by one goal while Thursday’s loss was essentially a one-goal game with an empty-net goal. San Antonio out shot Oklahoma City by a 45-23 margin but fell 4-1 to the Barons last night at home. The Rampage has lost two of three including a 2-1 decision to the Aeros on Monday. San Antonio maintains first place in the West Division with two-point advantage over Peoria while the Aeros are tied for sixth place with OKC.
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Jan. 1 vs. San Antonio, 7:35 p.m. CST
Jan. 7 vs. Lake Erie, 7:35 p.m. CST
Jan. 8 at San Antonio, 7:00 p.m. CST
Follow the Aeros on News Talk 1070 KNTH and online at AEROS.COM with Joe O’Donnell providing the play-by-play call. Watch every game at www.ahllive.com.
AEROS AT A GLANCE
RECORD: 18-17-1-2, 39 pts., T6, West Division
STREAK: LOST 2
Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)
San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix Coyotes)
AEROS SPECIAL TEAMS
PP: 16.4% (21st)
PK: 84.4% (9th)
POINTS: Noreau (7-15-22)/Earl (10-12-22)
GOALS: Earl (10)
ASSISTS: Noreau (15)
PIM: Kassian (87)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
TRENDING --- The Aeros reversed a season-long four-game losing skid with the Dec. 27 win at SA. Their last previous road win was Dec. 14 at Hamilton (3-1)…The Aeros won for just the second time this season when allowing the first goal (2-10-1-0) on Dec. 27 at SA.
TAKE A BREATHER --- After tonight’s game, the Aeros have five full days between contests. The team had five days between the season opener and their next game (Oct. 9-15). The longest the team has between games this season is six days (Jan. 29-Feb. 3).
ON THE SHELF --- Casey Wellman has missed the last four games with a lower body injury…Colton Gillies and Warren Peters have missed the last three games.
HOMEBOYS --- Houston has won eight of 11 at home dating back to an Oct. 31 victory over Texas. Four of those wins have been by one goal; a pair has been decided by two goals.
ROUGH ROAD --- Houston has lost six of eight away from home dating back to Dec. 12. The team dropped four-of-five during a five-game road trip from Dec. 12-18 and was outscored 17-10 during that run.
SCORE FIRST! --- Houston leads the AHL in first goals (24) and is 16-6-0-2 when scoring first. Cody Almond leads the club with three first-goals. Five other players have two game-opening tallies.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER --- The Aeros are 10-6-0-1 in games after a win this season…In games after a loss they are 7-8-1-0…In the second game of back-to-back outings they are 8-9-0-1…In the third game of a 3-in-3 they are 3-2-0-0.
TURNSTILE TIDBIT --- Through 15 home games, the Aeros are sixth in the AHL with an average attendance of 5,766. As of Dec. 31, 2009, the Aeros averaged 5,407 through 20 games.
WESTWARD --- The Aeros are 15-11-1-0 vs. West Division teams this season and have won five of the last seven against Division rivals.
HEATIN’ UP --- Robbie Earl has goals in two of three of points in three of four (2-2-4)…Cody Almond has points in three straight (1-2-3)…
FOUR-SCORE --- When scoring at least four goals the Aeros are undefeated (11-0-0-0). Houston has yet to win a game when allowing four or more goals (0-9-0-0) and is 0-6-0-0 on the road when doing so.
SCHEDULE NOTES --- Nine of the final 12 games of 2010 are on the road…Houston plays four games in five days from Dec. 26-30 and five in seven from Dec. 26-Jan. 1…The team played five games in seven days, all on the road, from Dec. 12-18.
RECENT ROSTER MOVES --- F Brock McBride was released from his PTO on Dec. 31...D Jared Spurgeon was recalled by MIN on Dec. 30…F Sean Muncy and F Aaron Lewicki were released from their PTO's on Dec. 28...F Pascal Morency was recalled from BAK on Dec. 28...D Jared Spurgeon was reassigned by MIN on Dec. 28...F Brock McBride signed a PTO on Dec. 28...F Sean Muncy and F Aaron Lewicki signed PTO's on Dec. 27...D Bryce Lampman was released from his PTO on Dec. 22.
LAST GAME QUICK RECAP
Robbie Earl scored Houston’s only goal and Matt Hackett made 25 saves as the Aeros relinquished three goals in the final period in a 3-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs Thursday night at the MetroCentre. Earl gave the Aeros a 1-0 lead with his team-leading 10th goal of the season, a power play tally, with 40 seconds remaining in the first period. The teams played scoreless hockey from there until Mathis Olimb tied things up at the 6:55 mark of the third. Rob Klinkhammer followed up at 16:39 with the game-winner for the Hogs, who have won two-in-a-row of four of the last five.