From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Sunday, March 6, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Coming attractions MON, vs. GR, 7 p.m., at St. Paul, Minn.
Aeros Weekly Report
The Aeros and Griffins meet at Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild. Wild color analyst and former Aero Mike Greenlay joins Ken Double on the broadcast, available on 1070 KNTH and Aeros.com
. The Aeros are 2-2-0-1 this season versus the Griffins, but they are winless in the last three meetings. Five of the six games have been decided by one goal, and the other was tied heading into the final minutes. A goalies duel is possible. Houstons Josh Harding is 2-2-0 with a 1.50 gaa versus the Griffins, while Joey MacDonald is 3-1-0 with a 1.23 gaa against the Aeros this season. MacDonald owns three career shutouts versus Houston. The Aeros lost their only previous game at Xcel Energy Center, a 3-1 decision to Milwaukee on December 8, 2002. The game is a homecoming for Houstons Mark Cullen and Grand Rapids Travis Richards. Both players hail from the "State of Hockey". Cullen is from Moorhead, and Richards is from Crystal. Houstons Junior Lessard won the Hobey Baker Award last season at Minnesota-Duluth. This will mark the 21st AHL game this season in an NHL arena, and the designated "home" teams are 13-6-1-0 in the previous 20. WED, at CHI, 7 p.m.
The Aeros are 4-2-2-0 this season versus the Wolves, and they snapped an 11-game winless streak at Allstate Arena in the last meeting February 12. Seven of the eight games this season have been decided by one goal, and theyve gone to overtime in 14 of the last 26 meetings, including four of eight this season. THU, at MIL, 7 p.m.
The Aeros and Admirals renew their intense rivalry at Bradley Center. Houston is 3-4-1-0 this season versus Milwaukee, including a 1-1-1-0 mark in Wisconsin. Brian Finley is 13-6-1 in his career against the Aeros, the most wins of any goalie against them. SAT, vs. SAN, 7:35 p.m.
Bandana Night (3,000)
The Aeros and Rampage meet for the first of five times in the final six weeks of the season. Houston has points in all but one of the first seven meetings this season (4-1-2-0), and its 2-0-1-0 versus the Rampage at home this season. The Aeros are 19-5-5-2 all-time versus their in-state rival, including an impresive 12-2-1-0 home mark. Playoffs times a comin
The are only six weeks left in the American Hockey League season, and the playoff races are tightening, especially in the West Division. There are four teams battling for the third and fourth playoff spots out of the division.
3. Cincinnati 62 GP, 68 PTS4. Houston 58 GP, 65 PTS
5. Grand Rapids 57 GP, 61 PTS (plays Sunday in Milwaukee at 2 p.m. ct)
6. San Antonio 65 GP, 56 PTS CIN (18GR, 9H, 9R)
Houston (3, 1H/2R), Grand Rapids (2, 1H/1R), Chicago (3, 2H/1R), Utah (3, 1H/2R), Cleveland (3, 1H/2R), Milwaukee (3, 3H), San Antonio (1, 1R) HOU (22GR, 11H, 11R)
Chicago (2, 1H/1R), Cincinnati (3, 2H/1R), Grand Rapids (3, 3H), Milwaukee (2, 2R), San Antonio (5, 3H/2R), Utah (5, 2H/3R), Manitoba (2, 2R) GR (23GR, 10H, 13R)
Milwaukee (3, 3R), San Antonio (3, 1H/2R), Cincinnati (2, 1H/1R), Chicago (1, 1R), Houston (3, 3R), Manitoba (2, 2H), Hamilton (2, 1H/1R), Edmonton (2, 2H), Cleveland (1, 1H), Utah (4, 2H/2R) SAN (15GR, 11H, 4R)
Grand Rapids (3, 2H/1R), Houston (5, 2H/3R), Cleveland (2, 2H), Utah (2, 2H), Cincinnati (1, 1H), Chicago (1, 1H), Milwaukee (1, 1H) Wallin the next at the century mark -
Rickard Wallin has 99 points (35-64=99) in his three-year Aeros career. With his next point, hell be the teams 21st member of the 100-point club. Wallin would be the fourth Aero to reach the century mark this season, joining Stephane Veilleux, Mark Cullen and Kyle Wanvig. Dan Cavanaugh currently has 92 points. Harding goes for three -
Aeros rookie goalie Josh Harding enters the week tied for sixth in the AHL in gaa (2.03), and he sports a 13-12-1 mark. Harding has won his last two decisions, the fifth time this season hes won two straight. Hes looking for his first three-game winning streak. Hardings save percentage in the first period is .915, but he buckles down in the second (.947) and third (.941). The Sheriff has a Deputy -
Captain Kirby Law, nicknamed "The Sheriff", has a team-best 19 goals, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard has assisted on seven of them. No other Aero has set up a teammate more often this season. Just shoot on me -
Aeros goalies have no problem with work. Houston is 15-5-5-1 when allowing 30 or more shots. Cullen hits 75 assists -
Houston third-year centerman Mark Cullens assist on Kirby Laws empty-net goal Friday was the 75th helper of his Aeros career. He moved past Al Conroy for seventh place on the teams all-time list, with Travis Roche up next in sixth place at 85 helpers. Success in the third is key -
By outscoring Hartford 1-0 in the third period Friday, the Aeros took over the AHL lead in goals allowed in the third period with 38. In its 28 wins, Houston has allowed just 11 third-period goals, but in the remainder of its 30 games, it has yielded 27. The Aeros are 2-10-2-1 in their last 15 games when allowing a third-period goal. Rally cats -
Houston got another point when trailing after two periods last week. The Aeros are 5-16-3-2 in such situations, and their 15 points trail only Hersheys 18 for the top spot in the AHL. Thats remarkable since Houston was winless (0-28-7-1) last season when trailing after 40 minutes. A teenager no more -
Aeros defenseman Brent Burns, the youngest player in team history when he suited up at 18 during the 2003-04 season, turns 20 Wednesday. Mikko Koivu hits 22 on Saturday. There are eight Aeros with birthdays in March. Boogie in the Box -
Houstons Derek Boogaard has moved into a second place tie with Trent Cull and Steve Jaques with his 44th fighting major with the Aeros. Mike Yeo is the all-time leader with 51. Boogaard has 438 PIMs overall, one behind Gord Kruppke for sixth on the franchises all-time list, and two behind current teammate Kyle Wanvig for fifth. Rooters update -
Aeros defensemen and alternate captains Todd Reirden and Ray Giroux combine to bring a group of underprivileged children out to each and every Aeros game. This Saturdays group is Child Advocates. Player of the week D Ray Giroux -
Scored two goals as Aeros went 2-0-1-0 in three games last week...He and fellow veteran Kirby Law were the teams lone multiple-goal scorers last week...Leads Aeros defensemen with 25 points (9-16=25) and is a team-best plus-seven...Has posted 11 points (4-7=11) in his last 14 games, with a plus-nine rating in that span...Tied for 25th in the AHL among blueliners with 25 points and tied for ninth in goals with nine. Giroux this week...
3/2 vs. SAN 1-0=1, E
3/3 at SAN 0-0=0, E
3/4 vs. HAR 1-0=1, +1 Totals - 3gp, 2-0=2, +1 Aeros Practice schedule:
Monday - vs. GR 7 p.m. at St. Paul, Minn.
Tuesday - Travel Day
Wednesday - at CHI 7 p.m.
Thursday - at MIL 7 p.m.
Friday - Travel Day
Saturday - vs. SAN 7:35 p.m.
Sunday Off Aeros get five of six points last week
HOU 2, SAN 0; SAN 4, HOU 3 (OT); HOU 3, HAR 1
The Aeros came home from their five-game road trip no worse for the wear, going 2-0-1-0 to take five of six points last week. Wednesday:
Matt Foy scored his fifth goal in four games and Mike Smith made 21 saves for his fifth shutout, as the Houston Aeros defeated San Antonio 2-0 at Toyota Center for their second win over the Rampage in four days. Ray Giroux tacked on a power play goal for Houston.
Travis Scott stopped 35 shots for San Antonio. Thursday:
Joel Kwiatkowski scored a power play goal with 23 seconds left in overtime, as the San Antonio Rampage saw a late two-goal lead disappear, but then recovered for a 4-3 win over the Houston Aeros at SBC Center.
Chris Nielsen and Ryan Jardine tallied a goal and an assist apiece 81 seconds apart in the second period for San Antonio, which salvaged the finale of the three-game, five-day set with the Aeros. Kamil Kreps also scored, Jardine added an assist on the game-winner and Patrick DesRochers made 23 saves for San Antonio, which scored more than two goals versus the Aeros for the first time in 14 games.
Zbynek Michalek forced overtime with 34 seconds left after Brent Burns got the Aeros within one with a power play goal with 3:14 remaining. Junior Lessard also scored and Mike Smith turned aside 28 shots for Houston. Friday:
Josh Harding made 15 of his 30 saves in the third period and Kirby Law snapped a tie late in the second and added an empty netter, as the Houston Aeros debuted their red Third Jerseys
in style with a thrilling 3-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at Toyota Center. Ray Giroux also scored for Houston, which equaled last seasons win mark at 28, in just its 58th game.
Reigning AHL Most Valuable Player Jason LaBarbera, who made 21 saves, saw his shutout streak versus the Aeros come to a halt at 226:11, including three straight shutouts. Jozef Balej tallied a power play goal for the Wolf Pack.
---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---