For a printable PDF version of the Aeros Weekly Report, please click here
From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
This week on aeros.com Thursday, check out www.aeros.com for a feature story on Rickard Wallin, Stephane Veilleux and Zbynek Michalek, all returned to the Aeros for the playoff run yesterday. The popular Q&A segment will return soon. Its all this week on www.aeros.com, your complete source for information on the Houston Aeros. If youre not signed up for Aeros Afterburner exclusive online newsletter, click here.
Houston plays its final two regular season games this week.
FRI, at CIN, 6:35 p.m.
The Aeros play the Ducks for the third straight game, having tied in each of the first two, at Toyota Center. Houston and Cincinnati enter the week separated by just three points for fourth in the West. The Aeros are 7-3-4-1 overall against the Ducks, including a 3-2-1-1 mark at Cincinnati Gardens. Houston is 1-1-1-0 in the first three road meetings this season, and sports a 2-2-3-0 overall mark against the Ducks. Cincinnati is led by Keith Aucoin (18-29=47) and Tony Martensson (15-32=47). Chris Armstrong (9-34=43) is the Ducks leading defenseman and had two goals last week.
SAT, vs. GR, 7:00 p.m.
Fan Appreciation Night (5,000 T Shirts); 10th Anniversary Celebration
The Aeros finish off the regular season in style by honoring their first 10 campaigns. Special guests scheduled to be on hand include Lane Lambert, Dave Morrissette, Brian Wiseman and many more. Former head coach Dave Tippett has sent a videotaped message. The Aeros will also honor both championship teams. After the celebration, Houston tackles Grand Rapids. The Griffins are 3-7-0-0 in their last 10 and are suddenly fighting for second place with Chicago. The Aeros look to be the only AHL team this season with five victories against the Griffins. Houston sports a 4-5-0-0 mark this season against Grand Rapids.
Playoff picture getting clearer The Aeros are only three points away from their eighth straight playoff berth and ninth in 10 seasons. Houstons magic number could drop to one point should San Antonio lose in regulation tonight in Milwaukee. Fourth-place Houston is three points up on Cincinnati and eight on San Antonio. Utah, meanwhile, is nine points back and must win its final three games and hope for some help to get into the post-season. Cincinnati finishes up the week in Cleveland Wednesday, at home versus the Aeros on Friday, and Saturday at home against Cleveland. San Antonio plays five games over the next six days, starting tonight in Milwaukee and continuing Wednesday in Chicago, Friday in Grand Rapids, then Saturday at home against Utah and Sunday at home versus Grand Rapids. Utah is at home Wednesday against Milwaukee, then in Cleveland Friday and San Antonio Saturday.
Houston 72 points (2 games left, 1H, 1R)
GR (1H/0R), CIN (0H/1R)
Cincinnati 69 points (3 games left, 2H, 1R)
CLE (1H/1R), HOU (1H/0R)
San Antonio 64 points (5 games left, 2H, 3R)
MIL (0H/1R), CHI (0H/1R), GR (1H/1R), UTA (1H/0R)
Utah 63 points (3 games left, 1H, 2R)
MIL (1H/0R), SA (0H/1R), CLE (0H/1R)
Aeros within three points of playoffs after pair of ties
Week in review: HOU 4, CIN 4 (OT); HOU 3, CIN 3 (OT)
The Aeros tied Cincinnati in their only two games last week to hold the Ducks at bay and three points behind them in the West Standings. Fourth-place Houston enters the final week of the regular season with a magic number of three points to clinch a playoff spot, and four points to clinch home ice in a first-round playoff series, likely against Cincinnati.
Friday, the line of Dan Cavanaugh (2g, 1a), Billy Tibbetts (3a) and Kyle Wanvig (1g, 2a) combined for every point on all three Aeros goals in a span of 3:31 early in the second period, and the Aeros and the Mighty Ducks skated to a 3-3 tie at Toyota Center. Frederic Cloutier made 31 saves for Houston.
Curtis Glencross scored his first two pro goals, Casey Hankinson added a goal and Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 32 shots for the Ducks.
Thursday, Kevin Mitchell and Jeff Hoggan scored 35 seconds apart in the final 1:32 of regulation, finishing off a furious Aeros comeback from three goals down, as Houston tied the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks 4-4 in an epic matchup at Toyota Center.
Mark Cullen assisted on both goals and tacked on one of his own to earn another $200 for Sunshine Kids, and Erik Reitz also scored for the Aeros. Cloutier, in relief of Kyle Kettles, stopped the final 12 shots he faced after allowing a goal to garner the tie.
Hankinson, Chris Armstrong, Pierre Parenteau and Chris Kunitz all scored in a wild second period for the Ducks.
West Standings, 4/6
X-Milwaukee 98 4 GR
X-Grand Rapids 94 3 GR
X-Chicago 92 3 GR
Houston 72 2 GR
Cincinnati 69 3 GR
San Antonio 64 5 GR
Utah 63 3 GR
X - Clinched playoff spot
Trio returns The Minnesota Wild reassigned left wing Stephane Veilleux, center Rickard Wallin and defenseman Zbynek Michalek to the Aeros Monday morning. The threesome helped Minnesota to a 9-3-1-1 mark since the trading deadline. Veilleux, who had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 season-ending win over St. Louis Sunday, posted 10 points (2-8=10) in 19 games. Wallin, who had two goals and a helper in a 4-2 win over Dallas Friday, notched nine points (5-4=9) in 15 games. Michalek had two points (1-1=2) in 22 games in two separate callups with the Wild. The trio had a hand in five of Minnesotas final seven goals of the season in victories against playoff-bound Dallas and St. Louis.
Tibbetts help-ing out since arrival Aeros winger Billy Tibbetts has eight assists and is a plus-seven in six games since joining the Aeros via a pro tryout. Tibbetts has five assists and is a plus-six in the last two games. The Aeros have just one regulation loss in six games (2-1-3-0) since Tibbetts joined the team from ECHL San Diego. Tibbetts and linemates Dan Cavanaugh and Kyle Wanvig combined for all three Houston goals, in a span of just 3:31, in Fridays 3-3 tie against the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. Tibbetts had three assists during the span.
Sunshine Kids update Mark Cullen posted a goal and two assists last week, raising another $200 for Sunshine Kids. Cullen, with the help of an anonymous local donor, has raised $950 since March 5 for the organization which helps children with cancer and their families. Cullen was diagnosed with malignant melanoma during Minnesotas training camp in September.
Playoff strips on sale now - Fans, the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs start next week, and your defending champion Aeros are closing in on a berth in the post-season. Playoff strips are now on sale, so you can enjoy all the action. Full playoff strips start at just $238, and you can buy strips for rounds 1-3 for $126. Playoff vouchers are also available. Flexibility is the key with a savings on the gate price.
Player of the week RW Billy Tibbetts -
Totaled five assists and was a plus-six in helping the Aeros to a pair of critical ties against Cincinnati...Had a hand in five of the Aeros' seven goals last week...Aeros have lost just once in regulation since Tibbetts' arrival (2-1-3-0)...Has totaled eight assists and is a plus-seven in just six games...In 12 AHL games this season, including six with Springfield, Tibbetts has 10 assists and is a plus-six.
Tibbetts this week...
4/1 vs. CIN 0-2-2 +3
4/2 vs. CIN 0-3-3 +3
Totals: 2gp, 0-5-5, +6