From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Monday, February 21, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
AEROS RECALL LW BILL KINKEL FROM ECHL PENSACOLA
Buffalo native had three goals, 131 PIMs in 24 games with Ice PilotsHOUSTON, Texas
The American Hockey Leagues Houston Aeros
have recalled left wing Bill Kinkel
from the ECHLs Pensacola Ice Pilots, the team announced Monday. Kinkel is expected to be available when the Aeros take on the Utah Grizzlies this afternoon at 3:05 p.m. (ct) in West Valley City.
Kinkel, who turns 21 Sunday, has totaled four points (3-1=4) and 131 penalty minutes in 24 games with the Ice Pilots, who sport the ECHLs best record. The 6-foot-5, 239-pound native of Buffalo, N.Y., attended training camp with the Aeros but did not play in any pre-season games due to injury. He also missed two months of the ECHL season with an injury.
Kinkel played juniors with Kitchener and Kingston of the OHL, registering 51 points (23-28=51) and 390 penalty minutes in 184 games. The Aeros signed him as an AHL free agent on July 5. Nominated for Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy, given to the player that best demonstrates outstanding qualities as a positive role model in the community Kinkel was New Jerseys ninth-round pick (No. 281 overall) in 2002 NHL Entry Draft
Houston Aeros (24-20-4-2) at
Utah Grizzlies (14-35-0-3), 3:05 p.m.
Click here to listen to Utah's live webcast. Ken Double is sick and will not conduct a webcast today. Aeros.com will also have updates throughout the game.Today is a homecoming for John Erskine, Mike Smith and David Bararuk, each of whom has spent time with the Grizzlies when they were Dallas affiliate. Erskine spent parts of the last three seasons in Utah, Smith two campaigns and Bararuk one. Smith sports an 8-5-0 career mark with a 2.46 gaa at the E Center. Smith was 8-5-0 at home with the Grizzlies, but just 5-11-0 on the road. His last start in West Valley City was 1/31/04 against Grand Rapids, a 5-2 loss.
Aeros Game Day
Five things you need to know
Houston is beginning a stretch of seven straight games against teams with lower winning percentages than it has. The Aeros just wrapped up a run where they played Milwaukee and Chicago - the top two teams in the division - in nine of 11 games. The Aeros have played 16 of their first 50 games against the Admirals and Wolves, while theyve played only 13 games versus division teams with lower winning percentages than them. In Houstons first 50 games this season, its opponents average winning percentage was an impressive .568. In their remaining 30 games, that number drops to .484.
The Aeros, who lead the league on the penalty kill at 89.2 percent, have killed off 41-of-43 (95.3 percent) of their shorthanded chances over the last 11 games. Houston is plus-23 in PPG ratio, second in the league and just a goal behind Manchester.
Houston opens up a five-game road trip today with its first visit to Utah in 364 days since 2/22/04. The Aeros also make their first visit of the season to Cincinnati this weekend. Houston will play five road games in seven days, quite the trip when realizing the Aeros have played just eight road games since Thanksgiving. The Aeros play five of their final 17 road games in West Valley City.
Houstons 2-3-0-0 mark in its five games can greatly be attributed to allowing the first goal in each contest. The Aeros, who have trailed at some point in nine of their last 10 games, are 9-17-2-2 when allowing the first goal, but 15-3-2-0 when scoring it. Houston hasnt yet lost on the road in a game in which its held a lead. The Aeros are 11-0-0-0 on the road when taking a lead at any point in the game.
Aeros at Grizzlies (Aeros are 47-39-4-1 overall, Aeros are 22-23-1-0 at Utah/Denver)
Today marks the 92nd all-time meeting between Houston and the Utah franchise, including its play in Denver in 1994-95. The 92 meetings are the most between the Aeros and an opponent.
The first three games have all been played in Houston, with the Aeros going 2-1-0-0.
The Aeros went 5-4-1 versus Utah, then Dallas' affiliate, in 2003-04.
Houston is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings after losing three straight 3/20-11/7/03.
Houston is 16-8-1 in the last 25 meetings and 19-13-2-1 versus the Grizzlies since joining the AHL.
One team has scored at least five goals in each of the last five meetings - all at Toyota Center.
Houston has four wins in its last seven trips to the E Center (4-3-0), but Utah won the last meeting, 4-1 last 2/22.
The teams have split 16 meetings (8-8-0) in West Valley City since they joined the AHL.
Houston last swept a two-game series in Utah 3/28-3/29/03. vThe teams have combined for 342 PIMs in the last two meetings. Utah has 191 of those 342 PIMs.
Scouting the Aeros
Houston has points in 10 of its last 14 games (7-4-2-1) to move into fourth place in the West, just four points out of third...Theres a three-player logjam atop the Aeros in scoring...Stephane Veilleux (14-19=33), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (8-25=33) and Kirby Law (17-16=33) all have 33 points...Bouchard has 14 points (3-11=14) in his last 12 games, while Law has 18 points (10-8=18) in 17 games since 1/11...Law has five points (4-1=5) in the last two games...Nineteen-year-old Brent Burns (8-12=20) anchors a well-balanced blueline that includes five players in double digits in points...Mike Smith is 14-12-1 with a 2.49 gaa, while Josh Harding is 10-11-1 with a 2.13 gaa.
Scouting the Grizzlies
Utah is 2-2-0-0 in its last four games after a five-game winless streak and a 3-14-0-1 stretch...The Grizzlies split a two-game home series with San Antonio over the weekend, winning 1-0 Friday but losing 3-1 Saturday...Utah has scored exactly one goal in each of its last three games...Peter White is the Grizzlies leading scorer with 24 points (8-16=24) with the team and 32 overall (10-22=32)...Keith Ballard, Utahs All-Star, is the leading defenseman with 19 points (2-17=19) but is a minus-26...Jamie Storr was acquired on loan from Springfield two weeks ago and has brought a spark, going 2-1-0 with a 1.68 gaa...David LeNeveu, a 2004 AHL All-Star, is 6-21-2 with a 2.95 gaa.
2004-05 meetings (Fourth of 10 meetings, Aeros are 2-1-0-0 overall, First meeting at Utah)
November 26: Utah 5 at Houston 3
November 28: Utah 2 at Houston 5
February 2: Utah 2 at Houston 5
Today: Houston at Utah
Wednesday: Houston at Utah
March 16: Houston at Utah
March 18: Houston at Utah
March 23: Utah at Houston
April 6: Houston at Utah
April 17: Utah at Houston
Lonny Bohonos snapped a tie 1:19 into the third period and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves including Kyle Wanvigs third-period penalty shot, leading the Chicago Wolves past the Houston Aeros 2-1 at Toyota Center in the teams fifth straight one-goal meeting and seventh in eight tries this season. Bohonos and J.P. Vigier each finished with a goal and an assist for Chicago, which salvaged the final game of an extended three-game set with the Aeros. Kirby Law scored his fourth goal in two games for Houston.
Todays game pits Houstons fifth-ranked power play unit (18.1 percent) against Utahs 28th and last-ranked penalty killers (77.8 percent). The Aeros are an impressive 7-for-20 (35.0 percent) with the man advantage against the Grizzlies this season.
The Aeros have allowed 35 third-period goals, tied with Rochester for the league-lead. Houston allowed a third-period goal Saturday against Chicago and it led to a familiar result. The Aeros are 1-9-2-1 in their last 13 games when allowing a third-period goal.
Houstons Kyle Wanvig became the 11th player in team history with 50 goals Friday night. Hes tied with Cory Larose for 10th place on the teams all-time list. Stephane Veilleux is in 12th place with 48.
Friday night, Mark Cullens three assists moved him into a ninth-place tie with Mike Yeo on the teams all-time list with 72. Stephane Veilleuxs helper moved him into an 11th-place tie with Larose.
Houston has allowed the games first goal in five straight contests.
The line of Mikko Koivu, Kyle Wanvig and Stephane Veilleux has been on the ice for four of Houstons last five PPG.
Utah has scored just one goal in each of its last three games.
The Grizzlies have scored the fewest goals in the AHL in the first (23) and second (32) periods, and have allowed the most in the third (67). Only four other teams have yielded as many as 55 goals in the third.
Utah ranks last in the league in goals for (1.92) and goals against (3.48).
The Grizzlies are 10-10-0-3 in one-goal games, but 4-25-0-0 in games decided by two or more goals.
Harding back in a big way
Aeros 20-year-old rookie goalie Josh Harding missed 17 games due to a concussion, but he has returned strong, going 5-4-0 with a 2.30 gaa.
Harding, the second youngest goalie in the AHL behind WBS Marc-Andre Fleury, has three shutouts. No other Aeros rookie goalie had more than one shutout.
Harding is 10-8-1 with a 2.00 gaa since an 0-3-0 start to his pro campaign.
Harding ranks 10th in the league in gaa (2.13).
The rookie lost Saturday against Chicago despite allowing only two goals, marking the fourth time hes seen a winning streak snapped at two games.
Harding has allowed 21 goals in the first period, but only 12 in each the second and third this season.
Smith establishes franchise mark
Aeros goalie Mike Smith appeared in 19 straight games - 17 of the appearances starts - from 11/26-1/25. Smiths 19-game run was a new franchise record, eclipsing Frederic Chabots old mark of 15, set 12/8/99-1/21/00.
Smith recorded his third shutout of the run and fourth overall 1/19, making 39 saves in a 2-0 win over Edmonton. It marked the third-highest save total for an Aeros goalie in a shutout. Smith is one of five Aeros goalies ever with four shutouts in a season.
Smith is 3-1 in his AHL career in OT and 3-1 in shootouts, and he went 3-1 in shootouts with ECHL Lexington in 2002-03.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is 6-1-0 with a 2.37 gaa on the road but 8-11-1 with a 2.55 gaa at Toyota Center.
PP unit fifth
The Aeros are fifth in the league on the power play at 18.1 percent.
Houston is 2-for-11 (18.2 percent) on the power play over its last two games.
In their last 33 games, the Aeros have outscored their opponents 36-15 on the power play.
Overall, the Aeros have outscored their opponents 47-24 on the power play.
Houston is 18-12-3-1 when scoring a PPG and 6-8-1-1 when not scoring a PPG.
The Aeros have allowed seven shorthanded goals, but none since Norfolks Quintin Laing 12/18.
Utah is 28th and last in the AHL on the penalty kill at 77.8 percent. At home the Grizzlies are better at 81.6 percent - 25th in the league.
The Grizzlies have killed off 11-of-12 chances (91.7 percent) in their last four games after allowing five PPG over a two-game stretch.
Houston first on PK
Houston leads the league on the penalty kill at 89.2 percent.
Houston has killed off 41-of-43 shorthanded chances in the past 11 games (95.3 percent) and 94-of-102 shorthanded chances in the last 23 games (92.2 percent).
The Aeros have killed off 160-of-175 (91.4 percent) of their shorthanded chances over the last 40 games.
Houston is 16-12-2-1 when not allowing a PPG and 8-8-2-1 when allowing a PPG.
Utah ranks 19th in the AHL on the power play at 14.5 percent.
The Grizzlies are 1-for-11 (9.1 percent) with the man advantage over their last three games, but 4-for-25 (16.0 percent) in their last five contests.