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Aeros Weekly Report - Dec. 19

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild


Coming Attractions:

FRI, vs. OMA, 7:35 p.m.
White Out Night T-shirts (3K)

Buy tickets
Have extra family in town for the holidays? Treat them to an Aeros game! For all three "Aeros Holiday Games" (Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Dec. 28) get a center ice seat for $20 (normally $28) or a corner seat for $15 (normally $20). Offer only good by calling the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK or by ordering online. Username is Holiday, password is Specials.
The Aeros head into the holidays looking for another home win in their only game of the week. Houston is a perfect 4-0-0-0 this season against the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, winning a pair of games at Toyota Center in November. After the first three meetings of the season were each decided by one goal - including two shootout contests - the Aeros beat Omaha 5-1 on November 11. The Knights are in their first AHL season. Houston has won its first four meetings ever with a team on just two other occasions. The Aeros opened up 5-0-0-0 against the San Antonio Rampage, and 4-0-0-0 versus the IHL Las Vegas Thunder.

All Aeros games are broadcast live on KNTH 1070-AM and through For $6, you can also watch the game live via B2 Networks. Visit 10 minutes prior to gametime to order.

Spend the holidays with the Aeros - Get your favorite Aeros fan(s) an Aeros "Holiday Stuffer". Starting at just $44, this great holiday gift includes four vouchers for tickets to any regular season game, one free ticket to either the December 26 of December 28 game, a free Aeros T-shirt and a $10 James Coney Island gift certificate. Please call 713.974.PUCK to order, or click here to print an order form to fax in.

The Aeros are also offering the Holiday Voucher Book Package. It starts at only $100, and includes 10 vouchers to any regular season game and two free tickets to either the December 26 or December 28 game. For those that order glass, center ice or corner seats for this package, receive a free 2004-05 game used hockey stick. Supplies are limited, so act soon! To order the Holiday Voucher Book Package, please call the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK. Click here to print an order form to fax in.

Aeros spend the week in the community -
  • Help the Aeros donate blood today! There are two places to donate - "The Hangar", the Aeros’ official merchandise store located inside the Park Shops from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Memorial City Mall from 2-7 p.m. All donors at each Blood Drive will receive a commemorative Aeros Blood Drive T-Shirt.

    All-Star voting underway - Aeros fans, no fewer than six Aeros are among the league leaders in several offensive and defensive categories. Do you think they deserve an appearance in the 2006 RBK Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg. Click here to vote your favorite Aero into the Game, and for a chance to win a team-autographed 2006 AHL All-Star Jersey.

    Notables -
  • Every week, Aeros D Curtis Murphy continues to reach milestone after milestone, and his next point will give him more points than any other Aero since the team joined the AHL in 2001-02. Murphy and Stephane Veilleux are tied for first place on the team’s AHL points list with 124. The veteran blueliner, who has an assist in six of Houston’s last seven games, has moved into a tie with Jeff Tory for fifth on the team’s all-time assist list with 86. Last week, Murphy became the assists leader in the Aeros’ AHL years, passing Travis Roche (85). Murphy and Veilleux are tied for ninth overall on the all-time points list, only three behind Mike Yeo and David Oliver for seventh place. Murphy’s 23 points (3-20=23) this season are tied for second in the AHL among blueliners.
  • Aeros C Erik Westrum (13-29=42) and RW Kirby Law (17-23=40) rank first and second overall in the AHL in scoring. They are trying to become the first duo from the same team to finish 1-2 in the league’s scoring race Paul Gardner (112 points) and Jody Gage (99) turned the trick for Rochester exactly 20 seasons ago - in 1985-86.
  • Houston G Josh Harding won both his games last week to improve to a league-best 16-6-0. Harding’s 16 victories through the Aeros’ first 31 games puts him on pace for 41 wins this season. In 2004-05, current Buffalo Sabre Ryan Miller became the first AHL goalie since Gerry Cheevers set a league-record with 48 in 1964-65. Miller had 41 "W"’s last season. Harding’s 37 victories in 1 ½ seasons with the Aeros are tied for second on the team’s all-time list with Derek Gustafson. No other Aeros goalie since the move to the AHL has more wins than Harding and Gustafson. Frederic Chabot tops the team’s all-time list with 126.
  • RW Kirby Law reached the 400-point mark for his career Friday. He now has 401 points (194-207=401) in 574 games counting the NHL, AHL and IHL. In AHL games alone, Law has posted 368 points (175-193=368) in 497 games. Law, who has played 132 consecutive games, is set to play in his 500th AHL game December 28 versus Iowa.
  • Two Aeros ride seven-game point streaks into play this week. C Erik Westrum, whose 42 points (13-29=42) tie his career-high in only 31 contests, has 10 points (3-7=10) in the last seven games, his second seven-game point streak of the season. LW Roman Voloshenko has also posted 10 points (6-4=10) in the last seven games, and he joined Team Russia yesterday for the World Junior Championships in British Columbia. Voloshenko is tied for first in the AHL in goals (19) and power play goals (11) and he ranks tied for 10th in points (19-11=30). He’s tied for first in points among AHL rookies, as well.
  • C Patrick O’Sullivan, who posted three points (2-1=3) in Saturday’s 7-2 win over Peoria, ranks tied for third in AHL rookie scoring with 28 points (15-13=28), just two points behind teammate LW Roman Voloshenko and Springfield’s Ryan Vesce for the league lead.
  • LW Josh Olson, a member of the Aeros’ noted checking line with C Bryan Lundbohm and RW Joel Ward, has nine points (4-5=9) over his last 10 games.
  • Houston has faced a pair of former NHL All-Stars in net this season, and the results haven’t been good for the netminder. October 21, the Aeros faced Detroit’s Chris Osgood on a conditioning assignment for Grand Rapids, and beat the two-time Stanley Cup champion for six goals on 24 shots en route to a 7-3 victory. Saturday at Toyota Center, Peoria’s Patrick Lalime, down from St. Louis, yielded seven goals on 39 shots in a 7-2 Aeros’ victory. Houston has faced a third goalie who has spent virtually all of 2005-06 in the NHL, except for injury rehab. The Aeros beat Rochester’s Ryan Miller, down from Buffalo, four times on 24 shots in a 5-2 Houston victory on December 9.
  • The Aeros have trailed at some point in 10 of their 21 victories. Six of the 10 come-from-behind victories have come on the road.
  • Houston continues a five-game homestand this Friday, and that’s good news for the Aeros. Houston, 12-2-1-1 at Toyota Center this season, is 18-2-1-3 in its last 24 regular-season home games, and 26-4-1-3 in the last 34. The Aeros’ .813 home points percentage ranks third in the AHL this season and second among Western Conference teams (Milwaukee, .818).
  • Since getting shut out 3-0 at home by Milwaukee November 27, the Aeros have scored 24 goals at Toyota Center in only four games.
  • Thirteen of the Aeros’ first 21 games were decided by one goal. Since then, however, 10 straight games have been decided by at least two goals.
  • Houston has won three straight and six of seven. The Aeros have won three straight games for the fourth time this season.
  • D Kurtis Foster, who began the season with the Aeros, scored the game-winning goal in overtime Saturday for the Minnesota Wild in a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
  • Mike Yeo, former captain of the Aeros and a member of the 1999 Turner Cup championship team, has been named an assistant coach with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Yeo had been in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) but was promoted last week to the NHL’s Penguins along with head coach Michel Therrien.Yeo was an Aero from their first season in 1994-95 to 1998-99. He ranks third on the team’s all-time games played list (317), tied for eighth in goals (55), tied for seventh in points (127), third in penalty minutes (511) and first in major penalties (51). Yeo joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as a player in 1999-2000 but played only 19 games before having to retire due to injury at the age of 26. Other NHL coaches with Aeros connections are Dallas Stars head coach Dave Tippett, Dallas assistant coach Mark Lamb, Detroit Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan, Buffalo Sabres assistant Scott Arniel and Ottawa Senators goalie coach Ron Low.

    Player of the Week C Rem Murray
    12/16 vs. PEO 1-0=1, E
    12/17 vs. PEO 2-1=3, +3
    Totals - 2gp, 3-1=4, +3
    In first two games since being named alternate captain, the veteran centerman posted four points, including three goals, and was plus-three in a pair of Aeros wins over Peoria...Scored go-ahead goal in 5-3 win over Peoria on Friday...Scored GWG, and team’s final goal, in 7-2 victory over former NHL All-Star Patrick Lalime on Saturday, and added an assist on one of Patrick O’Sullivan’s two goals...Continuing his comeback from cervical dystonia, Murray has posted 15 points (6-9=15) in 26 games, including seven points (4-3=7) in six December contests.

    Down on the Farm -
    The CHL’s Austin Ice Bats are 9-12-2 for 20 points, fourth in the Southeast Division...D Aaron Schneekloth has 16 points (6-10=16) in 23 games...All six of Schneekloth’s goals have been PPG...The ECHL’s Pensacola Ice Pilots are 10-11-3 for 23 points, eighth in the South Division but only eight points out of first...D Chris Heid has seven points (1-6=7) in 16 games...The ECHL’s Toledo Storm is 11-8-3 for 25 points, good for fourth in the North Division...LW Mike James has nine points (5-4=9) and 81 PIM’s - second on the team - in 21 games.

    Aeros sweep Rivermen, lead West by four points
    HOU 5, PEO 3; HOU 7, PEO 2

    Houston kept on trucking last week with a pair of victories over the visiting Peoria Rivermen. The Aeros lead the entire Western Conference with 44 points, and their West Division lead is four points over Milwaukee, which has three games in hand. Houston is tied for second with Hershey for the most points in the AHL, trailing only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (23-2-2-1=49).

    Friday: Kirby Law tallied a power play goal and two assists to reach the 400-point mark in his career, and Rem Murray and 20-year-old Patrick O’Sullivan each scored one of Houston’s three power play goals, as the Aeros knocked off the Peoria Rivermen 5-3 at Toyota Center in the first of two straight meetings between the teams. Nineteen-year-old rookie sensation Roman Voloshenko and Bryan Lundbohm also scored and Josh Harding made 32 saves for Houston.

    Saturday: O’Sullivan and Murray each tallied two goals and an assist, and linemate Matt Foy added a career-best four helpers, as the Houston Aeros ruined former NHL All-Star Patrick Lalime’s Peoria debut with a 7-2 victory over the Rivermen. Voloshenko notched a goal and an assist in his final game before leaving for the prestigious World Junior Championships, and Erik Westrum and Josh Olson also scored for Houston, which got 40 saves from Harding.

    Aeros’ Practice schedule:
    Monday - Off
    Tuesday - Off
    Wednesday - TBA, Sugar Land
    Thursday - 10-11:30, Sugar Land
    Friday - 10-11, pre-game skate, vs. OMA, 7:35 p.m.
    Saturday - Off
    Sunday - Off

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