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Aeros Weekly Report - Jan. 22

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild


Coming Attractions – Home game Tuesday!


Click the above link or call 1.866.GO.AEROS for tickets.

TUE, vs. MIL, 7:05 p.m.
The Maple Leaf Pub Happy Hour

Get a center ice ticket, $10 in Toyota Bucks, free parking and a drink coupon to The Maple Leaf Pub, all for just $32. The package is also available in lower end zone for $23. Call 713.974.PUCK to order!

The Aeros and Admirals meet for the second straight game, after Houston earned a 6-1 victory at Toyota Center on Sunday. Beginning in that game, the Aeros play six of their next 16 games versus Milwaukee. Houston has won five of the last six regular season meetings, thanks in part to G Josh Harding, who is 5-2-0 in his career against the Admirals in the regular season. Harding has allowed just eight goals in those seven games.

Milwaukee is in a stretch where it plays six games in seven nights, as it begins its second three-in-three after an off day Monday. The Ads (21-16-3-4) are tied for third with Peoria. They lead sixth-place Houston by eight points, but the Aeros have a game in hand. Milwaukee is 5-2-0-1 in its last eight.

WED, at WOR, 6 p.m.
The Aeros make their first ever trip to Worcester to visit the Sharks, in their first season as San Jose’s AHL affiliate. Houston was 3-4-1-0 in eight trips to Worcester when the city hosted the St. Louis Blues’ affiliate, the IceCats, and Houston was 12-8-0-0 overall against Cleveland from 2001-06, when the city was San Jose’s affiliate.

The Sharks (20-16-1-6) are in fourth place in the tightly-contested Atlantic Division, but they are just six points out of second. Worcester has just one loss (4-1-0-1) over its last six games. The Sharks feature former Aeros defenseman Scott Ferguson.

FRI, at MCH, 6:35 p.m.
The Aeros pay a return visit to Verizon Wireless Arena after losing 3-2 at home to Manchester on Friday. Houston fell 4-2 in Manchester in its only other trip, February 10, 2006, and the Aeros are 0-2-1-0 all-time versus the Monarchs, who feature former Aero and former AHL Rookie of the Year Patrick O’Sullivan.

The Monarchs (26-12-6-1) own a six-point lead over Hartford in the Atlantic Division. Manchester is 11-2-0-0 in its last 13 games after a 5-4 shootout win in San Antonio on Sunday. The Monarchs play host to Springfield Wednesday before the Aeros come to town.

SAT, at HAR, 6 p.m.
After winning four of their first six meetings with Hartford, the Aeros are just 1-4-0-2 since. Houston dropped both meetings last season, including a 4-3 game in Hartford on February 11. Hartford earned a 4-3, come-from-behind win at Toyota Center on November 19, the Wolf Pack’s third straight win in the series. Houston led 3-2 early in the third period, but Dale Purinton tied things up with 7:57 remaining, and Dwight Helminen capped the rally with the game-winner with 27 ticks remaining. The Aeros are 2-3-0-1 all-time at Hartford Civic Center.

The Wolf Pack (25-17-3-0) ranks second in the Atlantic Division, trailing Manchester by six points. Hartford has only one regulation loss over its last 12 games (10-1-1-0) overall, but sports just a 10-11-3-0 home mark.

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.

Player of the Week G Josh Harding

Aeros G Josh Harding
1/19 vs. MCH 30-33, L
1/21 vs. MIL 26-27, W
Totals – 2gp, 1-1-0, 2.01 gaa, .933 pct.
Improved to 8-3-1 in last 12 decisions with Sunday’s 6-1 win over Milwaukee, stopping 26-of-27 shots…Ranks second in AHL in games played (37), minutes (2,211), shots faced (1,149) and saves (1,058)…Is tied for fourth in wins (17), 10th in gaa (2.47) and tied for fourth in save pct. (.921).

Notables –

  • Two nights after drawing 10,656 – their fourth-largest crowd ever at Toyota Center – the Aeros welcomed 6,336 Sunday – their largest Sunday since March 19, 2006. Houston ranks ninth in the 27-team AHL with an average attendance of 6,082 through 22 home games, after averaging 5,800 for the entire 2005-06 season. Average attendance in the past four home games is an impressive 7,464. Houston is up 23.6 percent overall in attendance through the first 22 home games compared to 2005-06.
  • Second-year D Shawn Belle posted his first career two-goal game Sunday. He had just three career goals entering the contests. Belle became the first Aeros defenseman other than Curtis Murphy to score two goals in a game since Brent Burns did it April 15, 2005, against Chicago.
  • Houston is 7-1-0-1 when scoring two or more power play goals. The Aeros went 3-for-6 on the man advantage Sunday to move to 15.0 percent – up to a tie for 21st in the AHL.
  • Nine of Houston’s 18 victories have been in come-from-behind fashion, including Sunday’s 6-1 win over Milwaukee.
  • The Aeros have allowed the game’s first goal in 10 of their last 12 games, including six straight. Houston has scored first in just 16 of its 43 games (37.2 percent).
  • LW Benoit Pouliot matched a career-high with three points (1-2=3) Sunday. Pouliot now has 24 points (16-8=24), tied for 23rd among AHL rookies.

    Affiliation News

    The National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild hits the All-Star Break in third place in the Northwest Division with 54 points (25-20-4)…The Wild sits in eighth place overall in the Western Conference...Following the All-Star festivities in Dallas, Minnesota plays host to Calgary on Friday and travels to Columbus on Saturday…C Wyatt Smith has two assists in 34 games and is averaging 9:23 TOI.

    The ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters won two of three games last week and have won three of four overall…The Wildcatters are 23-11-2-3 for 51 points, one behind first-place Gwinnett… Texas plays host to South Carolina on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to continue a seven-game homestand…D Paul Albers (9-19=28) and D Mike Madill (2-25=27), both Minnesota Wild contracts and ECHL All-Stars, rank fifth and tied for seventh, respectively, among all ECHL defensemen despite their rookie status…F Mark Rooneem has 12 points (6-6=12) in 34 games…Riley Emmerson has three points (2-1=3) and 81 PIM’s in 2318 games…C Alex Leavitt has 14 points (5-9=14) in 13 games…G Miroslav Kopriva is 8-1-0-2 with a 2.89 gaa and a .902 save pct...G Matt Yeats, who attended Aeros camp, is 15-9-2-1 with a 3.13 gaa and a .909 save pct.

    The Central Hockey League’s Austin Ice Bats are 14-15-7 and tied for third place in the Southeast Division…G Tony Quesada, is 0-3-0 with a 2.71 gaa and a .902 save pct.

    Aeros split pair at home
    MCH 3, HOU 2; HOU 6, MIL 1 

    Friday: Jason LaBarbera made 22 saves and Matt Ryan, Noah Clarke and Marty Murray scored a goal apiece, as the Manchester Monarchs held on to defeat the Houston Aeros 3-2 in front of 10,656 – the fourth-largest Aeros crowd ever at Toyota Center.
    Roman Voloshenko scored a power play goal, Josh Olson added a shorthanded goal and Josh Harding made 30 saves for Houston.

    Sunday: Defenseman Shawn Belle posted his first career two-goal game, Benoit Pouliot and Roman Voloshenko each tallied a goal and two assists and Josh Harding made 26 saves, as the Houston Aeros routed the Milwaukee Admirals 6-1 at Toyota Center. Jason Morgan and Peter Olvecky added a goal apiece and Erik Reitz chipped in two helpers for Houston.

    Aeros’ Practice schedule:
    Monday – 1-2 p.m., Sugar Land
    Tuesday – 10:15-11 a.m., pre-game skate; vs. MIL 7:05 p.m.
    Wednesday – at WOR, 6 p.m.
    Thursday – Practice in MCH
    Friday – at MCH 6:35 p.m.
    Saturday – at HAR 6 p.m.
    Sunday – All-Star Break

    Non game-day practices (unless specified) are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.


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