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Aeros Weekly Report - Jan. 23

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild


Coming Attractions:

TUE, at PEO, 7 p.m.
Houston plays game two of a four-game road trip while continuing a grueling stretch of seven games in nine nights in four cities. The Aeros are 3-1-0-0 against the Rivermen this season, beating Peoria 7-2 and 5-1 in the last two meetings. Peoria goaltender Patrick Lalime, a former NHL All-Star, is 0-2-0 with a 7.00 gaa versus the Aeros this season. The Rivermen have won five of six with the lone loss coming Saturday at Toyota Center.

THU, at IOW, 7:05 p.m.
The Stars have visited Toyota Center four times, but the Aeros make their first ever trip to Des Moines. Houston is 3-1-0-0 versus Iowa this season. The Stars are 4-6-0-0 in their last 10, but one of the wins was a 3-2 decision in Houston on January 13. Iowa is 21-19-1-1 and sits in fourth place in the West Division with 44 points.

FRI, at PEO, 7:30 p.m.
The teams have split a pair of meetings at Carver Arena this season. Houston won 3-1 on October 14 on a late goal by Erik Westrum that snapped a tie with less than a minute remaining, but the Rivermen came back with a 4-0 shutout on October 30 behind current St. Louis Blues netminder Jason Bacashihua.

SAT, vs. Chicago, 7:35 p.m.
Trading Cards, Set 1 (3K)/Boy Scout Night
Vince Young Scholarship Fund Night
Buy tickets
The Aeros will honor Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player Vince Young with a ceremonial puck drop. Click here to find out how your ticket purchases can help launch the Vince Young Scholarship Fund for the Mount Horeb Missionary Baptist Church, or how you can get an autographed photo of the Texas Longhorns star quarterback!
Houston returns to Toyota Center for a three-game homestand before playing 19 of its last 30 games on the road. The Wolves handed the Aeros their worst home loss of the season, 5-1 on October 25, but Houston returned the favor with a 4-0 shutout this past Sunday behind 30 saves from Seamus Kotyk and two goals and an assist from Erik Westrum. The Aeros are 5-2-2-0 in the last nine home meetings with the Wolves.

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 C Erik Westrum
1/20 vs. ROC 1-1=2, +1
1/21 vs. PEO 0-4=4, +3
1/22 at CHI 2-1=3, +1
Totals - 3gp, 3-6=9, +5
AHL’s leading scorer continued torrid stretch with nine points (3-6=9) in three wins...Also went plus-five...Notched goal and assist in 5-1 win over Rochester on Friday...Tallied four assists to tie career-high in 5-1 victory over Peoria on Saturday...Three assists in second period tied team record...Notched fourth straight multiple-point game by totaling two goals and an assist in 4-0 shutout in Chicago on Sunday, the Aeros’ first regulation win at Allstate Arena in 21 tries...Has eight-game point streak (8-11=19)...Also has a season-best eight-game assist streak, one off Petr Taticek’s team season-high and two off Syracuse’s Mark Hartigan’s AHL season-high... Has points in 19 of his last 20 games, with 33 points (12-21=33) in that span...Has reached career-highs in goals (22), assists (46) and points (68)...On pace for a 124-point campaign, which would better Brian Wiseman’s 109-point season in 1998-99...No other Aero has ever notched more than 100 points in a season

Notables -
  • Kirby Law established a new franchise-record Sunday with a career-best 16-game point streak which he carries into this week’s four games. Law has 31 points (13-18=31) in that span, which eclipses Brian Wiseman’s 15-game run from December 27, 1998-January 30, 1999. It’s one off Portland’s Corey Perry’s AHL season-high.
  • The Aeros have outscored their opponents 18-3 in their four-game winning streak. Houston has won 14 of 16 and 17 of 20 games. The Aeros have scored 92 goals in their last 20 games since being shut out 3-0 by Milwaukee on November 27.
  • The Aeros have outscored their opponents 10-1 in the first period of their four-game winning streak and 19-6 in the last nine games. Houston is an AHL-best plus-23 (54-31) in the opening 20 minutes this season.
  • Houston has scored at least two goals in a period in 12 straight games.
  • Houston has won four straight road games to tie a season-high. A win Tuesday in Peoria would tie the second-longest road winning streak in team history at five games. It’s been accomplished four times - most recently October 18-24, 2002. The Aeros are 12-6-0-0 away from Toyota Center for a .667 winning percentage. Only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (17-3-1-1, .818) has a better road mark.
  • The Aeros are 20-4-1-1 at home for 42 points and a .808 points percentage. Both are league-bests.
  • The Aeros have killed off 40-of-41 shorthanded chances over the last seven games since Grand Rapids went 5-for-10 on January 6. The run has moved Houston into a tie for third place in the AHL on the penalty kill at 85.8 percent. Houston is 15-2-0-1 when not allowing a power play goal and 25-4-1-1 when allowing one power play goal or fewer.
  • Houston ranks first in the AHL on the power play at 21.5 percent. The Aeros have three of the top power play goal getters in the league. Erik Westrum leads the AHL with 14, while Roman Voloshenko is tied for third with 13. Kirby Law, meanwhile, has 10 power play markers - just one goal out of the top 10.
  • The Aeros are 34-for-126 (27.0 percent) with the man advantage in the last 20 games. Houston has scored two or more PPG in 12 of its last 19 games. The Aeros have been outscored on the power play just twice in its last 22 games.
  • Erik Westrum, who has four straight multiple-point contests and six in the last seven games, has 68 points (22-46=68), four ahead of Kirby Law (27-37=64) for the AHL’s points lead.
  • Erik Westrum has an eight-game point streak (8-11=19). He also has a season-best eight-game assist streak, one off Petr Taticek’s team season-high and two off Syracuse’s Mark Hartigan’s AHL season-high. Westrum has points in 19 of his last 20 games, with 33 points (12-21=33) in that span.
  • Patrick O’Sullivan has sole possession of the AHL rookie scoring lead with 46 points (23-23=46). That total ranks him tied for ninth among all AHL players, giving Houston three players in the top 10. Teammate Roman Voloshenko is tied for sixth among rookies with 37 points (24-13=37), including a rookie-best 24 goals.
  • Seamus Kotyk made 30 saves in Sunday’s 4-0 win in Chicago, his first shutout since December 23, 2003, when he blanked Rochester while playing for Cleveland. Kotyk, getting the bulk of work in place of an injured Josh Harding, is 6-1-0 with a 1.35 gaa in his last seven appearances. Kotyk has improved to 9-3-0 with a 2.46 gaa and .919 save percentage overall on the season. Sunday marked Houston’s first regular-season shutout at Allstate Arena since November 20, 1998, and just the second in 38 trips.
  • The Aeros already have four 20-goal scorers. No other AHL team has more than two. Houston has had more than four 20-goal scorers just twice in team history - it had five in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
  • Houston has a trio of players with at least 10 power play goals. There are only 13 AHL players who have reached double digits in that category. Only Grand Rapids and Peoria have as many as two. The Aeros have had more than two players with 10 power play markers just once in team history, when four accomplished the feat in 1998-99, including Jeff Christian’s franchise-record 20.
  • The Aeros are averaging 3.82 goals per game and are on pace to score 305 goals. Houston scored a franchise-record 307 goals in 1998-99, but that came in an 82-game season.
  • Petr Taticek, recalled by NHL Florida Friday, made his NHL debut Saturday for the Panthers in a 1-0 loss in Anaheim. Taticek played seven shifts for 3:49 of ice time. He took one shot and won the only faceoff he took.
  • Since Hamilton goalie Yann Danis helped beat the Aeros 7-1 on December 10, the Aeros have played in 10 games against goalies who have played in the NHL at some point this season. Houston is 9-1-0 against those netminders, burning them to the tune of a 4.99 gaa and a .845 save percentage. The lone NHL goalie to beat the Aeros in that span was Grand Rapids’ Jimmy Howard in a wild 6-5 game on January 6 that saw the Griffins score five power play goals in the third period. Overall this season, goalies who have played in the NHL in 2005-06 are 7-13-1 with a 3.62 gaa and a .875 save percentage versus the Aeros. Houston figures to face an "NHL goalie" in no less than six of its next seven games. Houston has faced Peoria’s Patrick Lalime twice, and fellow former NHL All-Star Chris Osgood once. The goalies are a combined 0-3-0 with a 6.62 gaa versus the Aeros. Lalime is 0-2-0 with a 7.00 gaa versus the Aeros this season.
  • Houston has enjoyed great success on the ice at home this season, but also in the stands as of late. In the last 12 games, dating back to December 16, Toyota Center has hosted 69,250 fans for an average of 5,771. That has boosted the Aeros’ attendance average to 5,170 - 11th best in the AHL. Houston has bettered the 7,000 mark in attendance in each of the last two games, including a season-high 7,752 Saturday on Girl Scout Night. It’s the first time the Aeros have topped 7,000 fans in back-to-back games in nearly two full seasons, since February 20 (7,256) and February 28 (8,554) of 2004. That streak is sure to get to three games this Saturday, with former Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player Vince Young in attendance on Boy Scout Night.

    Aeros sweep week to run win streak to four
    HOU 5, ROC 1; HOU 5, PEO 1; HOU 4, CHI 0
    Houston swept three games in three nights last week, outscoring its opponents 14-2 in the process. The Aeros are 32-10-1-1 for 66 points, trailing only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (32-6-3-1=68, .810 percentage) for both the points lead and winning percentage lead. Houston’s lead in the West Division is six points over Milwaukee, which has a game in hand.
    Friday: Patrick O’Sullivan scored two goals, Erik Westrum tallied a goal and an assist, and Seamus Kotyk made 34 saves, as the Houston Aeros scored four times in the opening 10 minutes en route to a 5-1 victory over the Rochester Americans at Toyota Center. Roman Voloshenko and Josh Olson also scored and Matt Foy and Rem Murray each pitched in two helpers for the Aeros.
    Saturday: Roman Voloshenko notched two goals and an assist, Kirby Law tallied a goal and two assists to extend his point streak to a team-record-tying 15 games and Erik Westrum supplied four helpers to tie a career-high, as the Houston Aeros defeated the Peoria Rivermen 5-1 at Toyota Center in front of a season-high crowd of 7,752 on Girl Scout Night. Miroslav Kopriva made 35 saves and rookies Patrick O’Sullivan and Clayton Stoner each netted a goal for Houston.
    Sunday: Seamus Kotyk made 30 saves for his first shutout in more than two seasons, Erik Westrum posted two goals and an assist and Roman Voloshenko and Patrick O’Sullivan each added a goal and a helper, as the Houston Aeros knocked off the Chicago Wolves 4-0 for their first regulation win at Allstate Arena in their last 21 attempts. Kirby Law established a new franchise record with a 16-game point streak for Houston.

    Aeros’ Practice schedule:
    Monday - practice in PEO
    Tuesday - at PEO, 7 p.m.
    Wednesday - Travel Day
    Thursday - at IOW, 7:05 p.m.
    Friday - at PEO, 7:30 p.m.
    Saturday - vs. CHI 7:35 p.m.
    Sunday - All-Star Break
    Aeros non game-day practices are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.

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