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Aeros Weekly Report - Jan. 30

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild


Coming Attractions:

TUE, 2006 RBK Hockey AHL All-Star Classic (Skills Competition), 7 p.m.
Click here for TV listings.
Four Aeros All-Stars - Erik Westrum and Patrick O’Sullivan (PlanetUSA) and Kirby Law and Curtis Murphy (Canadian All-Star Team) participate in the skills competition at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Goaltender Josh Harding will not participate in the All-Star Classic festivities due to injury.

WED, 2006 RBK Hockey AHL All-Star Classic (All-Star Game), 7 p.m.
Click here for TV listings.
The Aeros quartet faces off against each other in All-Star Game.

SAT, vs. MIL, 7:35 p.m.
60’s Night/Trading Cards, Set 2 (3K)

Special Olympics Night, presented by Direct Energy
Buy tickets
The Admirals have stayed on the Aeros’ heels all season, and enter this week just six points behind the first-place Aeros. The teams have been 1-2 in the West Division race for nearly two full months, since December 9. Milwaukee, which is 8-1-1-0 in its last 10, hosts Grand Rapids on Friday, so the lead could be down to four points when the Ads hit town for two straight games. Houston is 1-2-0-0 versus Milwaukee this season, and the teams split 3-0 shutout decisions at Toyota Center in late November. Admirals goalie Brian Finley has blanked the Aeros in three straight games and a record five times overall. His shutout sequence versus the Aeros is up to 189:31. Finley last allowed a goal to the Aeros on February 10, 2004, when Kirby Law scored in the third period of a 2-1 Admirals overtime win in Milwaukee. No other goalie has more than three career shutouts against Houston. The Aeros play game two of a three-game homestand that finishes with the February 7 Chronicle in Education Kids Day Game, before playing 19 of their last 30 games on the road.

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 RW Matt Foy
1/26 at IOW 2-0=2, E
1/27 at PEO 0-1=1, +1
1/28 vs. CHI 1-0=1, -1
Totals - 3gp, 3-1=4, E
Totaled four points (3-1=4) as Aeros went 2-1-0-0 with him in the lineup...Tallied second two-goal game of season in 6-4 loss at IOW Thursday...Picked up assist in 2-1 win at PEO Friday...Scored PPG in 5-4 victory over CHI Saturday...Has 23 points (8-15=23) in just 22 games, one point shy of his career high from each the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons...Averaged more than a point per game in January, with 12 points (6-6=12) in 11 games.

Notables -
  • Houston has scored five goals or more in 14 of its 27 home games, and four or more in 18. The Aeros have outscored their opponents by a whopping 113-65 margin at home. The plus-48 goal margin is the best in the AHL, and only Wilkes-Barre Scranton (83-42) is within 10 goals. Houston averages 4.19 gpg at home (113 goals in 27 games), on pace for a new franchise-record of 167 goals at home.
  • C Erik Westrum (31 points) and RW Kirby Law (29) each have points in each of the Aeros’ last 15 home games since a 3-0 shutout loss to Milwaukee on November 27.
  • In their last six victories, the Aeros have outscored their opponents 14-3 in the first period. In the last 13 games overall, Houston has a 25-10 goal margin in the opening 20 minutes, and overall on the season the Aeros are an AHL-best plus-26 (60-34).
  • Houston is 4-2-1-0 when playing its third game in three nights, with wins in each of the last three such situations. The Aeros have only a pair of "three-in-threes" left this season.
  • The Aeros hit the All-Star break with the top two scorers in the AHL in C Erik Westrum (24-47=71) and RW Kirby Law (27-39=66). Rookie C Patrick O’Sullivan leads all first-year players in points with 50 (25-25=50), a total that places him eighth in the league overall. LW Roman Voloshenko (24-14=38) is tied for ninth in rookie scoring. D Curtis Murphy ranks second among all league defensemen with 39 points (7-32=39), and G Josh Harding is tied for the AHL lead in wins (21) despite missing the last nine games due to injury.
  • Houston ranks second in the AHL on the power play (20.9 percent) and third on the penalty kill (85.6 percent), the only team in the league to place in the top five of each category.
  • The Aeros’ 21-4-1-1 home record (.815 percentage) is the best in the AHL, just ahead of Grand Rapids (18-3-1-2, .813 percentage).

    Aeros split four games, lead West by six points
    PEO 3, HOU 0; IOW 6, HOU 4; HOU 2, PEO 1; HOU 5, CHI 4
    Houston split four games last week, winning the final two to keep a six-point lead over Milwaukee in the West Division. The Ads have two games in hand. The Aeros are 34-12-1-1 for 70 points, trailing only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (34-6-3-2=73, .811 percentage) for both the points lead and winning percentage lead.
    Tuesday: Former NHL All-Star Patrick Lalime posted 33 saves and Ryan Ramsay’s goal 12 seconds into the second period gave him all the support he’d need, as the Peoria Rivermen defeated the Houston Aeros 3-0 at Carver Arena. Seamus Kotyk made 24 stops for Houston.
    Thursday: Krys Barch snapped a tie with 9:04 left in regulation - just 12 seconds after Houston tied the score - and Loui Eriksson netted his second goal of the game 1:24 later, as the Iowa Stars held off the Aeros 6-4 at the Iowa Events Center. Kyle Brodziak, Yan Stastny and Jamie Johnson each scored 3:30 apart early in the second period and former Aero Mike Smith made 32 saves for the Stars. Matt Foy scored two goals, Patrick O’Sullivan and Scott Ferguson each added one and Seamus Kotyk made 21 stops for Houston .
    Friday: Rem Murray and Bill Kinkel scored 1:08 apart midway through the first period and Miroslav Kopriva (kop-CHEEV-kah) outdueled veteran NHL goaltender Patrick Lalime for the second time in a week with 26 saves, as the Houston Aeros edged the Peoria Rivermen 2-1 at Carver Arena to snap a two-game losing streak.
    Saturday: AHL leading scorer Erik Westrum snapped a tie with his second goal of the game with 5:18 gone in the third period, as the Houston Aeros outlasted the Chicago Wolves 5-4 to the delight of 11,672 - the second-largest Aeros crowd at Toyota Center, including Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player Vince Young and thousands of Boy Scouts. Patrick O’Sullivan added a goal and an assist, and Josh Olson and Matt Foy also scored for Houston. Seamus Kotyk made 29 saves for the Aeros.

    Aeros’ Practice schedule:
    Monday - All-Star Break
    Tuesday - All-Star Break
    Wednesday - All-Star Break
    Thursday - 1-2:30 p.m., Sugar Land
    Friday - 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
    Saturday - 10-11, pre-game skate, vs. MIL 7:35 p.m.
    Sunday - TBA
    Aeros non game-day practices are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.

    Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center starts "Blow off those Monday blues drop in" - Starting Monday, Feb. 6, from 9:15-10:15 p.m. It’s $15 per skater, and you must be 18 years or older to play. All players must pre-register by Sunday night. Call the pro shop at 281.265.7469 today to reserve your spot. Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center is the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.

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