Quesada is 0-5-0 with a 4.59 gaa for the Aeros this season. Kopriva is 2-3-1 with a 3.30 gaa for Houston after putting up a 6-4-1 mark, a 3.51 gaa and a .890 save pct. for the Aeros in 2005-06.
AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
Coming Attractions – North Division road trip!
FRI, at TOR, 6:30 p.m.Notables – A crowd of 11,678 – the third largest crowd in Toyota Center history – saw Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over Peoria. That moved the Aeros’ average attendance up to ninth in the 27-team AHL at 6,236 per game. The Aeros are up 8.3 percent over the first 32 games from the 2005-06 season, when they increased attendance for the third consecutive campaign. Three of the top six crowds in Toyota Center history have happened since January 19, including the second-biggest crowd February 17 against Chicago – 12,021. In the 12 home games since January 19, the Aeros are averaging 6,895. Since averaging 5,124 fans in 2002-03 – the lowest in team history – the Aeros have increased attendance 21.7 percent to their current average of 6,236. Houston is on pace to average its highest attendance in eight seasons – since drawing 7,325 in the 1998-99 campaign. Aeros LW Peter Olvecky, who had one goal in 10 games since January 23 entering play Saturday, notched his third career two-goal game. He also scored the deciding shootout goal. It marked Olvecky’s first two-goal outing since March 17, 2006, at Milwaukee. Olvecky’s only other two-goal home game had come October 21, 2005, versus Grand Rapids. Aeros D Curtis Murphy became the fourth player – and first defenseman – in team history to reach 200 career points on Wednesday in Chicago. He followed that up with a power play goal on Saturday versus Peoria, his first PPG in 72 regular- and post-season games dating back to April 15, 2006, in Chicago. Saturday’s win over Peoria snapped a 12-game March winless slide (0-9-2-1) dating back to last season. It also snapped Houston’s eight-game overall winless streak (0-7-0-1). The Aeros head back on the road this week trying to snap a franchise-record 12-game road winless slide (0-9-2-1). The last AHL team to go winless in 12 straight road games in a single season was Springfield, winless in 16 games from December 31, 2004-April 3, 2005. Seven of Houston’s nine one-goal wins have come in a shootout. The Aeros moved to 7-6 in shootouts on Saturday, having played 13 to tie Portland for the AHL lead.
It’s the second and final meeting of the season between the Aeros and Marlies, who earned a 2-1 win at Toyota Center on November 3 behind 36 saves from Justin Pogge and a third-period goal from Jeremy Williams. The teams split two games last season. Houston lost 4-2 in its lone trip to Ricoh Coliseum on November 19, 2005. Aeros winger Joel Ward is a Toronto native, while former Aero Erik Westrum leads the Marlies in scoring with 55 points (22-33=55).
Toronto (24-33-2-4) snapped a four-game skid Sunday with a 2-1 overtime win over Hamilton but is in last place in the North Division with 54 points – 17 out of the final playoff spot. The Marlies are a league-worst 10-19-2-1 at home.
SAT, at SYR, 6:30 p.m.
The Crunch defeated the Aeros 4-1 at Toyota Center on January 6 in the teams’ lone meeting of the season, behind a goal and two assists from Joakim Lindstrom. Houston is 3-2-0-0 all-time versus Syracuse, splitting the two games at War Memorial at Oncenter.
Syracuse (24-30-2-7) has 57 points – 14 behind fourth-place Grand Rapids for the final playoff spot, with just 17 games remaining. The Crunch has won five of seven.
SUN, at ROC, 5:05 p.m.
The Aeros and Americans meet twice in a six-day stretch, with Rochester visiting Toyota Center on March 23. Houston swept two games last season by a combined 10-3 margin and has just one regulation loss in 10 all-time meetings with the Amerks (6-1-3-0). At Blue Cross Arena at War Memorial, Houston is unbeaten in regulation at 3-0-2-0.
Rochester (37-24-1-0) has lost four in a row and eight of nine, with much of its roster on recall to NHL Buffalo and Florida. That has dropped the Americans into third place in the North Division, eight back of first-place Manitoba. Rochester has two games in hand on the Moose.
All Aeros games are broadcast live on KNTH 1070-AM and through Aeros.com.. For $6, you can also watch the game live via B2 Networks. Visit Aeros.com 10 minutes prior to gametime to order.
It’s a Spring Fling with the Aeros! Get four open ended vouchers for any 2006-07 regular season game, an autographed game puck, a free ticket to the April 7 game and a $10 James Coney Island Coupon, all for just $44! Download the form or call 713.974.PUCK now to order.
The 9th Annual Houston Aeros Charities Celebrity Waiter Dinner & Auction is quickly approaching – Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel. The event benefits the Aeros Power Playroom on the 9th floor at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Few table sponsorships remain, so call 713.974.PUCK today to reserve your spot!.
Player of the Week G Dieter Kochan
3/7 at CHI 33-34, ND
3/10 vs. PEO 24-27, W (SO)
Totals – 2gp, 1-0-0, 2.29 gaa, .935 pct.
Earned a win in lone start last week, plus a 33-of-34 no-decision performance in relief Wednesday in Chicago…Saturday versus Peoria, made 24 saves, plus four-of-five in shootout, in 4-3 win over Peoria…Had gone 0-5-1 in his last six decisions.
The National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild (39-24-7) won three straight last week after falling 3-0 at home to San Jose…Sunday’s 3-2 OT win over Colorado was keyed by two goals from former Aeros C Mikko Koivu, and an OT tally from former Aeros D Brent Burns…The Wild is tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with 85 points…Minnesota is two points behind division-leading Vancouver, which has a game in hand…Minnesota goes on its final Canadian road trip of the season, taking on Vancouver on Tuesday, Edmonton on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday…C Wyatt Smith has three points (1-2=3) in 52 games and is averaging 9:13 TOI…G Josh Harding is 2-0-1 with a 0.66 gaa and a .978 save pct. in four games...Harding made 35 saves in a 5-1 win over Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo on Friday.
The ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters lead the South Division with 79 points (35-19-5-4) after winning three of four road games last week…The Wildcatters have a one-point lead over Florida, which has four games in hand, and a two-point edge over Gwinnett, which has three games in hand…Texas begins a six-game homestand with games Friday and Saturday against Augusta …D Mike Madill (4-36=40), and D Paul Albers(12-27=39), both Minnesota Wild contracts and ECHL All-Stars, are tied for seventh and ninth among all ECHL defensemen despite their rookie status…Among rookies, Madill is tied for ninth and Albers is tied for 12th…F Mark Rooneem has 22 points (10-12=22)…F/D Riley Emmerson has three points (2-1=3) and 88 PIM’s… G Matt Yeats, who attended Aeros camp, is 27-16-5-2 with a 3.10 gaa and a .906 save pct…G Miroslav Kopriva is 8-1-0-2 with a 2.89 gaa and a .902 save pct.
The Central Hockey League’s Austin Ice Bats are 20-24-14 and are in fourth place in the Southeast Division…G Tony Quesada is 3-7-3 with a 2.91 gaa and a .910 save pct.
Aeros split pair
CHI 4, HOU 1; HOU 4, PEO 3 (SO)
Wednesday: Andy Delmore, Mark Popovic and Cory Larose scored a goal apiece in a 2:59 span late in the first period and Michael Garnett made 35 saves, as the Chicago Wolves defeated the Houston Aeros 4-1 at Allstate Arena. Jordan LaVallee added a goal and an assist for Chicago.
Ben Thomson scored a power play goal and Miroslav Kopriva made 12 saves in one period for Houston.
Saturday: Peter Olvecky scored two goals in regulation and the deciding shootout goal, as the Houston Aeros defeated the Peoria Rivermen 4-3 in front of 11,678 – the third largest crowd ever at Toyota Center. Curtis Murphy added a power play goal and Dieter Kochan made 27 saves for Houston (22-32-3-6), which was 0-7-0-1 in its last eight games.
Mike Glumac had a hat trick and Chris Beckford-Tseu made 27 saves for Peoria.
Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Monday – 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Tuesday – 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Wednesday – 10-11:30 a.m., Sugar Land
Thursday – Travel Day
Friday – at TOR, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday – at SYR, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday – at ROC, 5:05 p.m.
Non game-day practices (unless specified) are at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, the Official Training Facility of the Houston Aeros.