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Aeros Weekly Report

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild


This week on - Check out Tuesday for Junior Reporter Michael McHugh’s feature story on new Aeros head coach Rob Daum. That’s Tuesday on, your official home for everything Aeros.

Coming attractions:

FRI, at PEO, 7 p.m.
Houston continues a five-game road trip Friday with its first trip to Peoria in almost 10 seasons. The Rivermen are in their first year as an AHL franchise after relocating from Worcester after 2004-05. The Aeros have played two games in Peoria, when the teams were in the IHL. Houston won 4-1 in its last trip to Carver Arena, 2/9/96. The Rivermen relocated to San Antonio for the 1996-97 season. Against the Blues’ top farm club, the Aeros are 3-4-1-0, but they are winless in the last five meetings (0-4-1-0). Houston hasn’t beat Worcester/Peoria since February 6, 2002. The Aeros have been blanked in two of the last four meetings.

SAT, at GR, 6 p.m.
The Aeros renew one of their oldest rivalries, making their first of two trips of the season to Van Andel Arena. After playing at least eight times in each of their first four seasons in the AHL, Houston and Grand Rapids will face off only four times in 2005-06. The Aeros went 4-2-0-2 against Grand Rapids last season, including a 2-2-0-0 road mark. In an always entertaining rivalry, six of the teams’ eight meetings a season ago were decided by one goal, including three of four in Grand Rapids. The Griffins’ new assistant coach, Jim Paek, is a former Aero.

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.

Records all around - The Aeros’ home opener last night was a historic one for many players. Nineteen-year-old Belarus native Roman Voloshenko became the youngest Aero in the team’s 12-year history to net a hat trick. Captain Kirby Law established a new career-high and became just the fourth player in team history with five points (2-3=5). He had a hand in all but one of Houston’s goals. The last Aero with five points was Greg Hawgood, 10/16/98, in a 7-3 win at Kansas City. Also, linemate Erik Westrum posted a career-high four assists. The four points were also a career-best. The line of Voloshenko, Law and Westrum combined for 12 of the team’s 18 scoring points. Both of Houston’s last two hat tricks have come from rookies. In addition to Voloshenko, teammate Bill Kinkel scored three times in a 4-1 win over Cincinnati last March 30. Also, the game set a Toyota Center record for goals, eclipsing a 5-5 tie with Utah 3/23/04.

Murphy climbing charts - Aeros veteran defenseman Curtis Murphy’s assist Saturday in San Antonio was his 102nd point with the team. That moves him into a tie for 20th on the franchise’s all-time ledger with Michael Maurice. Dan Cavanaugh is 19th with 106, while Cam Stewart is 18th at 107 and Graeme Townshend is 17th with 108. Murphy’s 67 assists rank him 15th, one behind Scott Arniel and only six out of the top 10.

Wild roster has 11 former Aeros, including eight from 2004-05 - The Minnesota Wild opened up the season last week with 25 total players on the roster, counting injured reserve. Eleven of those played for the Aeros at one point in their careers, and eight in 2004-05 alone. Counting Dallas’ John Erskine and Phoenix’ Zbynek Michalek, 10 players off last season’s team began the season in the NHL.

Oddities occur - Last season, the Aeros were nearly automatic when leading after one period, and equally so in the opposite way when trailing after one. Yet during opening weekend, Houston won a game when trailing after 20 minutes, and lost another when holding the lead. The Aeros won only four games in 2004-05 (4-17-2-1) when trailing after one. When carrying a lead into the locker room, on the other hand, Houston was 27-5-5-1, including a 10-1-0-0 mark on the road. Saturday’s loss occurred in San Antonio. The Aeros had an impressive 16 come-from-behind wins in 2004-05, and lost only five times in regulation when leading (40-5-2-2).

Player of the week RW Kirby Law -
Totaled six points (2-4=6) and was plus-one in only two games as Aeros went 1-1-0-0 last week...Had career-high and became only fourth Aero in 12-year team history with five points (2-3=5) in Friday’s 6-5 win over SAN...Had a hand in final five goals, including three on the power play...Assisted on one of Houston’s two goals Saturday in 3-2 loss at SAN...Tied for second in league in points and assists.

Law this week...
10/7 vs. SAN 2-3=5, +1
10/8 at SAN 0-1=1, E
Totals - 2gp, 2-4=6, +1

Aeros split with Rampage to begin 2005-06 campaign
HOU 6, SAN 5; SAN 3, HOU 2
The Aeros and Rampage played a pair of one-goal games to begin 2005-06. Houston began the season with a 6-5 win at Toyota Center on Friday, but San Antonio won its home opener Saturday in come-from-behind fashion, 3-2.
Friday: Nineteen-year-old Roman Voloshenko became the youngest player in the 12-year history of the Houston Aeros to net a hat trick and linemate Kirby Law posted two goals and three assists to become the fourth player in team history to notch five points, as the Aeros overcame an early deficit, then held on for a 6-5 victory over the San Antonio Rampage on Opening Night at Toyota Center. Erik Westrum added a career-best four assists as the Aeros’ top line combined for 12 points. Kurtis Foster contributed two helpers and 19-year-old Peter Olvecky also scored for the Aeros.
Josh Harding made 25 saves for Houston.
Steve Passmore made 42 saves and Layne Ulmer scored twice, while Brad Ference, Martin Podlesak and Steve Gainey each scored for San Antonio, which was outshot 41-26.
Saturday: Matthew Spiller, Frantisek Lukes and Randall Gelech each scored power play goals, as the San Antonio Rampage rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win over the Houston Aeros at SBC Center. Steve Passmore made 24 saves for San Antonio..
Westrum scored a power play goal and Erik Reitz also had a tally for Houston, which was trying to win its first two games for the second time in its 12-year history.
Harding finished with 31 saves for the Aeros.
Houston fell to 25-6-5-2 all-time against the Rampage, and lost in regulation for just the fourth time in 19 trips to SBC Center (9-4-4-2). It marked just the Aeros’ second loss in regulation in the last 20 meetings (15-2-2-1).

Aeros’ Practice schedule:
Monday - Off
Tuesday - 10-11:30, Sugar Land
Wednesday - 10:30-11:30, Sugar Land
Thursday - Depart for PEO
Friday - at PEO, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday - at GR 6 p.m.
Sunday - Travel Day

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