From: Patrick Armstrong
, Director of Communications
713.361.7920 (Direct Line)Scott Henninger
, Communications Manager
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Monday, April 7, 2008
HOUSTON AEROS WEEKLY UPDATE: APRIL 7
HOUSTON, Texas –
The Houston Aeros
started last week with the playoffs in sight but still with some work to do. After tallying a 3-1 record last week, capped with Sunday’s 5-0 shutout of Peoria, the only question left is who will the team play during the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs? The club is currently tied for third in the West Division at 92 points but only four points separate second from fifth.
Houston (43-27-2-4) takes on Quad City Wednesday and finishes off the regular season with a three-in-three set against Milwaukee. The set against Milwaukee will help determine where the teams stand at the conclusion of the regular season and could potentially be a playoff preview. Stay tuned to AEROS.com
for more details and schedules as Houston begins their quest to “Capture the Cup”. LAST WEEK
4/2 – W HOU 2 at LEM 0
4/4 – W HOU 4 at GRA 1
4/5 – L HOU 1 at MIL 2
4/6 – W HOU 5 at PEO 0
Wednesday, April 2
The Houston Aeros and Barry Brust shutout the Lake Erie Monsters for the second straight time with a 2-0 win Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena. The shutout marked Brust’s fourth of the year and the 10th this season for Houston breaking the team record for shutouts in a season. Ryan Hamilton and Joel Ward provided the offense for Houston. Friday, April 4:
The Houston Aeros guaranteed they wouldn’t lose any ground in the West Division by defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-1 in the final game of their non-division schedule. Ryan Hamilton netted two goals with Joel Ward recording three points as the Aeros continue their longest road trip of the season. Saturday, April 5:
The Houston Aeros gave up two unanswered goals and fell 2-1 to the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday night in front of 7,687 fans at Bradley Center. Pekka Rinne stopped 21 of 22 shots in net for Milwaukee who moved back into a three-way tie with Houston and San Antonio for third place in the West Division. Sunday, April 6:
The Houston Aeros ensured a visit to the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs as they eliminated the Peoria Rivermen from contension with a 5-0 victory Sunday afternoon in front of 4,070 fans at Carver Arena. Milan Gajic earned the team’s first hat trick of the season as Nolan Schaefer backstopped the club to their 11th shutout. Houston will make their sixth post-season appearance in seven AHL seasons. THIS WEEKWED. at QCY, 7:05 p.m. CDTFRI. at MIL, 7 p.m. CDT SAT. vs. MIL, 7:35 p.m. CDTSUN. vs. MIL, 4:05 p.m. CDT Wednesday, April 9
Houston will visit the Quad City Flames for the final time this season in a 7:05 p.m. contest Wednesday night. The Aeros have a 3-3-0-1 record against Quad City this season with two of the wins coming in shootouts. Even though the Flames are not in contention for the playoffs they could still play spoiler as the Aeros fight for a better spot in the division. Tune in to Jason Shaver on AM 1070-KNTH
as he calls the game live from i wireless Center. Friday, April 11
Friday’s 7 p.m. game will mark the last visit to Milwaukee during the regular season but the first of three straight games against the club before starting the Calder Cup Playoffs. The teams are currently tied for third in the West Division. These three games will determine who plays who and where when the playoffs begin. The contests could potentially be a preview of a playoff match-up. Jason Shaver will again have the call on AM 1070-KNTH so you don’t miss any of the action from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13
Game two of the three game set against Milwaukee will have the first 3,000 fans inside Toyota Center getting Aeros Thunderstix to help cheer the team on in the final stretch. Saturday’s contest is also your last chance to bid on the “Jerseys Off Their Backs” so don’t miss it! The first 3,000 fans into Sunday’s regular-season finale will receive Rally Towels on Fan Appreciation night. Tickets are still available to see these intense games as the playoffs unfold. Call 713.974.PUCK to get your tickets today
! Aeros Player of the Week: LW Ryan Hamilton Day Opponent G A PTS Notes
Wed. at. Lake Erie 1 0 1 Netted game-winning power-play goal
Fri. at Grand Rapids 2 0 2 Third two-goal game in last six games played
Sat. at Milwaukee 0 0 0
Sun. at Peoria 0 0 0Totals 3 0 3 was plus-4 in plus/minus rating Ryan Hamilton
stayed hot during this past week recording three goals in four games including a two-goal outing against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday night extending his goal-scoring streak to three games, tying a season high. Hamilton recorded the game-winning goal in Lake Erie on Wednesday for his fourth game winner of the season. Hamilton is currently tied with Adrian Foster and Joel Ward for the team lead with 38 points this season and his 20 goals leads the team. Hamilton recorded 12 goals in a 15-game stretch from March 4- April 4 culminating with his two-goal night in Grand Rapids. Hamilton has three two-goal games in his last eight outings. TEAM NOTES
• Houston clinched a playoff berth with a win on Sunday. This will mark the sixth appearance in seven seasons in the AHL. The post-season appearance is also the 12th in the franchises 14 season history.
• Milan Gajic
’s hat trick on Sunday was the first for the Aeros this season and the first of his professional career.
• Jon Awe
recorded two goals Sunday as well for his first multiple goal game of his professional career.
• Sunday’s shutout marked the 11th for the Aeros this season, improving the club’s record for shutouts in a season. The shutout also marked Nolan Schaefer
’s sixth of the season also improving his personal record for shutouts in a season. Schaefer had recorded three in 2004-05 with the Cleveland Barons and three in 2005-06 split between the Barons and San Jose of the NHL.
• The Aeros current 92 points is a 28 point improvement over last year’s 64. This marks the largest single season improvement since joining the AHL. The team recorded a 30 point improvement between the 1995-96 and 96-97 seasons while in the IHL. Any two points this week would tie the club for the franchise record.
• Houston’s three-goal first period on Sunday was the first time in 35 games the club has recorded that many markers in the opening period. The last time the Aeros had done so was on January 12 at Manitoba in a 4-1 win.
• The Aeros recorded three power-play goals on Sunday, the most since tying a franchise record with five on February 8 in Rockford during a 6-1 victory. Affiliation News
The Minnesota Wild
(44-28-10) clinched the franchise’s first Northwest Division title and the third seed in the Western Conference with a win over Calgary Wednesday night. Minnesota finished off the regular season in Colorado with the Avalanche winning 4-3 in a shootout. The win put Colorado in the sixth seed for the playoffs and will start the playoffs in Minnesota on Wednesday and Friday, returning to Colorado next week. Marian Gaborik
led the club with 83 points and 42 goals with Pierre-Marc Bouchard
recording a team-high 50 assists during the regular season. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom
led the team with 33 wins, a 2.31 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
The ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters
(52-9-4-7) finished the regular season tied for the most points in the league at 115. The EHCL playoffs begin this week with the Wildcatters hosting Mississippi. John McNabb
led the team with 82 points (32-50=82) in the regular season and also recorded 13 power-play goals.
Before Houston’s run to “Capture the Cup” the club will return home for the last two games of the regular season this weekend, April 12-13 against the Milwaukee Admirals. The Aeros and Admirals are currently tied for third in the division so this weekend will determine the playoff seeding! Don’t miss out on the intense action and order your tickets today by calling 713.974.PUCK! Calder Cup Playoff ticket packages and groups
are already available, click here for more details. ---HOUSTON AEROS---