From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Monday, October 18, 2004
713.361.7930 (Direct Line) Click here
for a printable PDF version of the Aeros Weekly Report.
Aeros Weekly Report
WED, at CHI, 7 p.m.
The Aeros and Wolves meet for the first of 10 games this season. The Aeros are winless in the last seven meetings (0-4-3-0), and they are winless in their last eight trips to Allstate Arena (0-5-1-2). The Aeros' last win in Chicago was a 5-4 overtime affair January 15, 2003. The Wolves feature No. 1 minor league prospect Kari Lehtonen (goalie) and former Aeros Travis Roche and Cory Larose. Chicago has dropped two straight to begin a season for the first time in franchise history.
FRI, vs. CLE, 7:35 p.m.
Magnetic Schedules (4,000)
Dimitris Rail will be performing pre-game and during intermissions, and characters from the Renaissance Festival will also be at the game
The Barons took three of four meetings with the Aeros last season.
SAT, vs. CLE, 7:35 p.m.
Mini Sticks (3,000) and Snoopy/Childrens Museum Visit
Cleveland finishes off its two-game trip to Houston as Snoopy helps Chilly wow the crowd. Visit the Childrens Museum and Good Grief, a Peanuts exhibit, Thursday-Saturday and receive a $3 off coupon for up to four tickets to this game. Also, present your Aeros ticket stub from the game for $1 off admission at the Childrens Museum through November 30.
SUN, vs. CHI, 5:05 p.m.
2004-05 Team Photo (3,000)
Purchase your Aeros Family Day package now and be entered into a drawing to receive a Family Four Pack of tickets to go see the new SpongeBob Squarepants movie! You get four tickets, four pucks, $20 in Toyota Bucks and free parking all for only $59. Click here to purchase. Username is Family, password is Aeros. The Aeros only win versus the Wolves in 2003-04 came at Toyota Center, a 3-1 victory December 7. This will be Travis Roches first trip to Houston in an enemy uniform.
Aeros split two games in week one
SAN 2, HOU 1; HOU 3, CIN 1
The Aeros got the 2004-05 regular season underway last week with a 1-1-0-0 record. Houston had an identical mark last season.
Friday: Lukas Krajicek and Kamil Kreps scored first-period goals and Patrick DesRochers made 25 saves, and the San Antonio Rampage held on for a frantic 2-1 victory over the Houston Aeros at SBC Center in the season opener for both teams. Mikko Koivu tallied his first North American goal and Josh Harding turned aside 23 shots for the Aeros.
With Houston down 2-0, Koivu got the Aeros on the board with his first North American goal 8:46 into the second. Erik Reitz sent a headman pass to Matt Foy, who streaked into the zone on the left wing. Foy left a pass for Koivu between the circles, and the 2002 No. 6 overall pick snapped it quickly short side past DesRochers. The 21-year-old Koivu is ranked the Wilds No. 1 prospect, according to The Hockey News.
Saturday: Mike Smith made a triumphant return to the ice with 35 saves in his first game since February 5, as the Aeros beat the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks 3-1 in their home opener at Toyota Center. Mark Cullen scored a power play goal, Brent Burns added an unassisted shorthanded tally and Kirby Law tallied an even strength goal all in the first period for Houston.
Alexei Smirnov scored a shorthanded goal and Frederic Cassivi turned aside 18 shots for the Ducks, who had won two straight on the road to begin the season.
Smith missed the final two months of the 2003-04 season due to injury. Then playing with Utah, his last start was February 5 at Toyota Center, and he hadnt won since a 1-0, 24-save shutout of Grand Rapids January 30. He saw no action this pre-season due to a different injury. The netminder made 12 saves in the first period, 10 in the second and 13 in the third, and he got three first-period goals to help the cause.
Smith improved to 4-0-0 in his career versus the Ducks.
Community Update Monday, Aeros players Chris Heid and Matt Foy will attend Boys & Girls Harbor in La Porte, where they will work with an After School Program helping kids with homework and athletics. Saturday, Houston Aeros Charities will host a Blood Drive at both the Sugar Land and Willowbrook Aerodrome locations from 12-7 p.m.
Website enjoys record weekend Friday, 3,484 fans logged on to www.aeros.com, the most hits in any one day in the team's history. The previous highest was 3,212 during the 2003-04 home opener, October 24. The 2003-04 season opener drew 2,355 fans to the website, meaning this year's first day of play marked a 48 percent increase in traffic. Saturday, the website saw 3,186 visitors. Thus far in October, an average of 2,446 unique visitors have been to www.aeros.com per day, an increase of 16 percent over 2003.
Big first period lifts Aeros to Saturday win The Aeros scored three times in the first period Saturday, a total they matched just three times in the entire 2003-04 season. In 2003-04, the Aeros were minus-18 in goal differential in the first period, second to last in the AHL. Friday, they were outscored 2-0 in a 2-1 loss in San Antonio.
Finishing strong - Houston is one of two AHL teams that hasnt yet allowed a goal in the third period. San Antonio is the other. In fact, the Aeros havent yielded a goal after the first period so far in their two games.
Special teams update - Through two games, the Aeros are one of four AHL teams who have not yet allowed a power play goal. Houston has killed off all six of its shorthanded chances. Edmonton (12), Hershey (10) and Norfolk (13) have also kept their opponents power plays off the board. On the power play, Houston is 1-for-9 for 11.1 percent, currently ranked 17th in the 28-team AHL.
Burns the only D-man with a SHG - Houstons 19-year-old defenseman Brent Burns is the lone AHL defenseman who scored a shorthanded goal during Opening Weekend. Burns, who played on the wing in Minnesota for much of 2003-04, scored a breakaway goal versus Cincinnatis Frederic Cassivi Saturday. Burns is the youngest Aero in team history.
High draft picks the norm The Aeros have a franchise record three first-round picks, plus five second-rounders and four third-rounders. Kyle Wanvig was drafted twice, once in the second round by Boston and again in the third by Minnesota. All but four of Houstons players were drafted.
Kettles reassigned - Prior to Saturdays game, the Aeros reassigned goalie Kyle Kettles to ECHL Louisiana. Kettles was 4-9-5 with a 2.80 goals against average with Houston in 2003-04. He spent his entire 2002-03 rookie season with the IceGators, posting a 21-12-7 mark with a 2.61 goals against average and five shutouts, which tied the ECHL season high.
Aeros are 27th in shots A season ago, Houston ranked third in the league in shots per game at 33.29. Through two games in 2004-05, the Aeros are averaging 23.50 shots, 27th in the 28-team AHL. In Saturdays 3-1 home-opening victory over Cincinnati, Houston had 21 shots. Last season, the Aeros failed to top that total only twice. However, the Aeros used those 21 shots wisely, scoring three times.
The Road Show - Following the Aeros second three home games in three nights stretch in franchise history this weekend, the Aeros go on the road to play 13 of their next 15 games. It all begins with a season-long six-game road trip next week, beginning October 29-30 in Edmonton.
Player of the week G Mike Smith -
Smith this week...
10/16 vs. CIN - W 3-1, 35 saves
Totals: 1gp, 1-0-0, 1.00 g.a.a., .972 save pct.
Smith won his lone game of the week, making 35 saves in a 3-1 win over CIN Saturday, his first win since January 30 of last season...Smith last played February 5 and then missed the final two months of 2003-04 with an injury...He didnt play in any of Houstons four pre-season games due to a different injury...In Smiths last three games at Toyota Center, hes stopped 113 of 117 shots for a .966 save percentage...That stretch includes a career-best 48 saves in a 2-1 win over the Aeros 10/26/03 when he played with Utah.
Aeros Practice schedule:
Monday - 10-11:30, Sugar Land
Tuesday - Travel Day
Wednesday - at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Thursday - Travel Day
Friday - 10-11, Pre-Game Skate, vs. CLE 7:35 p.m.
Saturday - 10-11, Pre-Game Skate, vs. CLE 7:35 p.m.
Sunday - vs. CHI 5:05 p.m.
---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---