From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Monday, November 8, 2004
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
AEROS WEEKLY REPORT
This week on aeros.com: Wednesday feature story on Aeros goalies Josh Harding and Mike Smith. Log on to www.aeros.com and vote for who you think should be the next online Q&A subject. Voting ends Wednesday.
---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---
FRI, at GR, 6:30 p.m.
Last week, Houston swept a pair of one-goal games at the always-tough-to-play-in Van Andel Arena, and the Aeros are back in Grand Rapids for their third of four games there. Houston has won four straight versus the Griffins for the first time since a franchise-record five-game streak from November 25, 1997, to February 6, 2000. The Griffins started off the season 5-0-0-0, but they are 0-3-1-0 since. The Aeros went 5-5-0 against Grand Rapids in 2003-04 and were the only AHL team with five wins against the Griffins.
SAT, at MIL, 1:30 p.m.
Former Aeros captain Mike Matteucci leads the defending Calder Cup champion Milwaukee Admirals against Houston. The Aeros went 1-7-1-1 against Milwaukee in 2003-04, including an 0-4-0-1 home mark and a 1-3-1-0 road record. The Aeros are winless in the last nine meetings (0-7-1-1) and last beat the Admirals on October 17, 2003, when they earned a 5-1 win at Bradley Center. This could be a matchup with first place on the line. The Aeros, with 16 points, trail Milwaukee by one point to begin the week. The Admirals have won five straight and havent lost in regulation in their first nine games (8-0-1-0), one of two AHL teams that havent lost in regulation.
SUN, vs. EDM, 5:05 p.m.
Get four tickets, four pucks, $20 in Toyota Bucks and free parking for $59. Log on to www.aeros.com/themenights to order. Username is Family, password is Aeros. Dont forget, kids ages 4-14 can take two shots on goal on the ice after the game. Also, join the Aeros at 3 p.m. at The Bus II for $1 hot dogs (free hot dogs for kids 12 and under) and drink specials.
The Aeros swept a pair of games from the Road Runners, one in a shootout, during a trip to Edmonton late last month. The Road Runners come to town for the first of two matchups in Houston this season. Mark Cullens brother, Joe, plays for Edmonton. The Road Runners begin the week with 17 points, tied with Manitoba atop the North Division.
Aeros keep rolling before heading back out on the road
WOR 4, HOU 3; HOU 4, GR 3 (OT); HOU 1, GR 0; HOU 3, SYR 0
After having a four-game unbeaten in regulation streak snapped Wednesday in Worcester, Houston reeled off three straight wins to match its season high before heading back to the road for two of its three games this week.
Wednesday: Dennis Wideman, Erkki Rajamaki, Mike Glumac and Peter Sejna each scored in the games first 13:21, and the red-hot Worcester IceCats held on for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Aeros at Centrum Centre.
Stephane Veilleux, Christoph Brandner and Kirby Law all scored second-period goals for Houston.
Mike Smith stopped three-of-six shots before being replaced by Josh Harding, who finished with 16 saves.
Friday: Pierre-Marc Bouchards second goal of the game 2:44 into overtime lifted the Houston Aeros to a thrilling, come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena.
Junior Lessard and Veilleux also scored for Houston, which got all four goals from Quebec natives. The Aeros trailed 2-0 entering the third period.
Saturday: Harding made 40 saves for his second shutout in three starts and Brandner scored in the first period, as the Aeros ended their season-long six-game road trip with a 1-0 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena.
Joey MacDonald turned aside 33 shots for Grand Rapids, which is winless in its last four (0-3-1-0) after a five-game winning streak.
Sunday: Smith turned aside 32 shots for his third career shutout and Houstons second straight shutout, and Rickard Wallin and Marius Holtet scored 42 seconds apart late in the first period, as the Aeros beat the Syracuse Crunch 3-0 at Toyota Center. Veilleux also scored for the Aeros, who have just one regulation loss in their last eight games (6-1-0-1).
Its not Hard to figure out why hes a top prospect Since falling to 0-3-0 October 23, Josh Harding is 3-1-1 with a 1.20 gaa and a .947 save percentage. His one loss in that stretch was when he gave up only one goal in 53 minutes of relief. Harding has lowered his goals against average to 1.89, ninth best in the AHL. Harding is the first Aeros rookie netminder with two shutouts. Only Philadelphia Flyers goalie Robert Esche had two shutouts with the Aeros prior to November 6. Esche had two shutouts by November 4. Harding has stopped an eye-popping 84-of-87 shots in the third period for a .964 save percentage.
History in the making - Houston's shutout streak enters this week at 123 minutes, three seconds. This marks the second time in team history that Houston has shut out two straight opponents but with different goalies. The other time was January 7 and January 9, 1998. Ryan Bach shut out San Antonio 6-0, and then Frederic Chabot beat Milwaukee 4-0. The Aeros last recorded back-to-back shutouts December 13 and 16 of last season, when Johan Holmqvist blanked San Antonio 4-0 and Norfolk 1-0. Houston had five shutouts in 2003-04, and has three already this season.
Burns has assists in four straight - Defenseman Brent Burns has a four-game assist streak, tied for the second longest active streak in the AHL. Burns returned Saturday after missing three games due to injury.
Keeping it close - The Aeros' five, one-goal wins are tied for the AHL lead. Aeros at VA Hospital Tuesday - The Aeros will attend the Houston VA Hospital for Veterans Day Tuesday from 2:30-4 p.m.
Boogey in the Box - Second-year Houston winger Derek Boogaard had 12 penalty minutes Sunday and became the 20th player in team history with 250 PIMs in a career.
Busy Bodies - The Aeros have played 13 games, tied with Edmonton and Manitoba for the most in the AHL. Houston, which played five games last week, is in action three times this week and is quickly approaching a 12-day break in early December.
Penalty kill perfect during streak - The Aeros have killed off all 15 shorthanded chances during their active three-game winning streak. Houston has moved to 11th in the AHL on the penalty kill at 85.5 percent.
One-goal streak snapped - Houstons streak of seven-straight one-goal games was snapped Sunday, one game shy of the franchise record.
Down on the farm - The CHL Austin Ice Bats are 3-4-0. F Dallas Anderson has a league-high 88 PIMs in just five games...The ECHLs Pensacola Ice Pilots are 5-1-0 after splitting a pair of games over the weekend with the Louisiana IceGators (2-1-1)...Both teams have Aeros and/or Wild contracted players on them...LW Jordan Krestanovich ranks sixth in the ECHL with 10 points (5-5=10), and he scored a goal on former Aero teammate Kyle Kettles Saturday, before lifting the Ice Pilots to a 4-3 win over Augusta with a goal with 13 seconds left in regulation Sunday...RW/D Jason Beckett has three helpers and is a team-best plus-six...LW Bill Kinkel has two goals and a team-high 47 PIMs in five games and was placed on 7-day IR Sunday...D Ryan Stokes is minus-one...For Louisiana, Kettles is 1-1-0 with a 3.34 gaa...D Maxime Fortunus is tied for third on the IceGators with four points (1-3=4), with all three assists coming on the power play...LW David Bararuk has two points (1-1=2)...LW Mark Rooneem is minus-two...UHL Quad City is 5-4-1...C Mike Kompon has nine points (1-8=9), third on the Mallards...Kompons eight assists rank second among UHL rookies...G Robert Gherson is 1-1-1 with a 1.56 gaa in five games, and he picked up his first pro win over the weekend.
Support me - With his 1.89 gaa, Houston rookie goalie Josh Harding seemingly deserves better than his 3-4-1 record. The Aeros are averaging 2.00 goals per game when Harding gets the start. The 20-year-old has allowed two goals or less in five of his seven starts. Mike Smith, meanwhile, has a 3.11 gaa, but his record is 4-1-0 largely because Houston scores 3.33 goals per game when he starts.
Player of the week G Josh Harding -
Enjoyed finest week of rookie season, going 2-1-1 with a sparkling 1.01 gaa, .967 save pct. and first two pro shutouts...Stopped 27 shots but suffered tough-luck 1-0 shutout loss against reigning AHL MVP Jason LaBarbera in HAR Monday...Turned aside 16-of-17 shots in relief Wednesday at WOR...Made 31 saves in 4-3 OT win at GR Friday...Stopped 40 shots, second most ever for an Aero in a shutout, in 1-0 blanking of GR Saturday...Ranks as second youngest netminder (20) in AHL behind Marc-Andre Fleury (WBS).
Harding this week...
11/1 at HAR 27-27, SOL 0-1
11/3 at WOR 16-17, L 3-4 (rel.)
11/5 at GR 31-34, W 4-3
11/6 at GR 40-40, W 1-0
Totals: 4gp, 2-1-1, 1.01 gaa, .967 pct.
Aeros Practice schedule:
Monday - Off
Tuesday - 10-11:30, Sugar Land
Wednesday - 10-11:30, Sugar Land
Thursday - Travel Day
Friday - at Grand Rapids, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - at Milwaukee, 1:30 p.m.
Sunday - vs. Edmonton, 5:05 p.m.