Week in review: HOU 2, GR 1; HOU 4, SAN 0 Coming attractions:
Houston ran its winning streak to four games this week, and the Aeros are beginning to look more like the team that captured the 2003 Calder Cup.
The Aeros snapped a six-game road winless streak Friday with a 2-1 victory in Grand Rapids. Saturday, the win streak hit four with an impressive 4-0 shutout of San Antonio.
Saturday, Jeff Hoggan scored 53 seconds into the Teddy Bear Toss game and Johan Holmqvist made 22 of his 34 saves in the third period for his seventh AHL shutout and fourth straight win.
Stephane Veilleux, Kyle Wanvig and Mark Cavosie each finished with a goal and an assist for Houston.
Travis Scott stopped 26 shots for San Antonio, which fell to 2-5-0 in its last seven. The Rampage went 1-2-0 on a three games in three nights road trip that went from Milwaukee to Cincinnati to Houston.
Holmqvist stopped seven shots in the first period, five in the second and then a whopping 22 in the third for his second shutout as an Aero. His other blanking came in a 28-save, 6-0 win over Utah on March 29.
Friday, Dan Cavanaugh and Eric Reitz scored 1:18 apart midway through the first period and Holmqvist finished with 26 saves and helped stave off a five-minute Grand Rapids power play in the third period for the victory.
Nathan Robinson scored and Marc Lamothe stopped 19 shots for West Division-leading Grand Rapids, which suffered its second straight loss after an eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1).
West Division standings, as of 12/15
Grand Rapids 36
San Antonio 27
TUE, HOU vs. NOR, 7:00 p.m., Buy one, get one $28 tickets
The Admirals find themselves near the basement of the East Division with 24 points. Norfolk is in sixth place, trailing leader Bridgeport by 18 points. The Admirals, who enter the week averaging an AHL worst 1.77 goals per game, are led in scoring by defenseman Marty Wilford (2g, 17a).
WED, HOU vs. NOR, 7:00 p.m., INTERNET ONLY, Buy one, get one $28 tickets
The Aeros and Admirals finish off the two-game set. The teams split four games in the 2002-03 season.
FRI, HOU at CIN, 6:30 p.m.
The Ducks have won two straight after a five-game skid. Houston has just one regulation loss in nine games versus the Mighty Ducks (6-1-1-1). The Aeros have won each of the last five meetings by a combined 16-8 score. Cincinnati is led by Tony Martensson (4g, 14a), recently reassigned from Anaheim. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is 0-5-0 in his career against the Aeros.
SAT, HOU at CIN, 6:30 p.m., INTERNET ONLY Holmqvist heating up -
The Aeros play their penultimate game before the Christmas holiday, having Utah on tap December 23.
As the weather gets colder, Aeros netminder Johan Holmqvist usually heats up, and this season is no exception. Holmqvists four-game winning streak has pushed his all time December totals to 16-8-6. His 16 December wins are tied with March for his most in any month. Holmqvist carries a shutout sequence of 102 minutes, 13 seconds into this week and is one win shy of his 75th North American professional win and two wins shy of 75 AHL wins. Holmqvist and his teammates havent surrendered an even strength goal in 244 minutes, four seconds.
Cavanaughs streak helps him take over points lead - The Aeros' Dan Cavanaugh has a career-best six-game point streak, and he also has a hand in eight of the Aeros' last 14 goals. Cavanaugh's point streak has pushed him to a total of 19 points (7g, 12a), one better than Rickard Wallin for tops on the team. Just 26 games into the campaign, Cavanaugh is only seven points shy of last season's career-best total of 26. Cavanaugh, who previously had a pair of three-game point streaks, has two goals and six assists during his current run, tied for the fifth longest active streak in the AHL.
One continues to be the magic number - The Aeros are a perfect 9-0-0-0 when allowing one goal or fewer this season, and 0-13-2-2 when yielding two or more. By allowing just three total goals in the last four games, the Aeros have climbed out of the basement and into a tie for 25th in the AHL by yielding 2.96 goals per game. Houston and Springfield are deadlocked in the 25th spot.
Special teams updates -
Aeros have scored first in back-to-back games -
- The Aeros' overall 88.1 percent penalty kill rate ranks sixth in the AHL. Their home kill of 93.3 percent (56 of 60) is second.
- Opponents are just 4-for-35 (11.4 percent) on the power play in the last six games.
- The Aeros are beginning to heat up on the man advantage, going 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) since Matt Foy snapped a steak of 37 straight unsuccessful power plays December 5.
- Houston has a power-play goal in four straight games for the first time this season.
- The Aeros recent hot streak on the power play has moved them out of the AHL basement into 26th in the AHL (9.6 percent).
Houston has scored first in each of its last two games, the first time this season that has happened. The Aeros are 7-1-0-1 when scoring the game's first goal.
Houston at four straight wins - An Aeros victory Tuesday would give them a five-game winning streak for the first time since a five-game span from January 18-25 of last season. Houston's last six-game winning streak came during a seven-game run from December 21-January 3 of last season.
Three straight at home - Houston has won three straight at Toyota Center for the first time this season. Tuesday, the Aeros will look for their first four-game home winning streak since a six-game run from December 21-January 5 of last season.
Houston approaching 400-win mark - The Aeros' win Saturday against San Antonio was the 396th in franchise history, which dates back to the 1994-95 season. Houston is only four wins shy of the 400-win mark. The Aeros sport a 396-270-73-10 record. They have 209 wins at home and 187 on the road.
McLellan has 95 Aeros victories - Houston head coach Todd McLellan is five victories shy of 100 with the team. McClellan is 95-62-19-10 in his three-year reign with the club. McLellan is trying to join current Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett as the only coaches in team history with 100 or more wins. McLellan will have to keep at it to top Tippetts 165-win total. Tippett coached the Aeros for 3 1/2 seasons and - like McLellan - led his team to a cha mpionship, the 1999 Turner Cup.
Player of the week Johan Holmqvist -
Holmqvist, the 2003 Butterfield Trophy winner as the playoff Most Valuable Player, has been the catalyst in the recent four-game winning streak. He has played each of the games, and he sports a 0.75 goals against average and a .972 save percentage in that span...Was 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals against average and .984 save percentage last week...Carries a shutout streak of 102 minutes, 13 seconds, and hasnt yielded an even strength goal in 244 minutes, four seconds.
Holmqvist this week...
12/12 at GR 26-27 W 2-1
12/13 vs. SA 34-34 W 4-0
Totals - 2gp, 2-0-0, 0.50 gaa, .984 save pct.
Aeros Practice schedule:
Monday - 10-12, Sugarland
Tuesday - 10-11, Pre-game skate, vs. NOR 7 p.m.
Wednesday - 10-11, Pre-game skate, vs. NOR 7 p.m.
Thursday - 9:15-10 Sugarland, depart for CIN
Friday - at CIN, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - at CIN 6:30 p.m.
Sunday - TBA