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From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Monday, March 15, 2004
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
This week on aeros.com Wednesday, check out www.aeros.com for a feature story on defenseman Kevin Mitchell. The popular Q&A segment will return next week when the Aeros get back from their road trip. Its all this week on www.aeros.com, your complete source for information on the Houston Aeros. If youre not signed up for Aeros Afterburner exclusive online newsletter, click here.
Playoff strips on sale now - Fans, the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs are around the corner, and your defending champion Aeros are closing in on a berth in the post-season. Playoff strips are now on sale, so you can enjoy all the action. Full playoff strips start at just $238, and you can buy strips for rounds 1-3 for $126. Playoff vouchers are also available. Flexibility is the key with a savings on the gate price. Visit www.aeros.com or call 713.974.PUCK to order your Calder Cup Playoff tickets today!
Sunshine Kids update Mark Cullen posted a goal and two assists last week, raising another $200 for Sunshine Kids. Cullen, with the help of an anonymous local donor, has raised $350 for the organization which helps children with cancer and their families. Cullen was diagnosed with malignant melanoma during Minnesotas training camp in September.
Aeros 5-1-1-1 in last eight; six up on Rampage, Ducks
Week in review: HOU 4, GR 1; HOU 2, SA 1; SA 2, HOU 1 (OT)
The Aeros went 2-0-0-1 last week, extending their points streak to four games. Fourth-place Houston is 5-1-1-1 in its last eight, moving to 63 points, six ahead of San Antonio and Cincinnati.
West Division Standings, as of 3/15
X-Grand Rapids 88
San Antonio 57
X - Clinched playoff berth
The Aeros wrapped up the week with a 2-1 overtime loss in San Antonio on Saturday, although Houston did pick up at least one point in a third straight road game.
Johan Holmqvist made 29 saves and Michael Schutte scored on a five-minute power play for Houston, while Paul Healeys first goal in a Rampage uniform won the contest 40 seconds into overtime.
Friday, Houston won its third straight, 2-1 over the Rampage at Toyota Center. Jeff Hoggans goal late in the second period went down as the game-winner, while Dan Cavanaugh also scored and Holmqvist made 27 saves for his fourth straight victory.
Travis Scott turned aside 35 shots and Lee Goren scored for San Antonio.
Houston began the week by picking up its league-best fourth win over AHL-leading Grand Rapids, 4-1, at home. Kevin Mitchell, Mark Cullen and Cavanaugh keyed a four-score third period with a goal and an assist apiece and Holmqvist made 37 saves and helped thwart a pair of Grand Rapids five-minute power plays.
Mitchells goal from just inside center ice, on a fake dump in, with 7:19 left in regulation was the game-winner.
Kevin Miller scored for the Griffins.
Note: Please consult local listings and www.aeros.com throughout the week for a radio/Internet only schedule. Depending on the NIT/NCAA Tournament schedules, one or more games besides Wednesday could be moved to Internet only.
WED, HOU at WOR, 6:05 p.m. INTERNET ONLY
The Aeros make their first trip to Worcester in more than two full calendar years. Houston is 3-1-1-0 all time against the IceCats, and split a pair of games in Worcester on February 6 and 9, 2002. The teams met once earlier this season, at Toyota Center, skating to a 0-0 tie. Kyle Kettles made 20 saves for Houston, while Reinhard Divis stopped 26 shots and turned aside Travis Roches penalty shot attempt late in overtime. Worcester is third in the Atlantic with 72 points. The IceCats are led by former Miami (Ohio) teammates Mike Glumac (22+19=41) and Ernie Hartlieb (14+20=34). With Divis in St. Louis and Brent Johnson traded, Curtis Sanford (13-13-1, 2.34 goals against average) will get most of the workload in net.
SAT, at NOR, 6:30 p.m.
The Aeros will look for their fourth straight win over the Admirals, including a pair of victories at Toyota Center in December. Johan Holmqvist made 23 saves for a shutout in a 1-0 win December 16. Kyle Wanvig scored goals in both of the victories. Houston is 4-2-0-0 all time against Norfolk, including a 1-1-0-0 mark at the historic Scope. The Aeros last appeared in Norfolk on November 30, 2002, earning a 2-1 overtime win.
SUN, at NOR, 3:00 p.m.
The Admirals have lost two straight and are one of four teams separated by two points for the final two playoff berths out of the East Division.
Holmqvist finally yields even-strength goal Gregory Campbells third-period goal Saturday was the first even strength tally against Johan Holmqvist in 309 minutes, 31 seconds. Holmqvist had yielded just three power-play goals dating back to a February 22 loss in Utah. Earlier this season, the Aeros netminder had an overall shutout streak of 189 minutes, seven seconds, just missing Frederic Chabots 1996 team record mark of 193 minutes, 37 seconds. Holmqvists 21 wins are five off his 2001-02 career-best, and his 2.49 goals against average is a career-best and a season-low. On November 28, his gaa was 3.24.
Aeros, Ducks, Rampage, Grizzlies in a playoff dog-fight Houston has 63 points, six more than Cincinnati and San Antonio, which are tied for fifth, and 10 more than Utah in the West Division. Cincinnati, which has four games in hand on the Aeros, is in Chicago Wednesday, is at home versus Cleveland Friday and Saturday and Utah Sunday. San Antonio, which has five games in hand on Houston, has a light week including home games Friday against Chicago and Sunday versus red-hot Milwaukee. Utah, which has just one game in hand on the Aeros, plays host to Milwaukee Wednesday and Friday and then is in Chicago on Saturday and Cincinnati on Sunday to finish off an exhausting week. The top five teams in the West make the playoffs, with the fourth- and fifth-place team playing a three-game qualifying series at the higher seed. Home ice will be important, since the four teams chasing the final two playoff spots are a combined 42 games under .500.
Houston 63 points (11 games left, 6H, 5R)
GR (1H/0R), MIL (1H/0R), UTA (1H/0R), SA (1H/1R), CIN (2H/1R), WOR (0H/1R), NOR (0H/2R)
Cincinnati 57 points (15 games left, 7H, 8R)
CHI (1H/1R), MIL (0H/1R), CLE (4H/1R), UTA (1H/0R), GR (0H/1R), SA (0H/2R), HOU (1H/2R)
San Antonio 57 points (16 games left, 8H, 8R)
MIL (2H/1R), HOU (1H/1R), CHI (1H/3R), GR (1H/1R), UTA (1H/2R), CIN (2H/0R)
Utah 53 points (12 games left, 7H, 5R)
MIL (3H/0R), HOU (0H/1R), SA (2H/1R), CIN (0H/1R), CHI (0H/1R), GR (2H/0R), CLE (0H/1R)
Alumni update Three 2003-04 Aeros continue to see regular time in the Minnesota Wild lineup. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek scored his first NHL goal Tuesday in San Jose, his lone point in 11 games. Stephane Veilleux has four assists in eight games since his recall, with all of those assists coming in the past four games. Rickard Wallin, meanwhile, has not tallied a point in four games. Since Veilleuxs February 27 recall, Minnesota has points in six of its eight games, including wins in two of its last three games. There have been nine players this season to play with both the Aeros and the Wild. In addition, Erik Reitz and Johan Holmqvist were both recalled to Minnesota but did not see any action.
Player of the week G Johan Holmqvist -
Holmqvist went 2-1-0 with a 1.33 goals against average and a .959 save percentage last week to help the Aeros to a four-game points streak (3-0-0-1)...Stopped team season-best 37 shots in 4-1 win over league-leading Grand Rapids Monday, his fourth win over the Griffins this season...Made 27 saves in 2-1 win over San Antonio Friday...Turned aside 29 shots but fell 2-1 in overtime in San Antonio on Saturday...Leads AHL in minutes played (3,182), is third in saves (1,328) and tied for third in wins (21).
Holmqvist this week...
3/8 vs. GR 37-38 W
3/12 vs. SA 27-28 W
3/13 at SA 29-31 L (OT)
3gp, 2-1-0, 1.33 gaa, .959 save pct.