DEC. 10, 2010: AEROS VS. RAMPAGE
The Houston Aeros (14-10-1-2) play host to the San Antonio Rampage (19-6-1-0) in the fourth of 10 meetings this season. The Aeros enter tonight on the heels of a 4-3 shootout win on Tuesday at OKC. Houston has won two in a row and four of five; all four wins have come in extra time. The team’s last five games have all been decided by one goal; the lone loss was a 2-1 decision to Rockford last Friday. The Aeros, who begin a five-game road trip after tonight’s game, are tied for fourth place in the West Division. San Antonio leads the Western Conference with 19 wins and 39 points and is second in the league in both categories. The Rampage has won four in a row and eight of 10.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
GAME NIGHT NUGGETS --- Max Noreau leads AHL defensemen in power play goals (5) and is second in shots (81) and goals (7)…He is tied for 5th in D points (7-8-15)… SA’s Garrett Stafford is 2nd in points among AHL D-men (3-15-18). He leads D-men with 12 power play points (1-11-12).The Rampage have the league’s best power play (24.2%), while the Aeros are 7th on the penalty kill (86.2%)…San Antonio’s Mathieu Beaudoin is T-4 in AHL scoring (12-15-27)...SA Goalie Matt Climie is T-2 in wins (12).
HOMELY --- Houston has won six of eight at home dating back to an Oct. 31 victory over Texas. Four of those wins have been by one goal; the other pair has been decided by two goals...Eight of Houston’s 12 home games have been one-goal decisions (4-3-1-0) and three have been decided by two goals (2-1)…Except for an 8-2 loss to Peoria and a 5-3 defeat by San Antonio, the Aeros have not allowed more than three goals in a home game…Goals allowed (1 – 2X; 2 – 5X; 3 - 3X; 5 – 1X; 8 – 1X).
KHUDOBIN AT HOME --- Anton Khudobin has won five-straight home starts, posting a 1.90 GAA and .938 save percentage over that span (152 shots/162 saves, 315 minutes).
WESTWARD --- The Aeros are 12-9-1-0 against the West Division this season. A total of 12 of the team’s last 15 games have been against West rivals; Houston is 7-5-0-0 in those games.
WHEN IT’S CLOSE --- The Aeros are 7-3-1-2 in games decided by one goal.
CUMA MAKES DEBUT --- Tyler Cuma made his pro debut on Dec. 2. The Wild's first round pick (23rd overall) in 2008 missed the first 23 games of the season on the injured reserve.
COME BACK NOW --- Tuesday’s win at OKC marked the second time in four games the Aeros came from behind to win after trailing entering the third period. The Aeros earned their first win of the season when trailing after two periods on Dec. 2; they were 0-9-0-0 until that point.
HEATIN’ UP --- Cody Almond’s game-tying goal Dec. 2 was his first tally in 10 games dating back to Nov. 8 at Abbotsford...Almond scored the GWG at TEX on Dec.4 in overtime…Robbie Earl has points in four straight (4-2-6).
FOUR-SCORE --- When scoring at least four goals the Aeros are undefeated (9-0-0-0).
SCORE FIRST! --- Houston is 14-3-0-2 when scoring first this season and 0-7-1-0 when allowing the first goal. They lead the AHL with 19 first goals. Two of the first-goal regulation losses have been against the San Antonio Rampage. The other was against Rockford.
FIRST-GOAL STREAK ---The Aeros have scored the first goal in 17 of the last 20 games and are 12-6-0-2 in those games. The Aeros scored the first goal in seven straight games (Oct. 29-Nov. 8) and were 4-1-0-2 in that span.
SHOOTIN' --- The Aeros are 9-4-0-2 when being outshot and 5-5-1-0 when outshooting their opponents. The Nov. 14 win at PEO was the first time this season the Aeros out shot an opponent and won.
TURNSTILE TIDBIT ---The Aeros are sixth in AHL average attendance at 5,642.
SCHEDULE NOTES --- Nine of the final 12 games of 2010 are on the road…A total of 18 of Houston’s final 27 games in the calendar year of 2010 are away from Toyota Center…The team plays five games in seven days from Dec. 12-18.
MOVIN' ON UP --- The Aeros have had 11 call-ups to Minnesota (Gillies, Wellman, Kassian-3x, Almond-2x, Scandella, Earl, Falk, Spurgeon).
RECENT ROSTER MOVES --- D Jamie Fraser was reassigned to Elmira (ECHL) on Dec. 10…F Joel Broda and F Peter Zingoni were reassigned to Bakersfield (ECHL) on Dec. 9…D Justin Falk was reassigned by MIN on Dec. 6…F Brock McBride was signed to a PTO on Dec. 1…F Matt Kassian was reassigned by MIN on Nov. 30.
LAST GAME QUICK RECAP
Robbie Earl scored twice in the third period and bagged the deciding shootout tally to help the Houston Aeros to a 4-3 win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Tuesday night at the Cox Convention Center. Earl, who missed the Aeros last game on Saturday due to injury, led an Aeros comeback after trailing 3-1 through two periods. He pulled Houston within a goal at the 4:10 mark of the third and then tied the game on the power play at 14:07. Earl’s second goal moved him into a tie for the team lead with seven markers on the season.
Follow the Aeros all season long on News Talk 1070 KNTH and online at AEROS.COM with Joe O’Donnell providing the play-by-play call. Watch every game, in its entirety, online at www.ahllive.com.