From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Sunday, November 14, 2004
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Houston Aeros (8-5-1-1) vs.
Edmonton Road Runners (9-3-2-1), 5:05 p.m.
Family Day Packages are also available for $59. Get four tickets, four pucks, $20 in Toyota Bucks and free parking. Click here
to order (before noon today). Usename is Family, password is Aeros. Kids 4-14 can shoot two pucks on net on the ice after the game. Join the Aeros at The Bus II across from Toyota Center beginning at 3 p.m. for $1 hot dogs (free hot dogs for kids 12 and under) and drink specials.
Also today, bring a non-perishable food item and receive $5 off a $20 corner seat. Drop off locations are at all entrances, but the coupon is only available at the La Branch entrance. Donations will benefit the End Hunger Network. Randalls Food Markets and the Aeros will also donate 100 Thanksgiving Turkeys to the End Hunger Network during the second intermission.
The first 3,000 fans at today's game will receive an Aeros chef apron.
Click here to listen to Ken Double's broadcast. You need Real Player to pick up the broadcast. If you do not have Real Player, click here to get it. Aeros.com will also have updates throughout the game. Brothers Mark (Houston) and Joe Cullen (Edmonton) face each other on the ice for just the third time ever tonight, with the other two occasions coming last month in Edmonton. They were teammates at Colorado College for three seasons.
Edmonton and Houston rank first and tied for second, respectively, in the AHL in one-goal games. The Road Runners have played 11 (5-3-2-1), and the Aeros 10 (5-3-1-1), tied with Hamilton. The teams five, one-goal wins are also tied for the league lead. The Road Runners have only one regulation loss in seven road games (4-1-2-0).
Houston is tied with Milwaukee atop the AHLs West Division with 18 points. A point today would give the Aeros the sole possession of the top spot for the first time since the final day of the 2002-03 regular season. The Admirals are idle today.
Edmontons Tyler Moss sports a 3-9-3 record and a 3.29 gaa versus the Aeros. His nine losses are the fourth most against Houston, and he leads active netminders in the category. Moss was also the goalie on the 1999 Orlando team that fell to Houston in the Calder Cup Finals.
Road Runners at Aeros (Aeros lead series 2-0-0-0 overall, First meeting in Houston)
The Aeros swept a pair of one-goal decisions from the Road Runners in Edmonton 10/29-30.
In game one, Kyle Wanvigs third-period power-play goal was the game-winner in a 3-2 victory.
Game two was a 5-4 Aeros shootout win, as Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Ray Giroux tallied in the shootout and Mike Smith stopped all four shots. Mark Cullen posted a goal and an assist for the Aeros.
Scouting the Aeros
Aeros Game Day
Five things you need to know
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (3-7=10) and Mark Cullen (3-7=10) lead the Aeros with 10 points apiece...Houston has 16 players with at least one goal, and only Stephane Veilleux (four) has more than three...Nineteen-year-old Brent Burns (3-5=8) and veteran Ray Giroux (2-4=6) anchor the blueline...Rookie goalie Josh Harding is 3-5-1 with a 1.80 gaa, while Mike Smith is 5-1-0 with a 2.92 gaa.
Scouting the Road Runners
Edmonton plays game five of a six-game road trip today, a trek that has taken them from the Canadian Maritimes, California, Utah and now Texas. After going winless at St Johns (0-1-1-0), the Road Runners have rebounded with two wins, including a 4-1 decision in Utah Thursday...Like Houston, the Road Runners have 16 players with at least one goal...Tony Salmelainen has a team-best 16 points (7-9=16), including a four-assist game versus Houston 10/30...Since the last meeting, Edmonton has added Raffi Torres (2-0=2 in four games), who totaled 34 points (20-14=34) while playing in all 80 games for the NHLs Edmonton Oilers in 2003-04...Veteran Doug Lynch (1-7=8) anchors the blueline...Veteran netminder Tyler Moss is 7-2-1 with a 2.06 gaa, while rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers is 2-3-0 with a 2.62 gaa.
2004-05 meetings (Third of four meetings, Aeros are 2-0-0-0 overall, First meeting in Houston)
October 29: Houston 3 at Edmonton 2
October 30: Houston 5 at Edmonton 4 (SO)
TONIGHT: Edmonton at Houston
January 19: Edmonton at Houston
Mikko Koivu and Brent Burns scored 26 seconds apart on Houstons first two shots of the game and Marius Holtet added a goal and an assist, as the Aeros handed the defending Calder Cup champion Milwaukee Admirals their first regulation loss in 18 games with a 5-2 victory at Bradley Center..Marc Cavosie and Mark Cullen also scored and Mike Smith made 20 saves for Houston, which moved into a first-place tie with Milwaukee with 18 points...The Aeros, who hadnt held a share of first since the final day of the 2002-03 season, snapped a nine-game winless streak (0-7-1-1) against the Admirals in a matchup of the last two Calder Cup champions.
Brothers Mark (Houston) and Joe Cullen (Edmonton) face each other on the ice for just the third time ever tonight, with the other two occasions comiong last month in Edmonton. They were teammates at Colorado College for three seasons. A third brother - Matt, now property of the Carolina Hurricanes, went to St. Cloud State, as did cousin Jon, currently playing overseas. Mark is 28 months older than Joe.
A pleasure to see you again
Four Road Runners and eight Aeros played against each other in the 2003 Calder Cup Finals. Tony Salmelainen, Jarret Stoll, Mike Bishai and Nate DiCasmirro each saw action with Hamilton, which fell in seven games to the Aeros. Salmelainen was the Bulldogs' third leading scorer in the Finals with four points (2-2=4). Current Edmonton head coach Geoff Ward and assistant Joe Paterson were calling the shots in the series against Todd McLellan and Matt Shaw.
Aeros defenseman Brent Burns, the youngest player in team history, has at least one point in five of his last six games. Burns scored Houstons second goal last night, and the Aeros are 6-1-0-0 when he has a point.
Houston has allowed an AHL-high 18 first-period goals.
Houston is 5-3-1-1 in one-goal games, tied with three other teams for the most one-goal wins. In 2003-04, the Aeros were 8-6-0-4 in such games.
The Aeros havent lost a game in which theyve had a lead.
Houston is 6-1-0-0 when playing the second or third game of back-to-back situations. Last season, the Aeros were 11-13-6-2 in those situations, including a 2-4-2 mark when playing the third game in three nights.
Aeros winger Kyle Wanvig, who was the teams leading scorer last season, has no points in his last seven games. Wanvig was a healthy scratch last night, leaving Stephane Veilleux, Kirby Law and Patrick Traverse as Aeros who have played in all 15 games.
Mikko is back with a vengeance
Aeros centerman Mikko Koivu returned Friday night after a 12-game absence due to an appendectomy. Koivu then scored his second goal of the season in the first period of Saturdays 5-2 win at Milwaukee. Koivu scored a goal in his first game with the Aeros, 10/15 in San Antonio, but underwent surgery three days later.
Its not Hard to figure out his talent with these stats
Aeros rookie netminder Josh Harding made 40 saves last Saturday for his second shutout in three starts. He joined Frederic Chabot as the lone Aeros goalies with 1-0 road wins, and his 40 saves trail only Chabots 43 on 2/15/97, versus Long Beach for most in a shutout.
Since falling to 0-3-0 October 23, the 20-year-old Harding is 3-2-1 with a 1.18 gaa. He has two losses in that stretch - each when he allowed just one goal.
Harding, the second youngest goalie in the AHL behind Wilkes-Barre/Scrantons Marc-Andre Fleury, has lowered his goals against average to 1.80, eighth 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 11/6. Esche had two shutouts by 11/4.
Harding has stopped an eye-popping 88-of-91 shots in the third period for a .967 save percentage.
Smith is no slouch either
Aeros goalie Mike Smith improved to 5-1-0 with a 2.92 gaa with 20saves in yesterdays 5-2 win at Milwaukee.
Smith has won four straight decisions, tying his career high set 11/28-12/7/03, and he hasnt lost since 10/22 vs. Cleveland.
Smith, who spent the past two seasons with an offensively-challenged Utah team, has gotten above the .500 mark in the AHL at 18-17-0.
Aeros snap bad PP streak
Houston, which is 16th on the power play at 14.8% percent, snapped an 0-for-15 power-play streak with Marc Cavosies PPGWG yesterday. The Aeros had no PPG in their prior three games, the first time all season they had gone more than one game without scoring on the PP.
The Aeros are 6-2-1-0 when scoring a PPG and 2-3-0-1 when not scoring a PPG.
Houstons Pierre-Marc Bouchard has a hand in seven of the Aeros 12 PPGs this season. He has also been on the ice for five of the last seven PPG.
Edmonton is ranked 14th on the penalty kill at 84.9 percent.
The Road Runners have gotten better in their last two games, killing off 12 of 13 chances, after opponents went 7-for-21 on the PP over the prior three games.
Milwaukee breaks Aeros good PK vibes
After killing off 22 straight shorthanded chances over the previous four games, the Aeros allowed Milwaukee a 2-of-5 performance yesterday, but still won the game 5-2. The Aeros are ranked 13th on the PK at 85.1 percent.
Houston is 4-3-0-1 when not allowing a PPG and 3-2-1-0 when allowing a PPG.
Edmonton is tied for 17th in the league on the power play at 13.7 percent.
The Road Runners are 6-for-22 on the power play over their last four games, including a 3-for-4 performance Thursday in Utah.
Whats on tap
After todays game, Houston takes off in its second long road trip of the month - this one a five-game trek through Cleveland (twice), Syracuse, Rochester and Chicago.
The Aeros are in a stretch of 13 road games out of 15 before an eight-game homestand beginning 11/26.
Fine work on the road
The Aeros have won three of four on the road, and their 12 road points trail only Manitobas 19 for the AHL lead.
Each of Houstons first nine road games was decided by one goal, tying the franchise record originally set 1/27-3/1/97. The Aeros are 4-3-1-1 in one-goal road games, and they have a league-best four wins and 10 points in one-goal road games.
Houston had its two-game road winning streak snapped Friday night. The Aeros havent won three straight on the road since 1/22-1/25/03.
The Aeros, 5-3-1-1 on the road this season, were 3-5-1-1 in 2003-04 through their first 10 road games.
Toyota Center is home, but Aeros may not recognize it
The Aeros, who are in a stretch of 13 games out of 15 on the road, are 3-2-0-0 on home ice, but they have won two straight since a 1-2-0-0 start.
Houston is 3-0-0-0 when scoring first at home, but they dropped both games to Cleveland when the Barons scored first.
The Aeros open up an eight-game homestand 11/26 versus Utah.
Only Manitoba and Syracuse (four each) have played fewer home games than Houstons five.
Its all about support
With his 1.80 gaa, Houston rookie goalie Josh Harding seemingly deserves better than his 3-5-1 record. The Aeros are averaging 1.75 goals per game when Harding gets the start. The 20-year-old has allowed two goals or less in six of his eight starts, and Houston has been shut out in each of his last two starting losses. Mike Smith, meanwhile, has a 2.92 gaa, but his record is 5-1-0 largely because Houston scores 3.57 goals per game when he starts. Smith isnt complaining about the support. In his 16 losses over two seasons with Utah, the Grizzlies scored 25 goals for him.
Getting better as they go
Houston has allowed an AHL-high 18 first-period goals this season, but the goalies get downright stingy after that, especially in the final 20 minutes. In the third period, Aeros goalies have allowed only six goals on 149 shots (.960 save percentage). Opponents do have two empty-net goals. Houstons save percentage increases from .880 in the first period to .920 in the second and .960 in the third.
First and last two minutes are crucial
Houston has scored just two goals in the first or last two minutes of a period this season, the latest coming yesterday on Mark Cullens unassisted, shorthanded empty-net goal. The Aeros opponents, meanwhile, have 10 goals in this crucial time.
Houston is averaging 5,006 fans per game through five home games, a 12.6 percent increase over the same span in 2003-04, when the Aeros increased their average attendance for the first time in team history.
Aeros/Road Runners connections
Houston's Derek Boogaard and Edmonton's Dan Baum were teammates in WHL Prince George from 1999-2001.
The Aeros' Pierre-Marc Bouchard played with QMJHL Chicoutimi in 2001-02, in front of Road Runners goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.
Houston's Kyle Wanvig played two seasons at WHL Red Deer with Edmonton's Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka. The troop helped lead the Rebels to a Memorial Cup. Lynch also spent part of the 2002-03 season alongside Houston's Chris Heid in Spokane.
Houston's Kirby Law and Edmonton's Tyler Moss were teammates briefly with IHL Orlando in 1998-99.
Edmonton's Toby Peterson played two seasons at Colorado College with Houston's Mark Cullen and one with his teammates Joe Cullen.
Houston's Stephane Veilleux spent two seasons with Edmonton's Mathieu Roy at QMJHL Val d'Or, and the Foreurs lost to Kyle Wanvig and Doug Lynch's Red Deer team in 2001 in the Memorial Cup.
Edmonton's Jarret Stoll played one season plus 14 games with Kyle Wanvig at WHL Kootenay before Wanvig was traded to Red Deer.
The Road Runners' Rocky Thompson and Houston's Kyle Wanvig are both from Calgary. This is Wanvigs first pro game in Alberta.
Houston's Josh Harding and Derek Boogaard and Edmonton's Jarret Stoll all hail from Saskatoon, Sask.
The Aeros' Kirby Law played nearly half of last season with Edmonton's Jeff Woywitka in AHL Philadelphia.
Edmonton's Jamie Wright and Houston's John Erskine both played for Utah in 2000-01. Wright also spent part of the 2002-03 season in AHL Philadelphia with Houston's Kirby Law.
Houston's Todd Reirden made his NHL debut with Edmonton 1/7/99 at Phoenix and got first goal and assist with the Oilers 1/10/99 at Anaheim.
Edmonton assistant coach Joe Paterson was an assistant on the 1999-2000 Louisville club that featured Kirby Law.