From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Aeros.com hits up 25 percent in 2004-05
HOUSTON, Texas -
Unique visitors to aeros.com
are up 25 percent through the first three months of the 2004-05 season, the team announced today. An average of 2,325 visitors log on to aeros.com
December's increase over 2003 was 13 percent, despite an unprecedented 13-day gap in games and just eight games overall. More than 2,000 fans logged on daily to aeros.com
in the month of December.
Aeros.com Power Poll
asks American Hockey League pundits to vote for the best and worst of the AHL every two weeks. Here's the latest edition:
1 Manchester (1)
Monarchs suddenly see Hartford in their rear view mirror despite the amazing 20-1-0-0 start. Manchester is just 5-5-2-1 since, but it still overwhelming its opponents overall, having a league-best 3.82 goals per game offense and allowing only 2.09 per game.
2 Hartford (3)
Hartford has just three regulation losses in its last 18 games (14-3-0-1), with five of the wins coming via shootout. Jason LaBarbera, last seasons AHL Most Valuable Player, has won his last 11 decisions six of them by one goal and has a league-best 1.57 goals against average, just better than his 1.59 mark from last season. Hartford has done what seemed unthinkable a month ago drawn within two points of Manchester.
3 Rochester (8)
Streaking Amerks have won seven straight to climb five spots in this weeks poll. Rochester has just one regulation loss in its last 16 (12-1-1-2), and it hasnt allowed more than two goals in regulation since December 10. Goalie Ryan Miller was 8-1-1 with a 1.77 gaa in December, and the Americans rank second in the AHL in one-goal road wins with six.
4 Philadelphia (2)
Phantoms have only one win in their last seven (1-2-1-3), but points in four other games for shootout/overtime losses may come in handy come playoff time. Phantoms also have six wins on the road by one goal.
5 Manitoba (5)
Manitoba, 12-2-1-1 on the road, has finally started to click at MTS Centre, winning three of four. The Moose rallied from two goals down in the last seven minutes to beat Cleveland on Tuesday night. Manitobas plus-19 third-period margin is easily the best in the AHL.
6 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (15)
Penguins leap nine spots thanks to a 9-2-0-0 mark in their last 11 and four straight wins by a combined 16-8 margin. WBS has benefited though, by nine home games out of the last 11.
7 Milwaukee (4)
Ads lost bodies left and right through December, a reason they were just 7-7-0-0. Darren Haydar, Simon Gamache and company can keep Milwaukee treading water however until other big guns like Timofei Shishkanov back. Former Aeros captain Mike Matteucis retirement will also clear up some ice time for Ryan Suter, last seen captaining Team USA in World Juniors.
8 Chicago (9)
The Wolves and Admirals are hard to separate, so Milwaukee gets edge on overall young talent. Good news: Star goalie prospect Kari Lehtonen won his final eight starts in December. Bad news: The last three games the oft-injured Lehtonen didnt start, Scott Fankhouser and Michael Garnett combined to allow 18 goals, including a 6-0 New Years Day drilling in Manitoba. The biggest question in Wolves land is whether or not Chelios walks the walk and signs with them if the NHL season is cancelled this month.
9 Edmonton (12)
Road Runners biggest problem seems to be finding ice time for all their talent, one reason Mark Cullens brother Joe was shipped to San Antonio for Eric Beaudoin, who has tons of talent but only 10 points this season in 32 games. Edmonton has played a league-low 13 games, which means it plays 27 of its last 47 away from Alberta.
10 Providence (13)
P-Bruins, 18th in this poll a month ago, jump three more spots this week. Providence has gone 9-1-0-3 in its last 13, doing most of it amazingly without World Juniors MVP Patrice Bergeron. Lone regulation loss of the last month came New Years Day to Manchester, with back-up Cody Rudkowsky in net.
11 Lowell (11)
The Lock Monsters along with Houston have played a league-low 31 games, which means theyll start making them up in a hurry. Cam Ward was AHLs goalie of the month with 5-1-1 mark and a sparkling 1.10 goals against average in December. Lowell is 9-3-0-2 in its last 14 games.
12 Worcester (7)
Mike Smiths former goaltending mate Jason Bacashihua, who had an awful start to the season, has taken time away from Curtis Sanford with a 5-1-0 mark and a 1.71 goals against average in December. The IceCats have enjoyed life at home with 20 of their first 33 on the road. Things get tougher for Worcester starting this weekend with its Texas road trip. Eric Boguniecki, the 2001-02 AHL MVP, makes his season debut tonight for the IceCats versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
13 Houston (14)
Its hard for the Aeros to move up spots in the poll without playing games. They played only eight in December, usually a busy month, and then enjoyed the first seven days of January off. But thats all about to end, with 11 games in the final 23 days of January, including nine at home. Houston is in a stretch where it plays nine straight games against teams with winning records.
14 Grand Rapids (6)
The Griffins dropped eight spots thanks to an 0-6-0-1 winless streak. Grand Rapids hasnt beaten a team with a winning record since December 8 in St. Johns, and it hasnt won such a game at home since November 12 versus Houston. Thats one of the reasons Kip Miller was lured out of retirement last week. Griffins were outscored 38-28 in December, and Eric Manlow had eight of his teams 28 goals. The offense left Joey MacDonald with a 3-7-1 mark in the month despite a respectable 2.29 goals against average. Grand Rapids still leads the AHL with 13 one-goal victories.
15 St. Johns (10)
Baby Leafs need to shore things up defensively after allowing 66 shots to Syracuse last week in a game they actually won 5-3 thanks to 63 saves by Jean-Sebastien Aubin. Team ranks last in the AHL in shots against and only 24th in shots for. St. Johns is just 6-8-0-0 away from The Rock this season.
16 Binghamton (17)
The Sens have won four of six, although three of those victories came over Albany and Springfield. Binghamton has an AHL-high six shootout wins, and 10 of its 18 wins have come via one-goal.
17 Norfolk (20)
Aeros are glad to be done with the Admirals, whose punishing style typifies the East Division. Head coach Trent Yawney returns from his 10-game AHL suspension after two more games. Captain Ajay Baines sprained an ankle while playing in an international tournament last week.
18 Hershey (23)
The Bears jump up five spots thanks to four straight wins by a combined 21-7 score. Hershey fattened up by playing nine of 10 at home, and they are suddenly just five points behind fourth-place Norfolk with two games in hand.
19 Cleveland (16)
The Barons are 1-4-0-0 since winning four straight, but to their credit they have played those five games three on the road against Edmonton and Manitoba. Cleveland is lone AHL team without a point when trailing after two periods (0-13-0-0).
20 San Antonio (21)
San Antonio has won three of four and is ready to welcome back Burke Henry and Nathan Horton to the lineup. Serge Payer is already back. It seems only a matter of time till the Rampage pour it on. Most exciting thing about Joe Cullen being traded to San Antonio is watching him face off against Mark another nine times this season.
21 Hamilton (22)
The Bulldogs are unbeaten in regulation in their last three (2-0-1-0), scoring 11 goals in that span after struggling offensively for much of the season. Dan Ellis, Dallas other goalie prospect besides Mike Smith, is 4-2-0 with a shutout since beginning the season with nine straight losses.
22 Cincinnati (25)
The Ducks were rolling along with five straight wins before losing a pair in San Antonio, the final game a painful one watching a two-goal lead slip away in the third period. Cincinnati has already played 23 road games, going 8-14-0-1. The Ducks 38-25 third-period goal margin must improve.
23 Portland (24)
Portland has been shut out in two of its last three games and ranks last in the AHL scoring 2.06 goals per game while allowing 3.17. Aeros.com
Stat of the Week: Pirates have two wins by more than one goal.
24 Syracuse (19)
Syracuse is 2-7-1-0 in its last 10, and top goalie prospect hasnt played since the day after Thanksgiving due to a groin injury. Syracuse has slid 11 points out of the final playoff spot in the North.
25 Bridgeport (18)
The Sound Tigers crash seven spots this week thanks to three straight losses and one win in their last seven. Former Aero Brendan Yarema is finally over a concussion that kept him out of the lineup in Chicago, and he signed with Bridgeport this week. Hell bring some much needed grit.
26 Springfield (26)
The Falcons won four straight around Christmas before falling back to Earth with a three-game winless streak since. Rookie Brian Eklund won some time from Jamie Storr with three straight wins, but a 7-1 loss in Binghamton may have ended that experiment. Springfield has allowed 41 third-period goals, second to last in the AHL.
27 Albany (26)
The Rats are winless in eight straight (0-7-0-1), but by no fault of Pascal Rheaume, who has points in each of those games. Albanys biggest problem is playing catchup. The River Rats have led after one and two periods just eight times all season.
28 Utah (28)
The Grizzlies headed into Christmas on a high note by winning three of four, but theyve lost three straight afterwards by a 13-3 margin. Things wont get any easier for Utah without Jeff Taffe, who will miss at least six weeks after Manchesters Joe Rullier broke a bone in his face after a Taffe cross-check. Taffe is the Grizzlies player who knocked out Aeros goalie Josh Harding, who hasnt been able to practice with the team since his November 28 injury.