Coming attractions: MON, at UTA, 3:05 p.m. (Internet only broadcast)
Aeros Weekly Report
The Aeros begin a five-game, seven-day road trip with amazingly their first trip to West Valley City this season. Houston visits two West Division cities for the first time this season in this trip (Cincinnati). The Aeros havent played at the E Center in 364 days. Mike Smith, John Erskine and David Bararuk visit their old stomping grounds for the first time as a visitor. Houston went 2-3-0-0 in Utah last season. WED, at UTA, 8:05 p.m.
Aeros goalie Mike Smith sported an 8-5-0 mark with a 2.46 gaa at the "E" Center when with the Grizzlies.FRI, at CIN, 6:35 p.m. (Broadcast joined in progress at 7 p.m.)
The Aeros havent been in Cincinnati since the final weekend of the 2003-04 regular season, and they havent met since the Aeros home-opening 3-1 victory on October 16. Houston went 1-2-1-0 at Cincinnati last season and is 3-3-1-0 all-time there. SAT, at CIN, 6:35 p.m. (Broadcast joined in progress at 7 p.m.)
The Ducks and Aeros weekend series will likely decide third place in the West Division, for now. SUN, at SAN, 4 p.m. (Internet only broadcast)
San Antonio returns home after its exhausting 12-game, month-long road trip. Both teams fly back from their Saturday games on the same flight. The Aeros and Rampage have split two SBC Center meetings this season. Player of the week RW Kirby Law -
Tallied five points, including four goals, as the Aeros split a critical weekend series against Chicago...Notched fifth career hat trick and got second career four-point game in 5-4 win Friday...Scored Houstons lone goal, on the power play, in 2-1 loss Saturday...Has scored the Aeros last four goals...Has team-best 17 goals, and tied for team lead with 33 points (17-16=33)...Has 18 points (10-8=18) in 17 games since 1/11...Tied for team lead at plus-three...Tied for second on Aeros with five power play goals. Law this week...
2/18 vs. CHI 3-1=4, +3
2/19 vs. CHI 1-0=1, -2Totals - 2gp, 4-1=5, +1 Bouchard on quite the run -
Aeros centerman Pierre-Marc Bouchard has 14 points (3-11=14) in his last 12 games to move into a tie with Stephane Veilleux and Kirby Law for the team lead with 33 points (8-25=33). Stay out of the box -
Houston went shorthanded seven times against Chicago on Saturday, and thats a number that generally leads to defeat. The Aeros are 2-5-2-0 when yielding seven or more power plays. Houston didnt allow a goal on any of those seven attempts and leads the AHL on the penalty kill at 89.2 percent. The Aeros have killed off 41-of-43 shorthanded chances over their last 11 games, and 26 straight over their last seven home games. Scheduling eases up -
The Aeros have played 16 of their first 50 games against Milwaukee and Chicago, the top two teams in the West Division, while theyve played only 13 games versus division teams with lower winning percentages than them. Houstons first 50 games have come against teams with a combined .568 winning percentage, but in the final 30 that number drops to .484, including seven against Utah. Better starts needed -
Houstons 2-3-0-0 mark in its five games can greatly be attributed to allowing the first goal in each contest. The Aeros, who have trailed at some point in nine of their last 10 games, are 9-17-2-2 when allowing the first goal, but 15-3-2-0 when scoring it. A tight affair -
Chicago held Houston to 26 shots Saturday, marking just the third time in 27 home games that the Aeros havent reached the 30-shot plateau. Houston has dropped two of those three games. Get the suitcase ready -
Houston, which has played 50 games to tie an AHL low, has 17 road games left, more than any other team. Aeros split pair with rival Wolves
HOU 5, CHI 4; CHI 2, HOU 1
The Aeros and Wolves didnt disappoint over the weekend, playing their fourth and fifth straight one-goal games. Each team won once. Friday:
Kirby Law notched his fifth career hat trick and added an assist for a career-high-tying four points, as the Houston Aeros outlasted the Chicago Wolves in a wild 5-4 post All-Star affair at Toyota Center.
Mark Cullen contributed three assists, Zbynek Michalek and Kyle Wanvig added a goal apiece and Pierre-Marc Bouchard chipped in two helpers for Houston.
Karl Stewart scored twice and Brad Larsen and former Aero Travis Roche each had a goal for Chicago, which lost in regulation for the first time in four games.
Josh Harding made 27 saves for Houston, while Michael Garnett countered with 36 stops for Chicago. Garnett had to leave the February 10 meeting early after his neck and chin got bloodied in a freak collision with Law. Saturday:
Lonny Bohonos snapped a tie 1:19 into the third period and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves including Wanvigs third-period penalty shot, leading the Chicago Wolves past the Houston Aeros 2-1 at Toyota Center in the teams fifth straight one-goal meeting and seventh in eight tries this season.
Bohonos and J.P. Vigier each finished with a goal and an assist for Chicago, which salvaged the final game of an extended three-game set with the Aeros.
Law scored his fourth goal in two games for Houston, which was trying to match a season-high with its third straight win. Harding finished with 20 saves, but Houston's comeback was halted with three minor penalties in a span of nine seconds in the final two minutes.
Harding has started seven straight games, and nine of 10 since returning from a Grade 3 concussion.
The Wolves have played in nine straight one-goal games to record a new franchise record.
Chicago and Houstons seven one-goal games tie Springfield/Portland for the most by two teams this season. West Standings -
The Aeros enter the final week of February with 54 points, in fourth place in the West but just four points behind third-place Cincinnati with five games in hand. Houston also has five games in hand on second-place Chicago, which is up 12 points on the Aeros. West Division Standings, 2/20
Grand Rapids 25-24-1-1=52
San Antonio 23-29-2-4=52
Utah 14-35-0-3=31 Aeros Practice schedule:
Monday - at UTA, 3:05 p.m.
Tuesday - Practice in Utah
Wednesday - at UTA, 8:05 p.m
Thursday - Travel Day
Friday - at CIN, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday - at CIN, 6:35 p.m.
Sunday - at SAN, 4 p.m. Travel to St. Paul -
Aeros fans can receive special discounted travel rates for the March 7 game against Grand Rapids at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center by contacting Mary Kenna
of the Minnesota Wild (firstname.lastname@example.org
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