From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Thursday, November 17, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
WILD RECALLS D FOSTER; AEROS LOAN G KOPRIVA TO AUSTIN
The National Hockey Leagues Minnesota Wild has recalled defenseman Kurtis Foster from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, the teams announced Thursday. In addition, the Aeros have loaned goaltender Miroslav Kopriva (MEER-oh-slahv, kop-CHEEV-ka) to the Central Hockey Leagues Austin Ice Bats.
Foster, 23 (11/24/81), leads all AHL defensemen in scoring with 15 points (1-14=15) in 19 games while serving as an alternate captain. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound native of Carp, Ont., has seen action in five NHL games all with Atlanta totaling one assist. In 2004-05, Foster set Cincinnati franchise records for most goals (17) and power play goals (eight) in one season by a defenseman. With Chicago in 2003-04, Foster was named the winner of the Yannick Dupre Memorial Award as the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year for community service.
Kopriva, 21 (12/5/83), is 1-1-0 with a 4.32 gaa and a .873 save percentage in three games for the Aeros. The 6-foot-2, 176-pound native of Kladno, Czech Republic last played October 28 in Milwaukee. He was 3-7-0 with a 2.68 gaa for Rabat Kladno of the Czech Republic League in 2003-04. Kopriva was Minnesotas sixth-round pick (No. 187 overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Houston continues a four-game road trip tonight and Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Manitoba. (Game notes follow this press release). The trek finishes Saturday at 6 p.m. with the Aeros first ever trip to Toronto to face the Marlies.
Printable Game Notes
Houston Aeros (13-4-1-1) at
Manitoba Moose (9-5-0-1), 7:30 p.m.
Click here to listen to Ken Doubles broadcast, also available live on 1070 KNTH-AM. Also, every AHL game is available for viewing for $6 via B2 Networks. Visit aeros.com 10 minutes prior to gametime for ordering information. Users must have broadband access.Houstons five-game winning streak ties a season-high. The Aeros last six-game winning streak was from 12/5-12/17/03. The Aeros are also unbeaten in regulation in their last seven (6-0-0-1), the first time theyve done that since a 3-0-4-0 run from 12/20/03-1/2/04. Houstons last run longer than seven was a memorable 11-0-2-0 streak from 12/21/02-1/15/03, during its Calder Cup championship season.
Aeros.com will also have updates throughout the game.
Aeros Game Day
Five things you need to know
Houston C Erik Westrum is tied for the AHL scoring lead with 27 points (8-19=27). Westrum is also first in assists with 19. He had 33 points (18-15=33) in 80 games last season for Utah. RW Kirby Law is fourth in the AHL in scoring with 21 points (9-12=21). Rookie LW Roman Voloshenko, who plays on a line with Westrum and Law, is tied for ninth in scoring with 18 points (12-6=18). Voloshenko leads all AHL rookies in points and is tied with Syracuses Geoff Platt for the most goals among first-year players. Voloshenkos 12 goals are tied for third overall in the AHL. At least one of the three has scored a goal in 15 of the Aeros 19 games. Voloshenko has seven points (3-4=7) over his last five games, the first point streak of his young career. The Aeros are 7-0-0-0 when Voloshenko scores and 9-0-0-0 when he has a point.
The 13-4-1-1 Aeros hit the quarter pole of the AHL season tonight. A victory tonight would tie the 2002-03 Calder Cup-winning team for the most wins in a seasons first 20 games. That squad was 14-5-1. The Aeros were 13-3-4 through 20 games in their 1998-99 Turner Cup-winning season.
Aeros D Erik Reitz has an assist in each of his last four games, a new career-high for both an assist streak and point streak. Reitz had a three-game assist streak in his rookie season, 10/30-11/1/02. Reitz assist run is also the longest for an Aero this season.
Much has been said and written about the Aeros veterans this season, but the youngsters have been just as important to the 13-4-1-1 start. Houston has nine players 22 years of age or under, and the budding superstars have accounted for 29 of the teams 64 goals (45.3 percent). LW Roman Voloshenko has 12, LW Peter Olvecky has six, C Patrick OSullivan has five, C Petr Taticek has five, and D Clayton Stoner has two. Youth is also served in the goaltending department, as 21-year-old G Josh Harding leads the AHL in wins with nine.
Aeros at Moose (Aeros are 36-19-10-1 all-time, Aeros are 17-10-5-0 at Manitoba)
Tonight is the 67th all-time meeting between the teams, the 33rd road meeting for Houston.
The Aeros are 10-10-1-1 against the Moose, including a 4-5-1-0 mark in Manitoba and a 6-5-0-1 home record, since moving to the AHL in 2001-02.
Since the Moose moved from Minnesota to Winnipeg, Houston is 28-17-8-1 against the team.
Houston is 0-2-1 all time in overtime against the Manitoba/Minnesota franchise, and 9-8 in shootouts. Manitobas shootout victory 11/4 snapped Houstons string of six straight shootout wins in the series, dating back to a 5-4 Moose win on 12/1/99.
The teams went to overtime/shootout 18 times in 44 IHL games, but just twice in 22 AHL contests, including 11/4.
The Aeros took three of four points from the Moose earlier this month in Houston. Manitoba won the first game, 3-2 in a shootout, as Jason Jaffray supplied a goal and an assist in regulation and Wade Flaherty was perfect in the shootout. But two nights later, the Aeros won 3-2 in regulation, getting a goal and an assist from Erik Westrum and 20 saves from Josh Harding in his return from injury.
Houston and Manitoba finish off the season series at MTS Centre tomorrow night.
Scouting the Aeros
The Aeros ride a five-game winning streak into tonights game, their longest since December 2003...C Erik Westrum has 27 points (8-19=27) to tie for the AHL scoring. lead...Westrum has a team-best nine multiple-point games...RW Kirby Law is fourth in the league with 21 points (9-12=21) and is tied for sixth in goals...Rookie LW Roman Voloshenko is tied for third in the AHL with 12 goals, and he ranks first among AHL rookies in goals and tied for first in points (18)
D Kurtis Foster has 15 points (4-11=15), while counterpart D Curtis Murphy has 14 (2-12=14)...The duo ranks first and tied for second, respectively, among AHL defensemen...G Josh Harding is 9-3-0 with a 2.50 gaa...Harding is 15-3-1 in his last 19 regular-season games dating back to a 3-2 SOL vs. Grand Rapids 3/25, and one of the three losses was in OT...Harding rides a four-game winning streak into tonights game, with a 1.20 gaa and a .953 save pct. in that span...Each of the four wins have come since a return from a lower body injury...Harding leads the AHL in wins (nine) and saves (367) and is tied for 13th in gaa (2.50)...G Seamus Kotyk is 3-1-1, with a 3.24 gaa.
Scouting the Moose
Manitoba, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, was one of the hottest teams in the AHL until a 3-2 loss in Houston 11/6...Counting that game, Manitoba is winless in four straight (0-2-1-1), although it returns home following a seven-game road trip tonight...Manitoba has played just four home games... Only Chicago (three) has played fewer...Veteran G Wade Flaherty is 6-4-1 with a 2.26 gaa to rank seventh in the league in gaa...Flaherty is coming off a franchise record-tying 49 saves in Tuesdays 5-4 shootout matinee loss in Grand Rapids...C Josh Green, who has spent much of the last two weeks in Vancouver, leads the Moose in scoring with 13 points (5-8=13)...Veteran D Sven Butenschon paces the blueline with eight points (5-3=8).
2005-06 meetings (3rd of 4 meetings, Aeros are 1-0-0-1 overall, First meeting at Manitoba)
November 4 Manitoba 3 at Houston 2 (SO)
November 6 Manitoba 2 at Houston 3
Tonight Houston at Manitoba
Tomorrow Houston at Manitoba
Houston allowed a league-high 22 third-period goals over its first 12 games and was outscored 9-1 in the final frame over the final four of those games, 10/25-10/30. But since, the Aeros have outscored their opponents 10-4 in the third during their seven-game unbeaten in regulation streak. The Aeros have kept their opponent off the scoreboard in the third period seven times in 19 games, and its no surprise that they are 6-0-1-0 in such situations. Manitoba, meanwhile, has allowed only eight third-period goals - one off Providences AHL lead.
The Aeros are a perfect 12-0-0-0 when scoring three goals or more, but 1-4-1-1 when scoring two or fewer. Three is also the magic number defensively, as Houston is 10-1-1-1 when allowing three of fewer goals and 3-3-0-0 when yielding four or more.
Houston has trailed at some point in seven of its 13 victories, including three of their last four wins. The Aeros had 16 come-from-behind victories in 2004-05.
Houston has outshot four of its last five opponents and is 7-0-0-0 in those situations this season. Manitoba is 6-0-0-0 when outshooting an opponent.
The Aeros have acrrued fewer PIMs than their opponent in each of the last five games - all wins. Houston is 8-1-0-0 when having fewer PIMs than its opponent.
Houstons six road wins are one off Wilkes-Barre/Scrantons league-high total of seven.
The Moose (6-0-0-0), Peoria (8-0-0-0) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-0-0-0) are the lone AHL teams to win every game in which they scored first.
Houston is a league-best 8-1-1-1 in one-goal games, and an impressive 11-1-1-1 in games decided by two goals or less.
Aeros at the top
Houston is 13-4-1-1 for an AHL-best 28 points, although Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (13-0-1-0=27) has five games in hand. The Aeros .737 points percentage is second-best in the league behind the Penguins (.964 pct.). No other Western Conference team has more than 21 points.
Power play update
Houston is tied for ninth in the league on the power play at 18.5 percent. The Aeros are 4-for-16 (25.0 percent) in the last two games.
The Aeros are 8-0-0-0 when scoring at least two PPG.
Houstons well-balanced power play attack has seen 11 players score a PPG. Only Iowa (14) and Manitoba (12) sport more.
Manitoba is 11th in the AHL on the penalty kill at 86.5 percent. But prior to the last meeting between the teams, just 11 days ago, the Moose led the AHL at 90.4 percent.
The Moose has killed off just 27-of-34 (79.4 percent) shorthanded chances in the last five games.
Penalty kill update
Houston is up to 14th in the AHL on the penalty kill at 84.6 percent. After the Aeros yielded at least one man advantage goal in each of their first 13 games this season, they have gone 31-of-32 (96.9 percent) in the last six games.
Houston has gone shorthanded 144 times, 16 more than any other AHL team.
Manitoba is 12th in the AHL on the power play at 17.7 percent.
The Moose is 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) on the power play in the last five games.
Murphy climbing charts
Aeros D Curtis Murphys assist Saturday moved him into sole possession of seventh-place on the teams all-time assist list, trailing Travis Roche for sixth place (85). Murphy is in 15th place on the points list with 115, trailing Al Conroy for 14th (116).
A shoutout for the shootout
The Aeros are 4-1 in shootouts this season, after going only 5-6 in shootouts in 2004-05.
C Patrick OSullivan is 4-for-5 in shootouts, with two deciding tallies.
C Erik Westrum is 3-for-6, as he shot twice in one shootout.
LW Roman Voloshenko missed on his first three attempts, but his tally Saturday against San Antonio was the deciding goal.
Last Game (Sunday)
Josh Harding made 34 saves, and Curtis Murphy, Rem Murray and Josh Olson each scored third-period goals, as the Houston Aeros rallied to defeat the San Antonio Rampage 3-1 at SBC Center for their fifth straight win. Scott Stirling made 34 saves and Martin Sonnenberg scored early in the third period for the Rampage.
Manitobas Jozef Balej was on the 2002-03 Hamilton team that lost to the Aeros in the Calder Cup Finals.
The Mooses Sven Butenschon was an Aero in 1998-99. He totaled five points (1-4=5) and 81 PIMs in 57 games but was in Pittsburgh for the Aeros Turner Cup run.
Manitobas Maxime Fortunus was an Aero for parts of the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. He notched one assist and 12 PIMs in 23 games.