Eight things you need to know
- The Aeros have just two home regulation losses against the Rampage in 25 attempts (21-2-2-0), including an unbeaten in regulation 15-0-2-0 mark since the last regulation loss, a 6-3 decision 1/16/04. The 17-game home unbeaten in regulation mark is the longest in Aeros' team history against one opponent. Houston has outscored San Antonio 69-29 at home in the last 17 meetings. Aeros G Josh Harding is 13-3-1 with a 2.04 gaa and a .932 save pct. in his career against the Rampage, but at home he has been even better, going 7-0-0 with a 1.33 gaa and a .936 save pct. Five of the 12 goals he has yielded to the Rampage at Toyota Center came in one game, 10/7/05. He has allowed just one goal in four other meetings, plus a shutout.
- Houston RW/C Peter Olvecky has points in each of his last four games (2-2=4). After going 32 straight games without a goal dating back to last season's playoffs, Olvecky has scored a goal in each of the Aeros' last two games. His four-game point streak is a personal regular season high. Olvecky did have points in six straight games last season spanning the regular season and Calder Cup Playoffs.
- Aeros RW Mattias Weinhandl has wasted no time making an impact in the team's lineup. Weinhandl has posted four points (1-3=4) in his first three games with the Aeros, while also igniting much of C Peter Olvecky's four-game point streak. Weinhandl notched two points (1-1=2) in 12 games with the NHL's Minnesota Wild this season. The Sweden native played 33 games in the AHL with Bridgeport from 2002-04.
- Houston was outscored 7-5 Friday against Chicago, and it's very unusual for the Aeros to lose that type of game. The Aeros are 11-5-0-2 when scoring three goals or more, and just 1-10-0-1 when scoring two or fewer.
- San Antonio is just 1-9-1-0 on the road - no other Western Conference team has fewer than five road victories, and no AHL team has less than three. The Rampage has been outscored 49-28 on the road, but did take division leading Chicago to overtime on the road on Saturday. San Antonio is winless in its last six games (0-5-1-0) away from AT&T Center dating back to its only road win of the season - 6-3 at Manchester 11/8.
- The Aeros fell 7-5 at home to Chicago on Friday, allowing their second most goals in a regular season game at Toyota Center. Milwaukee put up eight in an 8-2 victory 11/6/03, Houston's seventh game at its new arena. The Aeros also allowed seven goals in Game 3 of the 2006 West Division Finals, a 7-4 loss to Milwaukee.
- Aeros third-year G Josh Harding has played in all but two of the Aeros' first 30 games, including each of the last nine. He has started all 15 of the Aeros' home games. Harding ranks first in the AHL in games played (28) and minutes (1,657), and is second in shots faced (854) and saves (785). He is tied for fourth in wins (11). Harding ranks 10th in the AHL in gaa (2.50), and tied for fourth in save pct. (0.919). Harding is 11-8-2 with a 2.35 gaa and a .924 save pct. in his last 21 decisions since starting the season 0-5-1. Counting back to last season and including the playoffs, Harding has appeared in 37-of-39 games. The Aeros' record for most games played by a goalie in one season is 72 - set by Frederic Chabot in 1996-97 in an 82-game season. The AHL record is 74 - set by Baltimore's Mike O'Neill in 1995-96. O'Neill also made an AHL-record 2,005 saves that season. Harding is currently on pace to make 2,116 saves for the entire season, but that's if he keeps up his heavy workload.
- The Aeros drew 7,877 to Toyota Center last Friday for their game against Chicago, marking the team's largest ever crowd for a December home game at Toyota Center. The previous largest was 12/28/05, when 7,271 saw Houston defeat Iowa 3-2. The Aeros currently rank ninth in the AHL, drawing 5,909 fans per night.
Rampage at Aeros (Aeros are 35-9-6-3 overall, Aeros are 22-2-2-0 at Houston)
- Tonight is the 54th all-time meeting between the teams - 27th in Houston.
- The Aeros are 20-4-2-1 in the last 27 overall meetings.
- Since a three-game winless slide in the series 12/27/03-1/17/04, the Aeros have unleashed a 25-5-3-2 mark.
- Aeros RW Matt Foy tallied a natural hat trick all in the game's final seven minutes as the Aeros rallied for a 5-3 win at Toyota Center 11/24. Foy scored the tying, winning and empty net goals as Houston moved its home unbeaten in regulation streak against San Antonio to 17 games (15-0-2-0).
- The teams meet three times in the next five days, with Houston traveling to San Antonio Friday, and then hosting the Rampage on Saturday.
Scouting the Aeros
The sixth-place Aeros (12-15-0-3) have 27 points, five points behind Iowa for fifth place in the West...Houston plays four games this week, and eight in a 12 day stretch beginning tonight and continuing tomorrow in Chicago...Team scoring leader RW Matt Foy has 24 points (12-12=24)...Next is a pair of rookies: LW Benoit Pouliot (12-4=16) and C Ben Thomson (6-10=16) and veteran D Peter Ratchuk (4-12=16)...D Curtis Murphy (4-10=14) is on Ratchuk's heels...G Josh Harding is 11-13-3 with a 2.50 gaa and a .919 save pct....Rookie G Tony Quesada, a Holy Cross product, is 0-2-0 with a 4.30 gaa and a .901 save pct.
Scouting the Rampage
San Antonio (10-19-0-1), AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, is 2-6-1-0 in its last nine games and sits in seventh place in the West Division with 21 points...The Rampage fell 2-1 at West-leading Chicago on Saturday...C Yanick Lehoux leads the Rampage in scoring with 30 points (14-16=30) - 10 more than any other teammate...Veteran D Bryan Helmer paces the blueline with 12 points (4-8=12)...G Josh Tordjman is 4-6-0 with a 2.46 gaa...G David LeNeveu is 2-8-0 with a 4.16 gaa.
2006-07 meetings (6th of 12 meetings, Aeros are 3-1-0-1 overall, Aeros are 2-0-0-0 at Houston)
October 15 Houston 4 at San Antonio 5 (SO)
November 17 San Antonio 1 at Houston 4
November 21 Houston 2 at San Antonio 4
November 24 San Antonio 3 at Houston 5
December 14 Houston 3 at San Antonio 1
Tonight San Antonio at Houston
Friday Houston at San Antonio
Saturday San Antonio at Houston
January 7 San Antonio at Houston
January 14 Houston at San Antonio
April 14 Houston at San Antonio
April 15 San Antonio at Houston
Former Aero Kyle Wanvig scored two goals, including the game-winner with 2:24 left in regulation, and linemates Steve Martins (goal, two assists) and Alex Bourret (three helpers) chipped in three points apiece, as the Chicago Wolves outlasted the Houston Aeros 7-5 in front of 7,877 at Toyota Center. Roman Voloshenko tallied a goal and two assists, and defensemen Peter Ratchuk and Curtis Murphy added a goal and a helper apiece but Houston had its two-game winning streak snapped. Danny Irmen and Peter Olvecky also scored, and Mattias Weinhandl had two assists for the Aeros.
- Five of the Aeros' 12 victories have been in come-from-behind fashion.
- The Aeros are 4-4-0-3 in one-goal games. But after eight of their first 12 games were decided by one goal, just three of Houston's last 18 contests has been decided in that fashion.
- Thirty-two of Houston's 81 goals have come from rookies.
- San Antonio has scored first in a league-low nine games (6-3-0-0). Houston is 7-4-0-2 when scoring first.
- The Rampage has been outscored by an AHL-high 23 goals in the first period (44-21).
Power play update
- Houston is 27th in the AHL with the man advantage at 12.8 percent.
- The Aeros are 6-for-46 (13.0 percent) on the power play in their last eight games.
- Houston is an improved 16.2 percent with the man advantage at home - 21st in the league among home teams.
- San Antonio is 17th in the AHL on the PK at 83.2 percent, but on the road it is just 75.3 percent - 25th among 27 AHL teams.
- The Rampage has killed off 20-of-26 (76.9 percent) of its shorthanded chances in the last five games.
- Houston is 5-for-28 (17.9 percent) with the man advantage against San Antonio this season, including an impressive 3-for-11 (27.3 percent) at home.
Penalty kill update
- Houston is third in the AHL on the PK at 87.1 percent, and it kills off 88.2 percent of its chances at Toyota Center.
- Opponents are 1-for-20 (5.0 percent) on the power play in the last three games.
- San Antonio is 10th in the AHL on the power play at 18.2 percent.
- The Rampage is just 2-for-24 (8.3 percent) with the man advantage in the last five games.
- San Antonio is 3-for-23 (13.0 percent) on the power play against Houston this season.
- Rampage D Matt Jones enrolled at the University of North Dakota in 2001-02, a season after Aeros C Bryan Lundbohm left campus, and four after Aeros D Curtis Murphy graduated.
- Rampage D Nick Martens is an alum of the University of Michigan, as is assistant coach Cam Stewart.
- Houston LW Josh Olson played for San Antonio from 2002-05, while RW Joey Tetarenko skated with the Rampage in 2002-03
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American Hockey League Stories from December 26, 2006
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- Houston survives late goal - Houston Aeros
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- Portland Pirates Weekly Report - Portland Pirates
- Rampage sign Ferraro, Paddock to PTO - San Antonio Rampage
- Admirals Keep Pace Near Top of Tight East Division Race - Norfolk Admirals
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