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Moose back for Family Day rematch

November 6, 2005 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Houston Aeros News Release

Five things you need to know
- Manitoba has won six straight meetings with Houston by a combined total of 26-8. Last season, the Moose won all four by a 16-4 margin. The Aeros last beat Manitoba 1/30/04, when they earned a 5-2 win in Winnipeg. Houston's last - and only - win at Toyota Center versus the Moose came 2-1 on 11/2/03. The Aeros' have scored two or fewer goals in the last six meetings overall.
- Houston was able to come back to get a point Friday versus the Moose despite trailing 2-1 entering the third. That's impressive because Manitoba has been one of the top teams in the AHL this season in the final 20 minutes, while Houston's defense has suffered in the stanza. Manitoba has allowed only six third-period goals in 12 games, one off Providence's league-best total. But the Bruins have played only seven games. Manitoba holds a 9-6 goal advantage over the final 20 minutes, despite getting outshot 115-98 in that span. Houston, meanwhile, has allowed a league-high 22 third-period goals in only 14 games. That's five more than any other team, and at least twice as many as 15 other AHL franchises. The Aeros have kept their opponent off the scoreboard in the third period four times in 14 games, and it's no surprise that they are 3-0-1-0 in such situations. Houston had allowed a third-period goal in five straight games prior to Friday. One of the reasons Houston has had trouble defensively in the third period is the shot total. The Aeros have been outshot 174-115 in the third period. The saving grace for the Aeros has been the fact that they've scored 15 third-period goals - just two off Grand Rapids' league-best total. Last season, Houston held a 68-57 goal advantage over the final 20 minutes.
- Manitoba sits atop the North Division at 9-3-0-0, but records haven't mattered this season to Houston. The Aeros are 6-2-1-1 against teams with a .500 record or better, including 3-0-0-0 against Grand Rapids, which is just one point behind the Moose. But Houston is only 2-2-0-0 against teams with losing records. Both losses have come versus division foes - Chicago and San Antonio.
- Manitoba looks to become the second AHL team with 10 wins this season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is atop the entire league with a 10-0-1-0 start for 21 points. The Moose rank tied for third in winning percentage behind the Penguins (.955) and Grand Rapids (.773). Manitoba leads the North by one point, although the Griffins have a game in hand.
- Moose G Wade Flaherty has had his share of success against most of the teams he's faced in the past. In his career against the Aeros, he is 8-5-1 with a 2.60 gaa. However, he's been lights out the last three seasons versus Houston. Since going 0-2-0 with a 6.40 gaa against the Aeros with San Antonio in 2002-03, "Flats" is 4-0-1 with a 1.35 gaa in the last three seasons. He's allowed only three goals in three games against Houston since joining the Moose in 2004-05. The 36-year-old Flaherty could face 21-year-old, second-year netminder Josh Harding tonight. Flaherty won both of their matchups last season. Harding hasn't played since suffering an injury 10/25 vs. Chicago, but he could be ready soon.

Moose at Aeros (Aeros are 35-19-10-1 all-time, Aeros are 18-9-5-1 at Houston)
- Tonight is the 66th all-time meeting between the teams, 34th in Houston.
- The Aeros are 9-10-1-1 against the Moose, including a 4-5-1-0 mark in Manitoba and a 5-5-0-1 home record, since moving to the AHL in 2001-02.
- Since the Moose moved from Minnesota to Winnipeg, Houston is 27-17-8-1 against the team.
- Houston is 0-2-1 all time in overtime against the Manitoba/Minnesota franchise, and 9-8 in shootouts. Manitoba's shootout victory Friday snapped Houston's 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 21 AHL contests, including Friday.
- Houston is 0-3-0-1 in the last four meetings at Toyota Center after winning the first one, 2-1 on 11/2/03.
- The teams meet again for two games in Manitoba 11/17-11/18.

Scouting the Aeros
The Aeros are off to an 8-4-1-1 start, and their 18 points are tied for the third-best start in team history with the 1997-98 squad...Houston is tied for first place in the West Division with 18 points, although Peoria has two games in hand...C Erik Westrum has 21 points (6-15=21) to rank second in the AHL lead in scoring...Westrum has a team-best seven multiple-point games, including a goal and an assist Thursday...RW Kirby Law is sixth in the league with 17 points (8-9=17)...Rookie LW Roman Voloshenko is tied for third in the AHL with nine goals - all coming in three games...D Kurtis Foster has 13 points (4-9=13), while counterpart D Curtis Murphy has 11 (1-10=11)...The duo ranks second and tied for third, respectively, among AHL defensemen...G Josh Harding is 5-3-0 with a 3.16 gaa but hasn't played since 10/25 due to injury...G Miroslav Kopriva is 1-1-0 with a 4.33 gaa...G Seamus Kotyk is 2-1-1, with a 3.36 gaa and has started the last four games.

Scouting the Moose
Manitoba, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, rolls into tonight's game winners of five in a row and nine of 10 since opening the season 0-2-0-0...Manitoba has won six straight on the road, the longest run in the AHL this season...The Moose, in first place in the North Division with 18 points, are 3-0-0-0 to begin a seven-game road trip after ripping San Antonio 5-1 last night behind four PPG...Veteran G Wade Flaherty is 6-2-0 with a 1.55 gaa to rank second in the league among goalies in both wins and gaa...His .944 save pct. is tops among all AHL netminders...G Robert Gherson was property of the Aeros in 2004-05, but never played in a regular-season game...He made 20 saves last night...With C Josh Green with Vancouver, the Moose's leading scorer is Alexandre Burrows (3-7=10)...The Moose rank first in the AHL in team defense, allowing only 1.67 gpg.

2005-06 meetings (2nd of 4 meetings, Aeros are 0-0-0-1 overall, Aeros are 0-0-0-1 at Houston)
Friday Manitoba 3 at Houston 2 (SO)
Today Manitoba at Houston
November 17 Houston at Manitoba
November 18 Houston at Manitoba

Quick Hits
- Houston is 5-1-1-1 in one-goal games, one off Hartford for the AHL lead for one-goal victories. In 2004-05, the Aeros were 16-9-6-6 in one-goal contests.
- The Aeros are a perfect 8-0-0-0 when scoring three goals or more, but winless at 0-4-1-1 when scoring two or fewer.
- Aeros C Erik Westrum enters tonight's game with 99 assists in his AHL career. He got pro assist No. 100, counting his one with NHL Phoenix, when setting up RW Kirby Law's game-tying goal late in regulation Friday. It's no surprise that Westrum assisted on a Law goal. The Aeros' captain has eight tallies, and Westrum has a hand in seven of them. Law, meanwhile, has set up six of rookie LW Roman Voloshenko's nine goals.
- Manitoba is 6-0-0-0 when scoring first.
- Manitoba is 26th of 27 in the league in shots for (25.92), but Houston is last in shots against (36.36).
- The Aeros allowed the Moose 30 shots Friday. That tied the lowest shot total for a Houston opponent this season. San Antonio also launched 30 on Opening Night, when Houston had 46. Houston has outshot just three opponents this season, and in the other two occasions, the shot margin was one. The Aeros have been outshot in five straight home games since Opening Night.
- Houston is tied with San Antonio for most SHG allowed with four.
- The Aeros have led after one period only twice in six home games.

A shoutout for the shootout
- Houston fell in a shootout for the first time Friday versus Manitoba. The Aeros failed to score in any of the five rounds to drop to 3-1 in shootouts this season. Each of the Aeros' shootout wins has come on the road, after they went 4-3 in such situations in 2004-05.
- C Patrick O'Sullivan is 3-for-4 in shootouts, with two deciding tallies.
- C Erik Westrum is 3-for-5, as he shot twice in one shootout.

A lot from a little
- The Aeros have goals from 11 players this season, after rookie D Clayton Stoner scored Thursday and veteran D Curtis Murphy got on the board Friday.
- The trio of Roman Voloshenko, Kirby Law and Erik Westrum has accounted for 23 of the Aeros' 47 goals (48.9 percent).

Power play update
- Houston ranks eighth in the league on the power play at 20.2 percent. The Aeros are just 6-for-48 (12.5 percent) with the man advantage in the last seven games, dating back to a four PPG performance vs. Grand Rapids 10/21.
- The Aeros are 4-for-28 (14.3 percent) on the power play in their last four games at Toyota Center.
- Manitoba is a rock solid 90.4 percent on the penalty kill, good for the top spot in the AHL. Manitoba killed off each of San Antonio's six opportunities with the man advantage last night.

Penalty kill update
- Houston is 18th in the AHL on the penalty kill at 82.0 percent. The Aeros yielded at least one man advantage goal in each of their first 13 games this season before Manitoba went 0-for-5 Friday, including a power play in overtime.
- Houston has allowed two or more PPG in three of its last five games. Opponents are 8-for-36 (22.2 percent) with the man advantage in the last five contests.
- Houston has gone shorthanded 122 times in 14 games., 17 more than any other AHL team. The Aeros have an AHL-high 133 minor penalties - 15 more than any other team. The Aeros are minus-18 in the PP for/PP against differential.
- Manitoba is 12th in the AHL on the power play at 17.0 percent after going 4-for-10 in San Antonio last night.

Murphy climbing charts
Aeros D Curtis Murphy is in sole possession of eighth place on the team's all-time list with 76 assists. Mark Cullen, Murphy's teammate on the 2002-03 Calder Cup winning team, is seventh with 77. Murphy has moved into sole possession of 16th place on the Aeros' all-time points list with 112. He's one behind Kyle Wanvig for 15th.

Last Game (Friday)
Jesse Schultz scored in regulation and notched the shootout's lone goal, and Wade Flaherty stopped 24 shots and all five in the shootout, as the Manitoba Moose defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 at Toyota Center. Jason Jaffray added a goal and an assist for Manitoba. Kirby Law and Curtis Murphy each scored and Seamus Kotyk made 27 saves for Houston, which is 2-1-0-1 in its last four.

Aeros/Moose connections
- Manitoba's Josef Balej was on the 2002-03 Hamilton team that lost to the Aeros in the Calder Cup Finals.
- The Moose's Sven Butenschon was an Aero in 1998-99. He totaled five points (1-4=5) and 81 PIM's in 57 games but was in Pittsburgh for the Aeros' Turner Cup run.
- Manitoba's Maxime Fortunus was an Aero for parts of the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. He notched one assist and 12 PIM's in 23 games.
- The Moose's Robert Gherson was property of the Aeros in 2004-05, but he didn't see action in a regular-season game. He did back up on several occasions.

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