Houston Aeros Hockey: At 3-3, Look For H-Town’s AHL Team To Begin To Shine

by dentonramsey

Houston Aeros Hockey: At 3-3, Look For H-Town’s AHL Team To Begin To Shine

By Denton Ramsey, Houston Aeros Writer/Columnist

Forget Saturday night’s 5-1 loss to the intra-state rival Texas Stars.

These Houston Aeros are much better than what Saturday’s score shows.

Houston was also playing without their key-defensive threat (as well as currently being tied for second on the team in goals) in Clayton Stoner, who was a healthy scratch from Saturday’s showdown with the Stars.

Let us also not forget that we played a remarkable game the evening before, taking down our other intra-state rival in the San Antonio Rampage.

The 2009-10 AHL season is still young, but thus far the Houston Aeros (3-3-0) are looking pretty good out there on the ice.

And this very well may be the year the Aeros return to AHL greatness.

Houston has a solid squad with good goalies and a great coach in Kevin Constantine.

I definitely believe that Constantine is guiding the team in the right direction, and it’s only a matter of time before we see Houston’s hockey club begin to shine.

We appear to be a step or two quicker than last year also; now, we just need to get the mental aspect of the game in-check and I believe the Aeros will be soaring in no time.

Taking a closer looking at the Aeros newest Lone Star rival in the mix, Houston took care of business their last time out on the ice against Texas — defeating the Stars 2-1 in a shootout at Toyota Center for their second victory of the season.

As mentioned earlier, the Aeros garnered win number three of the year in a 5-2 victory over the Rampage on Friday night at Toyota Center.

And Friday night’s victory was oh-so-sweet.

After giving up two goals in a matter of just 11 seconds, the Aeros were able to regroup and reenergize as Houston battled back and took control of the hockey game.

Power play opportunities and crisp passing helped propel the Aeros to a 4-2 lead with 10:43 remaining in the third period.

On the other side of the puck, Houston’s penalty-kill was remarkable against San Antonio as the Aeros were able to kill any last-second momentum by the Rampage with an empty-net goal by Duncan Milroy at the 18:56 mark for a 5-2 home-team victory.

“[We take] great pride in having a good penalty kill,” J.P. Testwuide told Houston Aeros announcer Joe O’Donnell in the booth during the third period of Friday’s broadcast.

If the Aeros can continue to dominate defensively as well as learn to handle the mental aspects of the game (especially in the second period of play), Houston will no doubt have a very successful season.

Based on what I have heard and seen thus far this season, we’re on the road to redemption in Houston Aeros hockey.

With a split of the Texas match-ups this past weekend in H-town, I do believe the Aeros have begun to assert themselves as one of AHL’s elite teams this season.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done, and we still have a lot to prove.

And Houston’s AHL hockey team needs all the support they can get from their fans.

The Aeros return to the ice on Wednesday, Oct. 21, against the Lake Erie Monsters.

Wednesday’s puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Toyota Center, and the game can be heard live on 1070 AM KNTH in Houston or online at aeros.com. For those wishing to view a live feed of the game, visit ahllive.com.

Get ready Aeros fans; when Wednesday evening rolls around, grab a cold one and turn on the radio — it’s time for some Houston Aeros hockey…

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING THROUGH THE FIRST SIX MEETINGS…

Through the first six games of the AHL season, Houston’s Pete Zingoni leads the team in goals with three, while Clayton Stoner and Duncan Milroy are currently tied for second with two goals apiece.

In the helpers department, Michael Daoust and Maxim Noreau lead the Aeros with three assists each, while four Aeros have two assists thus far — Jon DiSalvatore, Petr Kalus, Andy Hilbert, and Nathan Smith (both Hilbert and Smith are not currently on Houston’s roster due to being called-up, with both appearing in the Aeros first four games).

In net, Anton Khudobin has started four games for Houston (picking up three wins and a loss in 220 minutes of action with a 2.45 GAA), while Wade Dubielewicz has started just twice this season and was in net for the third period of play against the Stars on Saturday evening (taking a pair of Aeros losses in 136 minutes of action with a 3.09 GAA).

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE WEEKEND AND BEYOND…

After Wednesday’s game against Lake Erie, the Aeros hit the road for San Antonio this weekend with a pair of match-ups against the Rampage.

Houston will face San Antonio on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:05 p.m. and will return to the ice on Sunday, Oct. 25, for an afternoon game with puck drop slated for 3:05 p.m.

The Aeros return home on Wednesday, Oct. 27, as Houston hosts Hamilton at 7:05 p.m. before hitting the road once again for a pair of games against Grand Rapids on Thursday, Oct. 29, and Friday, Oct. 30 (with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. in both).

Following a day off on Halloween, Houston returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 1, for an evening match-up with the intra-state rival Texas Stars on the road at 5:05 p.m.

All games can be heard live online through aeros.com or on 1070 AM KNTH in Houston, with Joe O’Donnell calling all the Aeros action.

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

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