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Eight things you need to know
- It's a milestone night for the Aeros' franchise, which tonight hits both the 1,000 regular season game mark in its history, and also its 500th home game. Houston, which played its first game 10/2/94 in Denver and its first home game five days later versus Atlanta, sports a 515-356-104-24 overall mark in its 13 seasons. At home, Houston is 280-153-53-13. Ironically, Manitoba head coach Scott Arniel was an Aeros' alternate captain for part of the 1994-95 season. He is the second former Aero to face the team as a head coach. The other is Peoria's Dave Baseggio. Aeros athletic trainer Jerry Meins was also on the bench 10/2/94.
- Aeros veteran D Peter Ratchuk is averaging nearly a point per game over the last 11 contests, with three goals and seven assists in that span. Ratchuk's 14 points (3-11=14) tie him for 12th in the AHL in defensemen scoring.
- Houston has lost five straight on the road - a new franchise record - but is playing seven of its final 10 December games at home. Two of the three road games are in San Antonio, so the Aeros go outside Texas just once before New Year's - 12/27 at Chicago. The Aeros are 2-0-0-2 in their last four home games. Through 1/7, Houston plays 10 of 14 games within the friendly confines of Toyota Center.
- Since allowing their opponents to go 4-for-17 on the power play in their first two home games, the Aeros have killed off 55-of-59 shorthanded chances (93.2 percent) in their last 10 games at Toyota Center. However, Omaha went 2-for-7 Saturday. The Aeros currently rank fourth in the AHL on the PK at 87.0 percent.
- Aeros third-year G Josh Harding has played in all but two of the Aeros' first 26 games. Harding ranks first in the AHL in games played (24) and minutes (1,418), and second in shots faced (721) and saves (664). He is tied for sixth in wins (nine). Harding ranks tied for seventh in the AHL in gaa (2.41), and tied for fourth in save pct. (0.921). Harding is 9-6-2 with a 2.19 gaa and a .928 save pct. in his last 17 decisions since starting the season 0-5-1. Counting back to last season and including the playoffs, Harding has appeared in 33-of-35 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.
- With leading scorer RW Matt Foy recalled by NHL Minnesota, three of the team's next four scorers, and four of the next six, are rookies. LW Benoit Pouliot has 16 points (12-4=16), ranking tied for 16th in rookie scoring and fifth in goals among first-year players. Pouliot is a team-best plus-five. RW Danny Irmen (7-6=13) and C Ben Thomson (6-7=13) are the next highest scoring rookies with 13 points apiece. Thirty of Houston's 69 goals have come from rookies, including 26 total from Pouliot, Thomson and Irmen. Foy has missed six games this season - the Aeros are 1-3-0-2 and have scored just eight regulation goals in those six games.
- Tonight matches up Houston's 26th-ranked power play unit (12.4 percent) against a Moose PK ranked second in the league (88.0 percent). Manitoba has been stellar lately. The Moose has killed off 28-of-29 shorthanded chances (96.7 percent) in the last five games, and it is a perfect 18-of-18 in the last three contests.
- The Aeros have played two straight shootout games for the first time since 10/18-10/20/05. Both of those games also came versus Omaha. Since the AHL reinstituted the shootout in 2004-05, Houston hasn't played three straight shootout contests.

Moose at Aeros (Aeros are 37-20-10-1 overall, Aeros are 19-9-5-1 at Houston)
- Houston has won two of the last three meetings against the Moose, after dropping the previous six (0-5-0-1).
- The Aeros went 2-1-0-1 last season versus Manitoba, including a 1-0-0-1 mark at Toyota Center.
- Houston is just 4-8-1-1 in the last 14 overall meetings, and 2-6-0-1 in the last nine.
- The Aeros are 2-3-0-1 versus the Moose in their three seasons at Toyota Center.
- Since the teams joined the AHL, Houston is 11-11-1-1 against Manitoba, including a 6-5-0-1 home mark.
- Houston and Manitoba once played five straight OT/SO games in the IHL; in their 24 AHL meetings, just two games have gone into extra time.

Scouting the Aeros
The Aeros (10-13-0-3) have 23 points, tied with Milwaukee for fifth place in the West...Houston is in San Antonio tomorrow before hosting Manitoba again on Saturday...Team scoring leader RW Matt Foy (11-11=22) is currently on recall to the NHL's Minnesota Wild...Next among forwards are a trio of rookies: LW Benoit Pouliot (12-4=16), RW Danny Irmen (7-6=13) and C Ben Thomson (6-7=13)...D Peter Ratchuk (3-11=14) and D Curtis Murphy (3-8=11) pace the blueline...G Josh Harding is 9-11-3 with a 2.41 gaa and a .921 save pct. this season...Rookie G Tony Quesada, a Holy Cross product, is 0-2-0 with a 4.30 gaa and a .901 save pct.

Scouting the Moose
Manitoba (12-12-3-2), AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, has won two in a row and sits in third place in the North Division, just two points behind second-place Hamilton...The Moose swept a pair of games from Peoria by a combined 7-1 score last weekend...Manitoba makes a four-game swing through Texas, and has lost two straight on the road...C Brad Moran leads Manitoba in scoring with 31 points (11-20=31), just ahead of LW Jason Jaffray (16-14=30)...D Prestin Ryan paces the blueline with seven points (1-6=7)...G Wade Flaherty is 6-7-0 with a 2.93 gaa, while G Drew MacIntire is 5-5-2 with a 2.50 gaa.

2006-07 meetings (1st of 4 meetings)
Tonight Manitoba at Houston
Saturday Manitoba at Houston
March 20 Houston at Manitoba
March 21 Houston at Manitoba

Saturday's game
Omaha used goals from Andrei Taratukhin and Carsen Germyn to escape a two-goal, third period deficit with less than five minutes remaining in regulation and outlast the Aeros in a 13-round shootout for a 4-3 victory. Peter Ratchuk tallied a goal and an assist, rookie Ryan Hamilton also scored a power play goal and Josh Harding made 37 saves for Houston.

Quick Hits
- Five of the Aeros' 10 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 14 contests has been decided in that fashion.

Power play update
- Houston is 26th in the AHL with the man advantage at 12.4 percent.
- The Aeros are 3-for-29 (10.3 percent) on the power play in their last four games.
- Manitoba is second in the AHL on the PK at 88.1 percent.
- The Moose has killed off 28-of-29 shorthanded chances (96.7 percent) in the last five games, and it is a perfect 18-of-18 in the last three contests.

Penalty kill update
- Houston is fourth in the AHL on the PK at 87.0 percent.
- Opponents are 9-for-52 (17.3 percent) with the man advantage in the last seven games.
- Manitoba is 12th in the AHL on the power play at 16.6 percent.
- The Moose is 8-for-37 (21.6 percent) with the man advantage in the last five games.

Aeros/Moose connections
- Manitoba head coach Scott Arniel was a member of the original IHL Aeros in 1994-95, and also in 1995-96. He was the team's second leading scorer in its first season, and posted 121 points (55-68=121) in 136 games in two seasons.
- Aeros D Curtis Murphy, C Bryan Lundbohm and Manitoba G Wade Flaherty were teammates on Milwaukee's 2004 Calder Cup winning team.
- Manitoba G Wade Flaherty and Houston RW Joey Tetarenko were teammates in the Florida Panthers organization in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
- Aeros D Maxime Fortunus played 25 games for Houston in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, with two assists and six penalty minutes.
- Moose D Dustin Wood tallied seven points (1-6=7) and 48 PIM's in 64 games for Houston in 2005-06. He was loaned to Syracuse for LW Greg Mauldin in March.
- Manitoba RW Lee Goren attended the University of North Dakota, where he was Aeros C Bryan Lundbohm's teammate for two seasons, and Aeros D Curtis Murphy's for one.
- Moose D Jean-Francois David attended training camp this season with the Aeros.
 
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