Houston Aeros Goose the Manitoba Moose

Jason Villanueva/www.aeros.com

With 5,932 school kids screaming at the tops of their throats for the Fifth Annual

Houston Chronicle

Education Game, the Houston Aeros took on the Manitoba Moose this morning and came out with the 3-0 victory. Center Steve Kelly started the scoring for the Aeros, getting a power play goal at 4:20 of the first period. A little over six minutes later, left wing Peter Olvecky put the Aeros up 2-0 when he took the ricochet from defenseman Paul Alber's shot and put the puck into the net.

The final score of the game came at 19:54 in the second period when defenseman Maxim Noreau scored on the power play.

With the win, the Aeros record improved to 20-15-1-2 and the team moved into a tie for fourth place of the West Division with the Peoria Rivermen. The Aeros play the San Antonio Rampage in San Antonio tomorrow night, then return to Toyota Center for a rematch with the Moose on Saturday night.

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Aeros goalie Nolan Schaefer and Aeros defenseman Erik Reitz were named to the AHL All-Star teams. Schaefer will play for the Canadian squad, and Reitz was elected by the fans to start for the U.S. squad. The game will be played in Binghamton, New York on January 28.

Schaefer stopped all 21 shots he faced for his fifth shut-out this season, a career high. This moves him into a tie with Albany's Michael Leighton for first place in the AHL in shut-out games. This shut-out was his second in two games, and it marks the second time this season that he has had back-to-back shutouts. All of his shutouts have come since his return from Minnesota on November 30. In that span, he is 13-3-0. In his last seventeen games he has stopped 425 of 454 shots.

Steve Kelly's goal was his ninth of the season, and gave him the lead on the team for the most goals. It was also his third goal in three games against the Moose this season. Peter Olvecky had two points in the game as not only did he get a first period goal, he also assisted on Kelly's goal.

Serge Payer, who had four points on Sunday, also got an assist today, to give him five points for the last two games.

Defenseman Brandon Rogers, who has missed most of the last month due to a shoulder injury, returned to the lineup today.

Also in attendance today was the assistant general manager of the Minnesota Wild (and also Aeros GM) Tom Lynn.

Of news that may be of import in the future, it was announced in St. Paul, Minnesota today, during the Aeros game, that the group that owns the Minnesota Wild (and the Houston Aeros) was sold to the former owner of the NHL's Nashville Predators. – John Royal

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