The Aeros will be playing back-to-back games this weekend. First off will be the game tonight in Des Moines against the Iowa Stars, the developmental squad of the Dallas Stars. Saturday night will find the Aeros returning to Houston and the Toyota Center to take on the Peoria Rivermen, the developmental squad of the St. Louis Blues.
The Aeros have an overall record of 10-9-01 versus the Stars, going 3-6-0-1 against them last season, including winning three of five games in Des Moines. While players like Benoit Pouliot and Erik Reitz will be working to not only lead the Aeros to a win, but to also earn a promotion to Minnesota, the Stars feature two forwards in Junior Lessard and Chris Conner who are fighting to get the promotion to Dallas.
This will also be the Stars home opener, with the club having lost their first game 7-1 in San Antonio.
The Aeros have an overall record of 9-9-1-1 against the Rivermen, including a 3-5-1-1 record against them last season, with all three of those wins coming in Houston. The Rivermen’s parent club, the Blues, are suffering through some serious early season injuries, so any number of players with Peoria could be making trips to St. Louis before coming to Houston, especially on the defensive side. The Rivermen, who are 2-0 for the season, will be finishing up their own back-to-back when they face the Aeros, having played in San Antonio tonight.
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And while this is a new season for the Aeros, former coach Rob Daum is not taking his release from the organization in the best of spirits. While claiming to hold no grudges, he tells the Edmonton media that he felt blindsided by the Wild organization last April.
But Daum’s main job was to develop the talent for the parent club, and the Wild were not happy with the progress of Benoit Pouliot, among other players.
Speaking of the Wild, the parent club is now 3-0 on the season after defeating the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 2-0 on Wednesday night. Former Aero goalie Josh Harding has yet to see any action for the Wild, as Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves Wednesday night for his second shutout of the season. He’s also allowed only two goals in the entire season.
The first 5,000 fans to make it to the Toyota Center on Saturday night will receive magnetic schedules. – John Royal