SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild today announced the Houston Aeros, the club’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, will host the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5:00 p.m.
Houston is currently tied for second place in the AHL’s South Division with a 5-5-1-2 record. The Aeros are led in scoring by rookie Mikael Granlund who has tallied 12 points (4-8=12) in eight games. Defensemen Brian Connelly, a native of Bloomington, Minn., ranks second on the team with 11 points (2-9=11), Charlie Coyle (7-2=9) and Justin Fontaine (4-5=9) rank tied for third with nine points each. Other rookies on Houston’s roster include Brett Bulmer (0-1=1), Jonas Brodin (2-2=4, injured), Darcy Kuemper (3-2-0, 2.56 GAA, .898 SV%), Johan Larsson (2-4=6), Zack Phillips (1-4=5) and Jason Zucker (5-3=8). Minnesota natives Mike Montgomery (Lino Lakes), Jarod Palmer (Fridley) and Chad Rau (Eden Prairie) are also on the Aeros roster.
Houston Aeros players will sign autographs for fans following Sunday’s game. Autographs are free and will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the contest and last for 30 minutes. The autograph session is presented by BIC.
The Wild also announced the seventh annual Toyota Food Drive to benefit Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization, in conjunction with the Aeros game on Nov. 18. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations to Gates 1, 2 and 5 on Nov. 18 starting at 4:00 p.m. and continuing through the start of the first period. Monetary donations can also be made at the Fan Central Booth at Section 103 and the Community Relations Booth located at Section 124 throughout the game. For every $5 donated in the Minnesota Wild Toyota Food Drive, Second Harvest Heartland will be able to provide 18 meals to those in our community who need them most.
Minnesota Wild season ticketholders can contact their account representative to receive complimentary tickets to the game equal to the number of Wild seats they hold. Tickets for the Aeros game are $20 and are on sale at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, www.wild.com, www.aeros.com and at all Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) locations or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
The AHL matchup will be a showdown of the Wild’s and Blackhawks’ top prospects. This marks the fourth time the Aeros will host a game at Xcel Energy Center. Houston is 1-2-0 in its previous three contests in St. Paul, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Milwaukee Admirals on Dec. 8, 2002, posting a 3-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Mar. 7, 2005 and falling 3-1 to the Peoria Rivermen on Feb. 13, 2011.