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Volume 71, Issue 131, Thursday, April 20, 2006


Columnist clearly has man-crush on Aeros

He Hate Me

Fabian Sifuentes 

Hockey fans are the most superstitious people I have ever met, even more so than baseball nuts or gamblers. 

When I worked for the Houston Aeros as an intern during the 2002-03 season, I was strongly urged to grow out my playoff beard to show my support for the team.

And grow it I did. For the two month playoff run, my beard was untouched. It grew to lengths that would have made Grizzly Adams proud. 

I can say that with confidence because my beard stopped Dave Barr, then team president and general manager, in his tracks so he could compliment it. 

Barr knows a few things about playoff beards -- he was a 16-year veteran of the National Hockey League.

The Aeros enter the 2005-06 Calder Cup Playoffs with 50 regular season wins -- their highest win total since their 2002-03 Calder Cup championship season and second highest total since their 1998-99 Turner Cup championship season.

For good measure, the Aeros dusted off their old World War II-inspired bomber logo to use on a new alternate jersey the team will wear through the playoffs.

The last year this logo was used predominantly was during the teams Calder Cup-winning season.

For those of you who want to buy a vowel, know this: The Aeros will be the 2005-06 Calder Cup Champions.

Everything that could possibly align has aligned. I would be scared if this was an end-of-days event, but it isn't. It is the start of the greatest two months of the year: hockey playoffs.

The Aeros begin their best-of-seven games West Division semifinal series against the Peoria Rivermen on Friday at the Toyota Center. 

On Wednesday, the Aeros will complete their sweep of the Rivermen in Peoria, Ill.

The Aeros have 281 regular season goals, which makes for second in the Western Conference and first in the West Division. Peoria was fourth in the West Division with 244 goals. 

Defensively, the Rivermen have only allowed 220 goals to the Aeros' 236. However, the goals scored to goals allowed ratio clearly favors the Aeros. 

And there are the mascots. What would you rather have a riverboat for rivermen to drive, or would you rather have a bomber to drop incendiary devices on the boat driven by rivermen? Duh.

The Aeros bandwagon takes off on Friday, so it is time to stop shaving. I'm sure there will be great tickets available on game day. 

Remember, the Aeros are 16 wins away from another Calder Cup championship. Don't miss out on your chance to be apart of Houston hockey history.

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