Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Couple of Well-Deserved Stick Taps for Brust, DiSalvatore

Overall it was a very good weekend for the Aeros, who earned four points against the best and worst teams in the AHL. After Friday's win at San Antonio, the Aeros got a goal five seconds into OT to beat the Abbotsford Heat. You can read more about that game below.

But a couple of former Aeros, two very popular former players were in the news over the weekend, so we'd be remiss by not mentioning that.

Brust lines up for a save against the Milwaukee Admirals
Barry Brust, who helped man the pipes between 2007 and 2010, set an AHL record this weekend. He set the new mark for the longest shutout streak against the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday night.

Before James Wright ended it later in the game, Brust went 268 minutes and 17 seconds without allowing a goal. That surpassed the previous AHL record of 249:51, established by Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower with the Cleveland Barons in 1957.

I talked to Barry after the game in Houston on Sunday, and asked him how long he knew he was going to get the start against the Rampage. The Heat have three goalies, and Brust has gone several weeks between starts. Brust said he knew for awhile, but things could change. That helped him prepare for all the hoopla that led up to his most recent start.

I also asked him what was going through his mind as the second ticked off leading up to the record. He just told me that he did whatever he could do to keep from looking at the clock. He was excited, happy, thankful and relieved when it finally made it to the 19th minute without allowing a goal.

Here is more about the record from The AHL:

Brust, who finished Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win with 26 saves, is now 5-0-0 on the season with a 0.59 goals-against average and a .978 save percentage, stopping 131 of 134 shots overall. The 29-year-old native of Swan River, Man., is 101-71-9 in 196 career AHL games, and was a member of the Binghamton Senators’ Calder Cup championship team in 2010-11. 

In setting a record that stood for nearly 55 years, Bower – a three-time AHL MVP and three-time Calder Cup champion in his career – helped Cleveland to a 2-2 tie with the Buffalo Bisons on Nov. 27, 1957, before shutting out the Hershey Bears (Nov. 30), Springfield Indians (Dec. 1) and Hershey again (Dec. 5). His streak was ended by Buffalo’s Lou Jankowski on Dec. 7.

(Aside from Ms.C: Wild horses couldn't have kept me from that game, so InGoal Magazine asked me to write a little something up afterward. Since I was the only reporter there, here's the exclusive with Brusty and Coach Ward after the game.)

Also over the weekend, former Aeros captain Jon DiSalvatore recorded his 500th career AHL point on Sunday in the Heshey Bears' win over the Toronto Marlies. DiSalvatore captained the Aeros to the 2011 Calder Cup finals and is now the fourth leading active player in the AHL. More amazingly, he's play for 10 different coaches in each of his 10 AHL seasons, and I think that is a record that will never be broken. That is just mind-boggling for someone who has been in the league for so long.

Jon, as many of you know, was a stand-up guy and always answered the tough questions ... win or lose. He had a rough plus-minus year during his first year in Houston, but he rebounded with back-to-back seasons with a career-high 28 goals. And he was money during the 2011 playoffs and scored one of the biggest goals in franchise history during Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against Hamilton.
DiSalvatore wins the West Finals vs. Hamilton in 2011

I was really hoping there'd be enough cash to persuade him to stay another year or so, but he got a great deal from the Yankees of the AHL. Here is some more about Jon from The AHL:

DiSalvatore, a 2000 draft pick by the San Jose Sharks, is in his 10th professional season and first with the Bears. 

He has totaled 209 goals and 291 assists in 696 career games with Hershey, Houston, the Lowell Devils, San Antonio, Peoria, the Worcester Sharks and the Cleveland Barons, reaching the 20-goal plateau in each of his first nine campaigns. 

DiSalvatore captained the Houston Aeros to the Calder Cup Finals in 2010-11, and made his first AHL All-Star Classic appearance in 2012. 

DiSalvatore ranks fourth among active AHL players in career scoring, behind Toronto's Keith Aucoin (794 points), Chicago's Darren Haydar(736) and Providence's Trent Whitfield (583).

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