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Chicago visits Houston for an AHL fall classic

Fans in Chicago and Houston may have waited a long time for a World Series championship, but hockey fans in those towns have grown quite accustomed to the taste of victory.

While the White Sox and Astros battle in the first Fall Classic game ever in the state of Texas, some six blocks away the Houston Aeros and Chicago Wolves will renew their rivalry at the Toyota Center in an American Hockey League West Division clash. The teams have won three of the last four Western Conference titles in the AHL, and since 1998 the franchises have combined for five league championships.

Houston has enjoyed much success against Chicago at home in the regular season, going 20-7-8-2 in 11 seasons at home versus the Wolves, dating back to the teams’ days in the old IHL. But Chicago took three straight against the Aeros at Toyota Center in the 2005 West Division semifinals, eliminating the Aeros en route to a trip to the Calder Cup Finals.

The Aeros (6-1-1-0) are off to their second-best start in franchise history; only an 8-0-0-0 run to begin its 2002-03 Calder Cup-winning season has netted more points in the standings in the first eight games.

The Wolves (1-3-1-0) won their season opener in Omaha on Oct. 7, but have lost four in a row since then.

In the only other AHL action tonight, Iowa plays host to Omaha in another West Division tilt.

The Stars (3-3-0-0) have won three in a row to get back to the .500 mark, while the Knights (2-3-0-2) are winless in their last three, including back-to-back shootout defeats at the hands of Houston last week.

Game time from both Houston and Des Moines is 8:05 p.m. (ET), and you can watch all the action live on your computer as part of B2 Networks’ video webcast coverage of the AHL.