Playing division rival Houston in back-to-back preseason games Friday and Saturday night led to some chippy moments. Including the playoffs, the Barons played the Aeros more than 10 times last season.
“I know most every guy on that team,” said Teemu Hartikainen. “I’ve been hitting them and they’ve been hitting me. It’s a rough team. They play hard and we play hard. Of course, when you play hard emotions come.”
Center Ryan Martindale, who had a goal and an assist in Friday’s 4-0 win, said the two teams know each other well.
“Coach (Todd) Nelson really stressed to us that we’ve played them so many times that we had to set the tempo now going into the season,” Martindale said. “We can’t give them an inch. They know what to expect when we play them during the season.”
Coach Todd Nelson said: “When we always play teams within our division we want to try to establish a mental edge. I thought our guys did that.”