Serge’s Big Night

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SERGE PAYER | Big 4-point night

I have to take this chance to brag on my buddy Serge Payer’s big night. This past Sunday night, he scored two goals and two assists in the Houston Aeros’ big 5-0 win over the Iowa Stars. My son Zach and I spent a weekend with Serge in November and saw two games with him; he ws nursing a shoulder injury and didn’t play, but he returned to action the next week and has been on fire ever since. Here’s Andrew Ferraro’s story from Monday’s Houston Chronicle…

You can check out the story on the paper’s site here.

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What a game for Serge Payer.

In the team’s best individual outing of the season, Payer became the first Aero to record four points in a game and helped end a six-game home losing streak to the Iowa Stars.

His two goals and two assists (also a career high) helped the Aeros trounce Iowa 5-0 on Sunday in front of 5,459 at Toyota Center.

The Aeros beat the Stars at home for the first time since Feb. 23, 2006.

In addition, thanks to several anonymous donors, his scoring barrage helped raise $1,400 for the Serge Payer Foundation, a program he created to help raise money for research and treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Payer, who battled through that illness when he was 19, said he got chills when public address announcer Steve Vidal announced that various monetary denominations would be donated for each of his points Sunday.

“I was really moved,” Payer said. “I can’t be thankful enough to the Houston organization for helping set it up, and to the fans who went out of their way to donate the money.”

Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to Payer’s Web site, is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves — those outside the brain and spinal cord.

Aeros goalie Nolan Schaefer stopped 22 shots and recorded his fourth shutout of the season. All of the shutouts have come in his last 16 games.

“It’s a great stat and I am feeling pretty good, but it is not an individual game,” Schaefer said. “It’s about 20 guys out there doing everything they can to win the game.”

After surviving a sluggish first period, the Aeros exploded for three goals in the second to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the final period.

Payer got the Aeros on the board just one minute into the period when he buried a rebound behind Stars goalie Phillipe Sauve.

Just more than four minutes later, the Aeros made it 2-0 when Payer deflected a shot by Erik Reitz past Sauve at 5:07.

Payer, who finished the week with four goals and two assists in four games, became the first Aero this season to score two goals in a period.

“We came in the dressing room after the first period and said we just need to set that first period aside,” Payer said. “We knew we needed to dig down a little deeper and just find a way to win.”

Before the period ended, Benoit Pouliot jumped on a loose puck, skated in alone on Sauve and flipped a backhanded shot into the net for the three-goal lead.

Steve Kelly and Danny Irmen scored in the third to close out the scoring for the Aeros.

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