There’s not really much to say about tonight’s 5-1 Houston Aeros loss to the Texas Stars. The 4919 fans in attendance at Toyota Center saw lots of pink -- the Aero Dynamics looked really nice in pink -- and they saw lot of Texas Stars goals. Other than that, meh.
The Aeros, as has been the situation all season, played a really strong first period and threatened Stars goalie Brent Krahn multiple times early in the first. But after one period, the score was 0-0. That’s about the last good thing that can be said about the game as the Aeros, as has been the situation all season, failed to show up in the second period.
The Stars scored four times in the second at 5:45, 10:42, 13:50, and 15:13. After that last goal, Anton Khudobin was pulled for Wade Dubielewicz. But by then, it was far, far too late to save the game.
Kevin Constantine, as he’s been known to do in the past, pulled Dubielewicz at 12:11 of the third to go with the extra skater. Still the Aeros just couldn’t do much, and after the Stars netted an empty-netter at 15:15 to make it 5-1, Constantine sent Dubielewicz back out to end the game.
“I thought in the first period we had some chances,” Constantine said. “It would have been nice to get some goals out of those. The period was pretty even though. And then they clearly -- you guys don’t need me to tell you they dominated the second period. That’s two out of three games we’ve played them where they’ve been a lot better second period team than us. I’m trying to figure out: are we bad, or are they pretty good. I don’t know, I think they’re pretty good, actually.”
Whether the Stars are good or the Aeros are bad, the result is that the Stars have won two of the three games the teams have played this season. Luckily, the Aeros don’t face Texas again for a couple of weeks, so maybe Constantine and the staff can find some answers. The Aeros return to play on Wednesday night when they host the Lake Erie Monsters at 7:05.
SOME MISCELLANEOUS GAME NOTES:
After tonight’s loss, the Aeros sit in a tie for fourth place with the Peoria Rivermen. The Aeros are 3-3-0-0 (6 points) and Peoria is 2-2-1-1 (6 points). Milwaukee sits in sixth place, just one point back. The Rampage are in first at 5-1-1-0 (11 points), and the Stars (4-1-0-1) and Rockford (4-2-1-0) are tied for second with nine points.
It’s easy to blame Anton Khudobin for tonight’s loss. Easy, but not entirely correct. Khudobin did appear to get rattled after the second goal of the second period. But he didn’t appear to have a lot of help from his defense. The forwards were faked out several times by the Texas defensemen up on the point, and there were long stretches in the second period where the Aeros failed time after time to clear the puck from their zone. And when that happens, goals are almost guaranteed.
“They faked some shots to the points and went around our blocks and got some point shots,” Kevin Constantine said. “That’s a credit to the poise and confidence of their [defense] versus our forwards ability to cover the points. So two of their first three goals were point shots. But I also thought -- they spent time in our end, significant amounts of time in our end where we couldn’t defend and get the puck back. We weren’t quick enough to situations, and they had a very good game.”
The giveaway for tonight was an Aeros calendar featuring the players in their hockey gear doing various non-hockey things -- playing golf, hanging out at the pool, lounging in a hot tub, etc. It’s a nice looking calendar, but I believe that I speak for all of the guys when I ask this one question: When are we ever going to get a calendar of the Aero Dynamics?
Who's with me on this, huh?
Tonight’s game was also the annual Breast Cancer Awareness game, which means the players had pink on their uniforms and sticks, and the Dynamics were dressed in tight pink shirts. Joe O’Donnell was even wearing some pink. But the one thing the Aeros failed to do was play a song with the word pink in the title. I’m thinking of Aerosmith’s “Pink.”
So, to play us out tonight, here’s Aerosmith with “Pink.” (Warning, brief flash of nudity towards the end.)