They were outplayed early, and then just when it looked like they were ready to turn things around, they allowed a goal with less than 30 seconds left in the second period. That goal killed them.
They were also screwed three times in the third period, and thankfully one of the "screwings" got unscrewed. Sorry about all the screwing there. Won't happen again on THIS blog.
First, referee Shaun Davis (at least 35 feet away from the play) waived off a goal by JM Daoust because he ruled that Daoust interfered with IceHogs goalie Corey Crawford. It was a bang, bang play, but after watching the replay and seeing the picture here (above) by Chris Jerina, it is obvious that Daoust was pushed into Crawford. That goal SHOULD have counted.
Later in the period, and eerily similar to what happened in the playoffs last year, Max Noreau had a shot go right through the net. At first, play continued, but after talking to the goal judge and talking to each other and talking to both captains, Davis and his crew got it right and awarded the goal.
All photos by Chris Jerina
With time winding down and Khudobin on the bench for an extra attacker, the Aeros had a one gasp left when JM Daoust looked to break free setting up a possible shot on goal. He was hauled down by the IceHogs and the game ended. I was thinking penalty shot, and Daoust was thinking penalty shot, as he had a lengthy discussion with Davis well after the game had ended.
Of the three plays, the last one was most questionable. I can see why Davis would not want to award a penalty shot with five seconds left in a game, but he sure could have.
Don't get me wrong, the Aeros did not lose this game because of the third period.
They lost the game because they did not match the IceHogs intensity in the opening minutes and they allowed a last second goal to put them down 3-1 at the end of two.
The Aeros are awful when they trail after two periods, and they sure aren't very good when they allow the first goal of the game. Both of those hurt them Wednesday, but I would like to think that how they finished the match (and what Davis missed in the 3rd period) will inspire the Aeros to a big win Friday night in the rematch.
Another loss, though, and they'll creep closer and closer to last place.