Sorry this is late -- I've been having to transcribe Rice football postgame quotes and write that story. And I'm tired, so don't expect a lot, but...
The Aeros 2-1 shootout win tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals was much, much better than last night's 5-3 loss to San Antonio. The effort and urgency was clearly there from early on, it's just that the Aeros ran into a tough goalie on a hot streak in Milwaukee's Mark Dekanich -- the guy was only allowing about 1.68 goals per game, so the Aeros getting a goal in regulation play was something of which to be proud. And to top it off, the regulation goal was from Jared Spurgeon who went five-hole on a really pretty shot. Then after Casey Wellman made a Corey Locke-esque type shot in the first round of the shootout, it was Spurgeon who again came up big to score in the last round.
And Yeo was much, much happier about his team's effort tonight.
The Aeros are off until Thursday's kiddie matinee against Rockford. Their record is 11-9-1-2 for 25 points after 23 games, and they're tied, points-wise, with Milwaukee for fourth place, though Milwaukee has the better win percentage.
1. I'm liking the defense combo of Max Noreau and Jared Spurgeon. They don't make for the tallest or biggest duo on the ice, but the effort's there every night, and they're going to hit. Plus those two are turning into quite the offensive tandem.
2. Spurgeon got off a pretty shot in the third period to put the Aeros up 1-0. Milwaukee disputed the goal, but it was clear to us in the press box that it went five hole then hit off the cross bar and behind the blue line before bouncing out. As for the goal, Spurgeon said it was just a by-product of the team attacking the net and he was just trying to get a rebound for either Casey Wellman or Brandon Buck to handle.
3. "In all honesty it was just putting pucks on net," Spurgeon said afterwards. "We’d been throwing them to the net all night, and we were getting opportunities. We had a three-on-two there coming on the rush, and I was just trying to get a rebound for the other guys. It just happened to go in. Good things happen when you put it on the net."
4. As I said, Yeo was much happier with his team tonight. He realizes that there are going to be losses and mistakes made. What he cares about is the team's actions when the losses and mistakes are being made.
5. "If we a lose game, it’s going to be fine," Yeo told us. "Tonight for example, if we lost that game, it’s okay because the intentions of what we were trying to do was pretty clear that everybody was all in. The work ethic was there, and guys were committed to playing the system in the way that we want to play it. In each and every game we’re going to make mistakes. I make mistakes, and everybody’s going to. At the same time, it’s evident when a guy’s going out there and doing what he can for the team. And that was clearly the case tonight. The guys were all in for each other, and the result was positive."
6. Things are looking up for the Aeros health wise. Chad Rau is waiting only medical clearance to return to action. Tyler Cuma and Peter Zingoni have received medical clearance and are getting back into game shape. Marco Scandella is suffering a lower body injury, but Yeo doesn't think he'll be out for long.
7. I normally don't say nice things about the National Anthem singers, but I thought tonight's anthem was exceptional. Of course, the singer was one of our regular readers, but that has nothing to do with it. She was very good. I wish they were all that good.
8. Some strange goings-on before the game. Apparently, the Toyota Center computer system crashed, especially their system that allowed them process the ticketing. Toyota Center requested the Aeros delay the start of the game for 15 minutes as a result. While the Aeros were willing to work with Toyota Center re this -- though not to the tune of 15 minutes -- the Admirals said no and demanded the game start on time.
9. That's why scratches weren't announced since it wasn't known until it was time for the lineups to be announced as to when the game would start. That's also why the Aeros hit the ice before Milwaukee -- everybody was messed up on the timing.
10. The Aeros do not play again until Thursday. Yeo plans to use this time for practice. He feels some of the recent problems the team has been having is due to a lack of practice time due to the scheduling.
11. Tonight's video has absolutely nothing to do with the game, or with any theme arising from the game. It's just I'm an Elvis Costello fan and he's got a new album out called National Ransom and the video is of him performing the title song on Letterman. And if you know someone who's a music fan, then I think this album would be a great Christmas gift.