These Aeros sure do know how to entertain, eh?
The first period was their best first period (at home) of the season and I thought it was going to be a 5-1 win going away. Not so fast.
The second period was even, but that is when you started to see that Toronto was clawing its way back in the game. Instead of the Aeros going for the kill, the Marlies took it up a notch and the Aeros were unable to match.
The third period was a wreck, just as third periods have been a wreck at home for the first part of the season.
The tying goal was a fluke, but Anton was the only reason the Marlies did not pick up two points in regulation.
I don't think I am the only one that has figured out the team just does not have a whole lot of team speed. But I was concerned that conditioning may have been a factor, so I asked Mike Yeo about that right after the game.
“This is not a conditioning thing. If there was a team that should have been tired coming into the third period, it was them. I know the conditioning with our guys is not an issue. It’s a mental thing. You can’t get comfortable. It’s not an easy thing to build. It takes time, and that is what winners do.
When you get up by two goals, you have to come with more urgency and you have to expect the other team is going to make a push. You have to be ready to be ready to match that desperation and you have to be committed to playing the same way."
To me, that was the key. When Toronto made its move, the Aeros didn't match and it cost them down the stretch.
Now what I do know is Mark Lemelin did not have a good night ... game got out of hand and Anton saved the day. He is the only reason the team went home happy Friday night.
I asked Yeo if Anton was the difference.
"Clearly he was the difference. Especially on some of those late penalty kills. He was huge for us. He really shut the door for us and his play in the shootout was awfully big"