Well, it might be Hell Week, but so far Hell's looking pretty damned good.
The Aeros made this season's second foray north of the border last night to play the Hamilton Bulldogs and somehow found a way to switch up some of the bad habits that have been plaguing them.
For the first time this season, they won in spite of not being the first team to score. AND, they got the lead early in the third period and HELD it.
I know! Me, too!!
Matt Hackett also got off his personal 3-game losing streak with 24 saves in the victory.
And what's more, Brandon Buck moved up to the Almond/DiSalvatore line and earned his second career AHL tally, and first in 49 games with the Aeros, with the game winning goal early in the third period. Even nicer is that he's from the area, apparently, and hopefully had a bunch of folks in to see it.
He was replacing Daoust on that line and if the goal is any indication of the success of that move, I'm guessing the spot is his for a while. Daoust just isn't producing like I would have hoped, so maybe this shake-up will be good for all parties and get him going, too.
Before that, the tying goal came from Robbie Earl midway through the second, literally within seconds of Hamilton getting the first goal of the night. I only heard it on the radio but it sounds like Casey Wellman did the work to set it up. Dude is en fuego. We better hope the Wild's top lines stay healthy or he's gonzo.
Hamilton pulled goalie Curtis Sanford out of the net with about a minute and a half left and from the sounds of it (which Joe was fantastic calling as I was driving to my own game last night), the Aeros had several chances on the empty net. But it was Warren Peters, fresh back from the NHL, who found the inside of the net to seal the deal.
Tonight, the boys face Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. our time. The Griffins are toiling at the bottom end of the North Division standings, but boy do hey have a lot of PIM. Either they're very undisciplined or they're mean sons of bitches. Or both.
They've only won 2 of their last 6, but they're showing up well-rested but, having played Sunday, not quite rusty. The Aeros, on the other hand, had to make the 6 hour haul from Hamilton to Grand Rapids after the game last night. That's always easier with a belly full of Win but still, no morning skate to shake off the bus legs. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see it take half a period or so to get the legs going.
In other news, the Houston Women's Hockey League Wisco Badgers whipped the Harvard Crimson last night at Space City Ice 3-2. And then drank a helluva lot of beer. Woohoo!
Have a great day! I'mma go scrape the cotton balls out of my mouth.