I have been covering these Aeros for a long time, but rarely could you "feel" the disappointment as much as tonight. The whole place was literally waiting to explode, but you have to tip your hat to Toivonen for holding his ground and keeping all of those chances out of the net in the closing minutes.
The Aeros wasted a big chance to get back into first place. They'll still have that chance this week with at least three games they should win. The Aeros are better than the IceHogs, Syracuse Crunch and the Abbotsford Heat, and they'll play them all next week, along with a Saturday jaunt over to Cedar Park.
The crowd was great, the effort was definitely there right to the end, but if you have to point your finger anywhere, it was the first goal of the game. Matt Hackett was lazy covering up the puck, allowing Potulny to strip the puck and feed it to a wide-open Taffe. That swung all the momentum over to the last-place visitors.
I know, I know, I am nit-picking. So while I am at it, Kris Fredheim didn't look very good on the third-period goal that ended up as the game winner for the 'Hogs.
There were a lot of bad moments, but a few good ones, too. Wellman scoring for the third straight game, and when was the last time the Aeros scored a three-on-five shorty? That was impressive, Colton Gillies. You deserve that entire pizza you got after the game. (Yeah, I am jealous. I was really hungry at the time.)
Here is an updated look at the standings. Aeros still in second, but they only have 17 games left. They better start another stretch where they win four of five or five of six. Click on the image for a closer view.