Hopefully most of you got to watch yesterday's game in glorious HD from San Antonio or were on the road trip with the team. Props to those who went as the post-goal cheers were very clear on the broadcast. I'm sure San Antonio fans absolutely hated you. :) Well done.
It was one of those games where the Aeros didn't look "all in" and didn't match San Antonio's urgency, but this team just happens to be good enough to make that work occasionally. Matt Climie didn't make it easy either. He was right where he needed to be all game long and the two goals against were just opportunistic.
He was coming off the flu, too, so I have to think there was some fatigue setting in by the time the game rolled around to the shootout. The SO goals by O'Sullivan, Earl, and Rau... well, they made it look easy on a goalie who has typically been money in the shootout, allowing only 5 goals in 32 attempts until last night.
Shots were wayyy lopsided in the first. 4-12 for San Antonio. Partially due to the 5 minute major Gillies got for boarding. It was an ugly hit, too, and the guy was lucky to skate off on his own. I know Gillies knows HOW to pull up and avoid these vulnerable hits. He has to do it.
That said, the boys (and Hackett) were fantastic on the kill and it worked out okay. Though I feel sure #18 is etched in the minds of that whole roster. It'll come back eventually.
Back to goalies, Hackett was also very good. One goal was on his defense. The other was tipped in. Neither one should he feel badly about.
Also, while I'm on Hackett... He's now the 5th ranked goalie in the AHL. And the top rookie. Snack on that, Jake Allen! Hackett's season is a great story that superstition prevents me from writing just yet, but I'll do it eventually.
And the Aeros get to enjoy first place for a full day as the entire league is off today, including Milwaukee one point behind first. They both play Tuesday night (Houston at Texas and Milwaukee hosting OKC) and both should reasonably win, but the Aeros have to respect Texas' position. Those teams from 3rd to 7th place are pretty damn motivated to climb over each other in the tight standings.