After tonight's game went back and forth allllll night long, it was only fitting that it took 11 rounds of shootout to settle it for good.
Unfortunately, it didn't settle in the Aeros favor as Angelo Esposito scored the goal that would send the Rampage home with the W, while the Aeros fall to 2-0-0-1 on the season, but still take away a point for their trouble.
The Aeros stayed out of the box tonight better than the last two games, but Torchetti said after the game that he's not happy with the balance just yet. And by balance, he means the ability to roll four lines all night.
That's especially tough when you're in the midst of a 3 in 3 and you really need to spread the load around. But he says they're keeping the lineup the same tomorrow, other than Endras getting the start in goal.
(Also, brief goalie update, Kuemper has been sent to the Ontario Reign so he can get playing time. As much as I'd have liked to keep him around here, he has GOT to play, so I'm glad they finally made a move. And after rolling in to Cali at 12:30 today, he already has his first win, ironically in an 11-round shootout.)
Speaking of goalies, I thought Hackett was very good tonight, though the wrap-around goal was one he probably wants back (looked like he just got his left leg hung up on the post and couldn't get over) and that turnover by his net that he sorta got frozen and then beat high... well... those aren't typical for him so I'll lump them in the "shit happens, learn from it and move on" category.
He looked calm, patient, and increasingly confident in the shootout, which was nice to see. Also nice for my blood pressure that he's not chasing the puck behind the net as much any more.
Anyway, a few notes:
Wellman got his 4th goal of the season, while Fontaine earned his first pro goal.
Thought Palmer had a great game. I was convinced he'd score in the shootout because he was just on and in the mix all night. Really enjoyed his game. Lotta honey badger in that guy.
The Aeros dominated the first period but somewhere in the second, seemed to lose their heads a bit, weren't making good decisions with the puck, were reaching too much. From there, San Antonio was back in the game and shots (and momentum) moved back and forth between the teams the rest of the game.
But it was clear to me that San Antonio was going to tie it up. The Aeros were just allowing them to pin them in the zone for too long and the bells start tolling when that happens.
This game doesn't worry me, but I am worried about tomorrow. The boys will be driving through the night on a sleeper bus, not really getting proper rest, which sucks at the end of a 3 in 3. As Torchetti said, this will test the teams battle readiness.
Luckily, the Barons scored a week's worth of goals in their 10-1 win over Texas tonight, so maybe they'll be feeling fat and happy and the Aeros can skate out with a point or two.
Here's what I know:
If the world is about to end, I want to spend the final moments with Jed Ortmeyer. Seems like everything slows down when he's got the puck. Time seems to stand still for the time he has it, he's so calm. That seems like a valuable asset when your time on this planet is limited. Maybe Jed is short for Jedi and he's working some mind tricks. I dunno. These are the sorts of things I think when I'm driving home from hockey.
I'll leave you with this, which made me laugh out loud, but I have no idea what point is. Were people getting this wrong?