Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

So, About That Game With The Heat

The Aeros got the loss tonight, their second in a row, losing 5-3 to the Abbotsford Heat led by head coach Troy Ward, assistant coach Luke Strand, and forward Krys Kolanos -- notice the Aeros connection.

The Aeros actually played a good first period of hockey, and they had some quality shot attempts, but they just couldn't get the puck in the net. But they also suffered the loss of defenseman Elgin Reid on a boarding call early in the first period. And since it was his head that went off the wall, one would expect to see a five minute penalty. And one would expect wrong as the offending Heat player got only two minutes.

Jeff Taffe and John Torchetti were quick to remind the officials #42 Danny Burchell and #42 Jarrod Ragusin of that in the second period when some calls were missed, but the result was back-to-back unsportsmanlike penalties. Penalties which surprised Torchetti because he's never seen unsportsmanlike penalties given out for asking questions, especially when there is no profanity involved. But this is the AHL, and the AHL isn't exactly known for good officiating.

The penalties led to two goals for the Heat which put the game out of reach, despite a furious comeback in the final minutes which found the Aeros get to 4-3 with :57 remaining the in game. But sometimes deficits are just too hard to make up, and Abbotsford got the empty netter just before the horn to make it 5-3.

Torchetti took the blame for this loss, noting that he was the one who got the second unsportsmanlike penalty.

There was no word, after the game, on the status of Reid, but he did not return to the game after being knocked out of the game early in the first period.

The Aeros are off until Sunday afternoon when they host the Charlotte Checkers at 5:05 (and I the only one getting tired of the constant Sunday home games).


Forecheck said...

{the AHL isn't exactly known for good officiating}

Duh - and I hope our "identical twins" don't show up again for a while. Like permanently.

The effort was better tonight, especially in the first. What was missing was execution. What the Aeros did succeed in doing was shoot themselves in the foot, and the Heat converted nearly every time.

1. Cuma (?) vomits up the puck to the Heat's best scorer right in front of the Aeros' net . 1-0 Heat

2. Hackett can't control the puck bouncing around his cage. 2-0 Heat.

3. Torch gets a penalty for verbal diarrhea + Hackett misplays the puck = 3-0 Heat.

4. Hackett takes a shot just a little too east. 4-1 Heat.

Yes, Hackett had a tough game - maybe still a little under the weather?

The Heat though are a very good team. Great PK. They are also physical, maybe too physical for the Aeros to handle in this department.

ICEVET said...

The story of the last 2 games: a bad stretch or the beginning of a serious losing streak???

Consensus says that the HEAT outperformed in just about every phase (faceoffs, forecheck, blocked shots, PK, PP, and hits), converting numerous early Aero turnovers into GOALS. But, this could not have been a surprise from a team with the (AHL Rank) #2 PK and #6 PP.

Recent additions of Krys Kolanos (13 pts in 6 games), Ben Walters, and Clay Wilson have strengthened the HEAT's core, which was very good to begin with, barely missing the 2011 playoffs. Despite a "bad night", Leland Irving (the workhorse of AHL netminders) played well enough to win.

The 2 GA/g benchmark which carried the Aeros through the first 12 games has evaporated, with mediocre play from the goalies and the D-group (hurt by the loss of Jordan Hendry, Nate Prosser and unknown injuries to Penner, Cuma, and Reid). Also, the insertion of fan popular-Matt Kassian into existing lines has appeared to impact line chemistry (Kolanos garbage goal No. 1)....anyone remember Yeo's decision after the Calder Playoffs opening round?

Finally, many Aeros fans have long-since accepted the mediocrity of AHL officiating (made worse by the enforcement of Rule 48)...Yeo and HIS WC Championship Team found a way to move past this. Torchetti and THIS Team must also do the same, if they are to have success.

Go Aeros!!!