The Aeros did the unthinkable tonight. They got the overtime win.
That's right. You read that correctly. The Aeros got the overtime win tonight, defeating the San Antonio Rampage 2-1 for their first OT win since March 15, 2011. And boy, did it feel good.
"It's not even the New Year yet, so that's a good sign," head coach John Torchetti said shortly after the victory. A victory powered by a pretty Jeff Taffe goal at 1:03 of the OT that came from the left of goalie Jacob Markstrom and was set up by a beautiful Jon DiSalvatore cross-ice pass from down low.
The Aeros tied the game in a most improbable fashion, scoring on the power play at 13:40 of the third period, Chad Rau taking a rebound and lifting it over the shoulder of Markstrom.
"It was good to see our power play," Torchetti said. "It did a good job, got a big goal. Got us back in the game, changed momentum. I thought we played more of our style in the third."
The lone goal for the Rampage came at 3:31 of of the second period when San Antonio's Michael Caruso at mid-ice, hit the puck off of a stanchion and the puck flew past Hackett. It was one of the goals that can kill a team, and in weeks past, it probably would have killed the spirits of the Aeros, but the veterans were back from Minnesota, and they were out in full force, as if willing the team to victory.
"Our leadership was fantastic tonight down at the end. All of our leaders played huge roles. Ortmeyer, Almond. Strong penalty kill. [Hackett] played big, Hack kept us in the game in the first."
The Aeros (17-6-2-7, 43 points) moved back into second place of the AHL's West Division with the win, bypassing the idle Abbotsford Heat, and they're one point behind the first place Oklahoma City Barons. The Aeros return to action when they travel to San Antonio to face the Rampage on Friday night. The Aeros return to Houston next year when they host the Barons on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 5:05.