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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Aeros Lose In The Shootout Again (Yes, I Know, Shocking)

When I was a kid there was this cartoon called The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show which was a Flintstone's spin-off centered on the teenage kids of Fred and Barney.  One of the characters on the show was this kid called Schleprock, who literally walked around with a black cloud hanging over his head.

I bring this up because I'm convinced there's a black cloud of bad luck hanging over Toyota Center whenever the Aeros are playing there.  Like tonight where, once again, the Aeros lost a game in the shootout.  The Aeros have won just one game in the shootout this season, and that win came on the road, in Peoria.  This time, the Aeros lost 4-3 in the shootout, but unlike in games past, the Aeros actually were able to make shots in the shootout -- Casey Wellman and Kris Foucault were able to hit their shots -- but the San Antonio Rampage were able make three, including one that went through the net and was originally called a no-goal but, after consultation, was changed to a goal.

John Torchetti wasn't too sure about the call however, and after the game, he stormed out of the locker room to the ice, where he had them bring him the net for his own personal inspection.  He then had a nice, calm chat with the officiating crew -- way, way, way more calmer than the little discussion that Lane Lambert had with them after Game Five last season.

So of course we asked him about that goal, and about losing again in the shootout.

"You know what, it’s over," he said.  "That’s it.  I can see a puck going through the net on a point shot, but on a shoot-out, there’s no velocity?  It’s hard to do.  I can see if [the netting's] loose, but I just wedged it to get through a puck.  But whatever, it’s a point."

[For what it's worth, when we asked him, Matt Hackett said it was a goal, and the TV replays we were able to see off of the San Antonio TV replay monitors also seemed to indicate that it was a goal.]

The shootout wouldn't have mattered if the Aeros would have been able to hold on to their 3-1 second period lead.  But they couldn't.  There were multiple special teams breakdowns, and for a while, it seemed as if the Aeros were just content to let Casey Wellman do all of the offensive damage -- and welcome back Mr. Wellman.

And thus ended another three-in-three weekend.  The Aeros were unable to get a single win, but they were able to get a point in each game.  All three games went into overtime, and the Aeros were mixing and matching the roster at all times due to the Friday morning Wild call-ups.  And Torchetti offered up praise for the play of some of the newbies.

"Kids that come up, they want to come up," he said.  "[Chris] Clackson’s got a brother that plays in Chicago, so it’s in the bloodlines.  [Mike] McKenzie’s done a great job just working hard and just competing every night, and that’s what the game comes down to."

And as for the return of Wellman, Torchetti once again gushed with praise.

"He just plays hard.  He’s just come down and he’s accepted his role being sent back, and he’s just gone back to where he was.  And that’s kudos to him.  It shows you what kind of character he has as a person."

But in the end, the point is that the Aeros were only able to get a point out of a game where they appeared set to get two points.  It's a game where, once again, they failed to get the win at home.  Maybe this is just their Schleprock season when it comes to playing games at home.  Yet things could be worse.  They're still getting points after all.  Not two points, but one.  And one's better than none.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES:

This was the seventh straight Aeros game decided by one goal, and the fourth of sixth games to go into overtime.  They are 3-1-1-2 for this seven game stretch.

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Marco Scandella appeared to take a shot off of his knee late in the third period.  He was barely able to make it back to the bench, and immediately went to the locker room from which he did not return.  We asked Torchetti about his status after the game, but it was still too early to know anything.

And for the curious, Cody Almond is suffering from a lower body injury and Jeff Penner is suffering from an upper body injury.

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Yes, this game was on television.  San Antonio television, so it was probably available on one of the various Fox Sports Southwest channels.  No, I don't know why it wasn't being televised here, and no, I don't know why Aeros games seem to have vanished from that thing known as a television.  The only games that make it on TV are those when they play San Antonio, and that means getting the San Antonio call of the game.

4 comments:

ICEVET said...

Notwithstanding the Aeros paltry home-ice performance this season, average attendance has actually INCREASED nearly 10% over 2010-11.

Official Aeros average attendance numbers (nearly 7,000/game) are SECOND only to the Hershey Bears, perennial leaders....and in a year where the AHL average game attendance has DECLINED by over 3%.

Say what you want, but over 16,000 tickets were scanned during the 2 San Antonio weekend games. While the Aeros have been running on fumes, David Burke and his energetic front-office staff have been very busy with efforts to expand the fan base (the Friday night Kids' Jersey give-away, sponsored by the Belnap Family, was just one example) and build on the entertainment value of live hockey in Houston, Texas. Kudos to Mr. Burke!!

Go Aeros!!!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

ICEVET

No Question....the fans and the numbers in which they come to the games has been most impressive.

It'd be something to have 80-90% of the guys back for the main run after that 11-GM road trip...

Forecheck said...

Sadly, it looks like we will have to go on a road trip to see the Aeros win a game anytime soon.

Blown leads in all games this weekend, two of them two-goal leads.

It makes me wonder why I bother showing up anymore, other than the tickets have been paid for. At least this game wasn't painful to watch until the end. Many games get painfl to watch right after the openning face-off.

P.S. - The reason they aren't on TV probably has to to do with Le$ Alexander. He owns the television rights to everything in his Toy Box.

Walleye said...

They played with more energy on Sunday than I've seen on home ice for a while. I rarely like to use injuries/call ups as an excuse however, it certainly is tough with all the ECHL guys in the lineup.

I would like to see mike Radja get an opportunity to play with some scorers rather than a checking line.

Improved attendance is great for the Aeros bottomline and it's obvious the group sales are the reason why. Just look at the upper end zone sections. The Aeros are going to have to start winning some games and play with more jump, like they did on Sunday, if they want first timers to come back.

Finally, my only issue with the Aeros is the high cost of tickets. Compared to other AHL teams, Houston has to be at or near the top. Sure, you can get a gane day ticket for $16 but, that's if you don't mind looking through a net. I love the end zone view but, hate the net. Sideline seats for $42...wow.

An equivelent sideline seat in:
San Antonio---$17
Texas---$20
oklahoma City---$26
Chicago---$22
Binghamton--$18

I paid $24 for a seat 14 rows up from the ice, inside the blue line to see Houston @ Hamilton in last year's conference finals.

I can except a home record at 500 or above, but not 36%. Not when I am paying so much of my hard earned money. This is my first year having "Vouchers" and liklely my last.