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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

#RoadWarriors win it 3-2 (SO)

It's almost maddening how the Aeros manage to pulls wins out of their asses on the road but just can't seem to do it at home.

Not only did the Aeros pull out of a 1 goal deficit three times Wednesday night, but they finally won a shootout after 8 failed attempts. Or was it 7? Way too many.

The Griffins dominated the first two periods, putting up 14 shots to Houston's 4 in the first and scoring right as I was pulling into the parking lot of my dry cleaner.

The Aeros fended them off in the second in spite of a 15-6 shot count.

And then in the second intermission, the road Aeros showed up, kicked these guys out of the locker room, and came out for the third period to put up 15 shots and hold Grand Rapids to 6.

Amazing how, when you have actual shots on goal that you also get actual pucks in the net! And indeed, DiSalvatore tied the game early in the third, where it would stay until Grand Rapids pulled ahead with 4 minutes left in the game.

But the Griffins got a call for boarding and after some hard work around the net, Ortmeyer scored with 2 minutes left in the game to tie it.

Overtime was scoreless, so it went to the shootout, a.k.a. the land where Aeros games go to die.

But this time, the Aeros scored twice (Foucault and DiSalvatore) and, after allowing the first shot, Kuemper stopped the remainder for the win.

Kuemper ultimately stopped 39 shots (including the 4 shootout shots, which as a fellow goalie, I'm declaring the right to include in his save count) and was #1 star of the game. Huge win for Walking Sunshine.

This was a huge win for the whole team, actually. Not just for the points, but for proving to themselves that they still have that resilience and honeybadgerness somewhere in there. And, because the Stars beat Abbotsford, it also means the Aeros move back into second place, just one point behind OKC.

Dear Aeros,

Please don't ever come home.

Your Loyal Fans and Beat Writers

Up next: Peoria on Friday and Saturday.
Bonus: Chris Jerina will be at one of those games so we'll actually have some photos for you sometime after that. Yay fun!


Forecheck said...

"Not only did the Aeros pull out of a 1 goal deficit three times Wednesday night"

Actually, twice. 1-0 and 2-1.

OK, admit it. After the first round of the shootout, when Taffe tried something fancy that didn't work at all, and Kuemps got faked out of his jock like a rookie, how many of you thought "Oh, no... here we go again"?

Word verification "grace" - What the Aeros got from the hockey gods Wednesday night.

ICEVET said...

Great to see the Minni Aeros help sink the Sharks, last night..... Peters (goal)...Wellman, Faulk, McIntyre (5 assists)!

If only Minni could keep Hackett for a while, the Sunshine Kid could get some meaningful ice time...he is a proven quick study but needs time to develop this season, since it is likely that Hackett becomes the Minni BUG next year.

Go Aeros!

Ms. Conduct said...

I'm counting the shootout as the third deficit. :)

ICEVET said...

One point which Aero critics have conveniently ignored is the Team's (relative) ability to stay out of the penalty box.....currently leading the AHL with a low 12.48 PIM/game.

While this "detail" of the Aeros game has positively contributed to the Team's current competitive position, the PP (average at best) has, undoubtedly, denied the Team the opportunity to exploit this relative advantage.

ANY improvement in the PP (entry, positioning, movement, puck control shot selection, etc) should/would help the Team in the last half of the season and Calder play.

Go Aeros!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

That is a great, great comment and thought. Remember earlier this season when the Aeros could not stay out of the penalty box?

And the timeliness of those penalties has improved too.

The Aeros don't fight, though, so they will continue to stay at the bottom of the AHL in regards to PIMs per game.

Anonymous said...

Icevet...I feel very confident with Darcy in goal and agree it would be great to see him more often. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel he moves better than Matt and almost always knows exactly where the puck is? Sometimes I get the feeling Matt doesn't see the puck well.

Ms. Conduct said...

I can't find a lot to dislike about either goalie's game, to be honest. Darcy, I find to be a little more exciting to watch, though after much thought on the matter, I couldn't tell you why. Goalie auras or something.

That said, we haven't seen Darcy play when the chips are really really down (like Game 7 vs. Hamilton to go to the finals) like we have with Hackett, so there's a deeper level of comfort with him for me.

But there's nothing in Kuemper's records that would indicate anything other than he's just as solid as Hack. We're really fortunate in net this season. Two hungry young guys with tremendous talent and huge work ethic? Gosh. Couldn't ask for more, really.

Forecheck said...


Low PIMs is a good thing, unless it is the result of passive (unagressive) play. A team that is aggressive and getting the other team thinking about things other than hockey is going to take a few.

ICEVET said...

@ Forecheck:

Granted that PIM/game stats may cut both ways...your point can be supported by the "aggressive" play of first-place Hershey (51 points) this year, currently sporting an average 23.9 PIM/game.

However, a researched view of AHL stats over the years would suggest the opposite (my original point)...one case study, the Milwaukee Admirals, a quality franchise (below), which has posted "very low" (or the lowest) PIM/game stats every year since they entered the AHL in 2001:

. Division winners: 4 of 10 years

. Exceeded 100 pts: 5 of 10 years

. Calder Playoffs: 9 of 10 years

. Calder Finals: 2004(W), 2006(L)

Go Aeros!

SLBatPHN said...

No posts about the Peoria series?
Anywho, I didn't get to Friday's game.
I did not read this until just now, so I didn't know Heather had posted about the lack of Houston penalties before I wrote my article for ProHockeyNews.com last night.
Yup, the Aeros are disciplined. The Rivermen had ONE 2 minute penalty opportunity (they had two others shortened by poenalties of their own.) The Rivs scored during that one.
Peoria Goal #1 was the PP. Kuemper stopped about a half-dozen shots before letting in the goal. Give some credit to the Rivs PP but, that was a defensive breakdown. You don't let a guy have 4 or 5 hacks at the same shot.
Goal #2 was a breakaway and Sonne just plain beat Kuemper 5-hole.

Bishop got lucky several times, being slightly out of position. His defense gave him just enough time to recover. I can think of a half-dozen times last night where I was thinking "oh, crap" but then he was quick getting back or a defender helped him out.

....and if the playoffs started toay,I would want the Rivermen to play any team BUT Houston - history, sure, but this team is very good.