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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Aeros beat Rampage in front of 8,000 screaming curtain-climbers

The score may indicate that the game was a blowout, and some Rampage fans might agree that it was, but the Aeros' 5-1 win over the Rampage Tuesday afternoon was closer than you might think.

The Aeros celebrate Foucault's first-period goal - Morris Molina (Aeros)
It was close until the Aeros scored three third period goals in just under five minute to put the game away.

The Aeros were in control after Kris Foucault and Charlie Coyle scored goals in the first 21 minutes. The second Aeros goal seemed to spark the Rampage, even to a point where Torchetti called a timeout in the middle of the second period.

The Aeros held the 2-0 lead until Greg Rallo scored with 30 seconds left in the second period.

After San Antonio killed off a power play to start the third, the Aeros defense and Matt Hackett were solid in setting up the scoring burst by Palmeiri, Palmer and David McIntyre.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Rampage in a stretch where the team had won six out of seven overall to climb out of the cellar. The loss also snapped a six game winning streak for Jacob Markstrom.

Torchetti hinted that the Aeros got a little too comfortable with a 2-0 lead and a 21-8 shots advantage and mentioned that he had thoughts of the game on Sunday. (The Aeros got a quick goal and then gave up the next three against what, to that point, had been a terrible Peoria team.)

So what got the out of the funk Tuesday? Defense, Checking and a systems-first mentality. If you've heard that before it's because you have.

For now, the Aeros are in first place in the South division. Charlotte hosts Milwaukee tonight, so that all could change later on, but the Aeros have won six of eight overall and are up to fourth in the league in points.

The Aeros improved to 3-1 against the Rampage this season and still have eight more games against San Antonio before the end of the year. My favorite quote from Torch came after I asked him why he thought his team was averaging six goals a game in the morning starts.

He smiled and said he was looking to get the rest of the game times changed. Just don't tell Forecheck.

Here is a blurb from the Aeros presser:

The Houston Aeros (13-7-1-2, 29 points) defeated the San Antonio Rampage (10-12-0-3, 23 points) 5-1 on Tuesday in front of 8,573 fans at Toyota Center. Forwards Nick Palmieri, Jared Palmer and David McIntyre each scored and added an assist, as Houston pulled away in the third period for the four-goal win.  Houston goalie Matt Hackett (10-6-2) stopped 20 of 21 shots, ending San Antonio’s four-game winning streak. Charlie Coyle and Kris Foucault also scored, as Houston won for the seventh time in the last eight outings. Rampage goalie Jacob Markstrom (8-7-1) stopped 25 of 30 in the defeat. Houston will head to Charlotte for a pair of games, starting Friday at 6:00 p.m. (CT) at Time Warner Cable Arena.


alw02 said...

I Wonder - will Hackett every have a shutout?

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

I think he'll get one at some point. But shutouts are much more a team thing than a goalie thing.

Hackett played good enough to get one today, but he had no chance on that tipped shot after a bad clear.

Anonymous said...

Agreed it was much closer.
After the non-power play (again) to start the third period visions of another overtime at best appeared.
With a couple exceptions defense has to step up and the passing needs to improve from borderline atrocious.
Still two points are two points.

Forecheck said...

Well, whoever thought up these 11 AM kiddie games definitely ain't getting cr*p from me for Christmas.

It was a strange game in a few ways. The Aeros were dominant but only at times. In the early second, they were just about skating rings around the Rampage. Then the Aeros (perhaps intentionally) went totally defenseive to start the third. At that point I'm thinking - oh, boy - another period played completely in our own end. Trying to win 2-1 is not that hot a strategy IMHO.

I was going to comment about our PP again, but after seeing the Rampage PP in all its glory (I think quite a few college teams could defend it), I think I will be content for now.

Torch's time out was well timed and important in getting the win. They were getting all scatter brained at that point.

MiG has some absolutely wicked stick skills, if you haven't noticed.

They played well enough to beat a lower-tier team, but things will have to improve before they land in Charlotte if we are to get more than a point or two this 3-in-3 weekend (like the - here it is again - passing.... did these guys take a vision test at the start of the season? They seem incapable of differentiating colors. Just sayin'.)