Marco Scandella put the Aeros on the board at 11:24 of the first with a pretty shot he was able to get off and sneak between the goalie and the post as he was falling to the ice. Zach Phillips knocked in a rebound for the second goal, on a power play, at 12:16 of the first, then at 17:27 of the first, Justin Fontaine finished off the scoring with a shot from inches away which saw Charlotte's starting goalie, John Muse pulled from the game for Rob Madore, who got his first ever AHL action. (Carson McMillan got the empty-netter in the final minute for the final score.)
"It was a big win," head coach John Torchetti said. "Everyone stood up and they did a good job."
And I know it's been awhile since we've seen the team, and had the chance to talk to John Torchetti, but he I don't remember him being as effusive and free with the praise as he was after tonight's win. But he knows his team's beat up, and he was thrilled to get the effort that he got out of a tired bunch of players. And most of the effort, most of the attitude the team's showing out on the ice, is the result of the veterans that were added to the team over the past couple of months, primarily Paul Mara, Jake Dowell, and Stephane Veilleux (who missed tonight's game due to an injury).
"Veilluex, Dowell, Mara have really changed the attitude in the building," Torchetti said. "Just working hard, holding guys accountable, telling them, hey, listen, this is the play. These guys play. Mara has 12-plus years. Jake has several years. Veilluex has nine years. They’ve got experience, and they’re bringing it. These guys are workers. That tells you a lot. We’re very fortunate to have guys that want to come down. They could be in a bad mood because they’re not being called up, but they’ve done a great job for us, and I’m really happy that they play for us."
Everything wasn't perfect for the team tonight. The team hasn't played since Friday, and he thought they looked really sluggish out on the ice. But he was trying to give the team some rest -- he worked them really hard on Sunday and Monday. And after the long road stretch where the team was seemingly playing every other night, he needs the team to get back into a rhythm.
He also wasn't happy with the penalties the guys got, and have been getting.
"We’ve got to stay out of the box," he said. "We’ve got to be smarter, especially with offensive zone penalties. It’s gone a kill us. We were short a guy…[Rau was out on a suspension] We're down to four [penalty] killers. I think Jake [Dowell] got into a fight to get a breather…."
"We’ve got to cut this out," he continued later. "But our past four or five games, we’re averaging five-plus [penalties], and that’s going to kill you one night. We’re wasting energy, and we’ve got to have better poise."
But tonight the Aeros got the win to improve their record to 32-22-4-4 (72 points), and five points behind Charlotte for the second spot in the South Division. They face the Barons in Oklahoma City tomorrow night, then they're back at Toyota Center to host Rochester on Saturday. So until then.
Could whoever is doing the sound at Toyota Center please learn the volume control knob is located on the sound board. Please? I don't think the sound was even that loud for Eric Clapton's concert last Sunday. And can somebody please tell me why Joe O'Donnell's radio broadcast was being broadcast in the seating areas? His pregame show was louder than the anthem.