As passionless as this season has felt, this game finished with as much passion as I've seen out of this team all year.
The Aeros were up early thanks to two goals from JM "I'm little but I'm clutch" Daoust, until late in the first when Lars Eller scored for Peoria.
What sank the team was a really abysmal 2nd period that left me wondering what brand of vodka they were drinking in the second intermission. Just a messy, messy period. And Peoria capitalized with a goal by Drazenovic to tie it up.
All was well and honestly, Khudobin was unreal... until Porter blasted a shot that hit his pad, hit the inside of the post, and in. All goals suck as a goalie, but goals like that especially suck. I felt for him after having played so well, but you have to stop that.
The Aeros buckled down hard and played some seriously inspired hockey to try and get that goal back, particularly DiSalvatore, who created opportunities left and right. But then basically caused the game winner by coming on for the pulled Khudobin and whiffing on a pass attempt that resulted in a turnover and empty net goal.
It was a thriller to the finish though, as the Aeros did actually make up one goal in the two-goal deficit with 33 seconds on the clock thanks to Nathan Smith, but the 33 wasn't enough to get 'er done.
It was, for me, the most heartbreaking finish of the year. As I tweeted, I literally had to fight back tears. Granted, it was too little too late and that second period and sketchy goal killed them, but it was the first time I really FELT something from this team. Know what I mean?
They wanted it. They just didn't want it bad enough soon enough.
I didn't talk to KC after the game but it looks like Andrew and I are cross-posting, so I'm sure he'll have more for you. This chair is making my butt hurt, so I'm going home.