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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Aeros dig deep to eclipse the Stars in OT, 4-3

Coach Torchetti said he knows the team is in a bit of a slump and this win doesn't really seem to change that for him, but he was happy to get a win and stay above .500 while they work through it.

Photo by Morris Molina - Houston Aeros
The game itself eked above .500 on the whole... a sloppy first half, despite a nice goal by Granlund, who took advantage of a turnover in the Stars defensive end. Shots were something like 7-17 at one point, if I'm remembering correctly.

But an extended penalty kill, including some 5 on 3 time, midway through the first half of the second period seemed to have shaken the vacation legs and in no time, the Aeros had put a flurry of shots on goal and kept shots pretty even the rest of the way.

And while the offensive end was the Granlund, Coyle, & Zucker Show, it was fun to see some defensemen get into the act. Primarily, of course, Kyle Medvec's first goal of the season, first point of the season. Hell, it was just his 6th SHOT of the season, but he made it count in the form of the OT game winner.

Always fun to see a guy like that, who goes unheralded most of the time, have a joyful moment. Torchetti said he likes the statement it makes: Medvec works hard all summer, gets sent down even though he was a full time Aero last season, keeps a good attitude, keeps working hard, plays a simple game once he's called up, and is now playing as many minutes as any of the rest of them. The classic "put your head down, work hard" hockey success story. Nice to see it pay off for him like that.

On the flip side was that very smart play where someone (I didn't catch who) passed the puck out of the corner to Cuma, who was left all alone to streak in on the Stars back door. Nilstorp amazingly read the play in time, got a pad over and Cuma's shot hit with a loud THUNK that, as a goalie, I *usually* love. Nothing like a good, solid pad save. But that one... man, I wanted that one to go in. Sometimes the poetry of hockey will break your heart..

Anyway, a good end result, but still work to be done to, um, bust this slump. And because of the OT point, the Stars continue to stay ahead of the Aeros in the standings. Back at it Friday, unfortunately against Charlotte, who have had the Aeros by the stones all season.


Forecheck said...

On the flip side was that very smart play where someone (I didn't catch who) passed the puck out of the corner to Cuma, who was left all alone to streak in on the Stars back door

That would be MiG again.

The four shots in the first period was disappointing, but about what I expect from the Aeros first game back from Christmas. Honestly, how much food did these guys eat?

Hackett - can't live with him, can't live without him. Some excellent stops but boy was that first goal ugly. He had it stopped and right in front of him. Of course, the defense was pretty ugly there too.

Speaking of ugly defense, the consistency seems not to be there again. I thought the guys had the defense thing solved, apparently not.

Great to see Rau playing again, but good grief did McMillan just vaporize from the face of the earth? I know he's hurt but zero from the Aeros on his status.

And did anyone see the way Larsson played? The kid was born a hockey player. Boy, can he skate!

Ms. Conduct said...

Naturally, I should have known it was Granlund. Only that guy has the vision to make that play. Incredible.

Sometimes I know injury info that I can't share, but in this case, I have zero clue what's wrong with McMillan, though I have a hunch he's back sooner than later.

Larsson is impressing more and more. Did you see the way he beat like 3 guys up the boards at one point last night? Haha. It was like a running back breaking all the tackles. Fun to watch, for sure.

Forecheck said...

Did you see the way he beat like 3 guys up the boards at one point last night?


Joe said...

The Coyle, Granlund, Zucker line are great, but I think the Palmieri, McIntyre, Fontaine line are coming into their own and was the more impressive line last night.

The boys never did seem to get into a rhythm last night. It was more like taking advantage of opportune moments.

Luckily the Stars didn't do too much of the same. Hackett leaving the goal wide open a couple of times had me cringing.

Forecheck said...

Joe -

Yes, Hackett looked to be in slow motion on the wrap around attempts and could have easily given up two. A great defensive play by Genoway saved one.

Also agreed on the PMF line.

Anonymous said...

They won the game relax people!?! I guess winning isnt enough for you forecheck . Keep criticizing like always (Mr Negative)

Forecheck said...

Yes, they won - but this team is not where it could be. They need to keep improving especially wrt the team work.