It wasn't a pretty win tonight. There wasn't a lot of graceful skating. There wasn't a lot of scoring. There weren't even a lot of shots. But pretty doesn't matter. Not when you're on the winning side of a 1-0 shutout.
Nick Petersen took care of the scoring for the Aeros, netting a goal early in the second period. That goal was all that the Aeros needed, especially with Darcy Kuemper pitching the shutout, finishing the game with 19 saves as the Aeros stopped the Rampage four-game points streak in front of 6045 fans.
"Kuemper came up big tonight," head coach John Torchetti said. "We did a good job.
They had to press for a goal, so they we were going to be a little bit more
aggressive and take a little more chances. I thought we did a good job. I
thought some guys had some big nights. The penalty kill came through. And we
just have to keep feeding off of that."
Kuemper credited his teammates with the win.
"We controlled most of the play," he said. "There were a few
chances, but the team did a great job in front of me. You limit the shots to
under 20 that makes my job really easy. I just tried to play my part in the win."
And Torchetti said the win came about from something he's been preaching to the team: you've got to have a checking mentality to win the game: "That’s why you have
to have a checking mentality," he said. "I’ve been preaching that since game one. You’ve
got to be able to win a game 5-1 or 1-0."
Now the Aeros are off for Austin and a game tomorrow with the Stars.
Who will play for the Aeros against the Stars is still slightly in question: Mikael Granlund missed tonight due to injury -- despite what you might have read elsewhere. And Brian Connelly was injured in the third period -- the extent of his injury wasn't known when we talked to Torchetti -- and Torchetti joked afterward that the Aeros must always have at least six injured players.