Chad Rau battles for the puck. Photo by Morris Molina/Houston Aeros
The Aeros looked marginally better tonight, but were still grossly outmatched and outworked by the Oklahoma City Barons in Game 2 of the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
To make matters worse, they lost Matt Hackett early in the second period when he went into the splits to make a save, and 'kaboom' went the lower body ailment that was plaguing him in last night's game.
It was a disjointed, penalty-laden affair, with 11 infractions amounting to 62 minutes. And the Aeros were out-shot again, 37-20.
There were moments where the team looked like they'd played together more than one game this season, but they were fleeting and ineffective against Yann Danis, who is living up to his Goalie of the Year status, at least for as little as he's being tested.
The Aeros power play was abysmal, failing to get a goal on 5 opportunities, and allowing a shorthanded goal (goal #4).
I could go on and on about the failures, but how about some good news?
Oh, right. Well. Cody Almond broke Yann Danis' 103 minute shutout with the Aeros' first and only goal of the post-season.
Mike Brodeur played well. Not as well as Hackett en fuego, but still enough that if this weren't such a dire match-up everywhere else on the ice, it would be great news!
And at least for me, the good news is that Coach John Torchetti wasn't exactly in a talking mood after the game, so I have almost nothing to tell you from him.
He was mad, though. Mad about lack of discipline, mad about officiating, mad about turnovers, mad about too-fancy play, mad about not shooting enough, mad about lack of puck support.
"End of subject," he said, and walked away.
Bottom line, that really is the end of the subject. The Aeros have given no reason to expect anything different on Sunday, despite the bluster and self-flagellation.
It's always hard to say goodbye to your team at the end of the season, but I'm pretty sure Aeros fans did that tonight, as the series wraps up with (up to) 3 games in OKC.