Friday, October 24, 2008

Aeros @ Manitoba Moose - Game 5

Well, if you were dreaming of the Aeros going 80-0, time to wake up. Aeros get their first loss on the season, getting pretty much run over by the Moose, who were well-prepared to neutralize the Aeros offense.

While the Moose did play well, particularly in terms of pinning the Aeros in their defensive zone with strong puck possession, the problem for the boys in the bombers appeared that they just weren't moving their feet and lacked hustle and looked like the goals would continue to magically happen. Constantine agreed during the post-game broadcast saying, "Our compete level wasn't good enough tonight. We tricked ourselves a little bit thinking we were playing okay, because the scoreboard said we were doing okay, [but] this is the most we've been outplayed."

It seems like a bit of deja vu from last year looking at the shot count, with the Aeros racking up a whopping 18 shots on goal versus Manitoba's 30 and looking very much like a team that's been off since Sunday. With long layoffs, Constantine said, "You forget how hard it is to be good. It's hard to get as emotional and competitive."

Though emotion didn't seem to be lacking as the game resulted in three fights, including the first pro tussle for Justin Falk against Darryl Bootland (draw) early in the game. That was followed up by Ryan Hamilton and Guillaume Desbiens dropping in the mitts in the second (slight edge to Desbiens). Clayton Stoner also went with Desbiens in the third, but was outmatched.

The Aeros only goal was provided by Krys Kolanos via Olvecky and Rosa, with the ROK line reuniting for the first time since Kolanos was called up to Minnesota. And in fact, Kolanos was driving hard to the net all night and seemed to be the only Aeros forward who made it look easy to get both himself and the puck to the Manitoba net. But the Moose defense managed to keep him to the outside and forcing him to shoot from nearly impossible angles.

Both Manitoba goals (third was an empty net) were from dirty scrambles in front of the net where the team just got enough traffic and the puck bouncing around where it seemed nearly inevitable that the puck was going in eventually. Schaefer played an excellent game and made some jaw-dropping saves and got the 2nd star for his efforts.

He played the puck more than usual and, as good as he looked, many of his attempts weren't sufficient to get the play moving to the other end of the ice as intended. It will be interesting to see if Brust is between the pipes tomorrow and how his style works against this team. He's better at playing the puck and this might be the thing to move the puck out of the defensive zone and get the Aeros more possession time. That said, we won't have to wait long to find out as they meet again tomorrow night.

A little housekeeping:

Scratches: Crowley, Insana, Justin, Deitch, Love (not on trip due to immigration issues)
Captain: Hamilton

2 comments:

wrap around curl  October 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM  

Do you have any pictures of Falk? I'd love to see him in a different uni.

And perhaps the ref should have borrowed Falk's glasses.

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