Aeros slip past Texas 3-2

It's always easier to write about a loss but it doesn't make it any more fun, sadly. Texas didn't really have it all together tonight and the Aeros got the better of them.

Brent Krahn got the start in net for the second night in a row. The first period was quiet on the scoreboard but Texas had a lot of good pressure, especially in the middle of the frame. The team couldn't connect on any of the chances they were generated and looked overall out of synch.

Houston opened the scoring in the 2nd period with a tip by Peter Zingoni on a shot for Max Noreau. Houston led the game 1-0 at that point and would not trail in the contest at any point. Just 62 seconds later, Andrew Hutchinson beat the rookie goaltender Darcy Kuemper five hole from the point on the power play. The puck honestly just slid in along the ground, and Kuemper didn't close his knees fast enough.

Robbie Earl put in the first of his two goals on the night at 12:37 of the second. The goal was a garbage goal, picked up off the traffic in front and generated off a rebound. Still a tally on the scoreboard, no matter how ugly and Texas would go to the locker room down 2-1.

Houston's Carson McMillan and Texas's Mathieu Tousignant got a chance to even the score finally after the sucker punch to the face that Tousignant took from McMillan earlier in the year. McMillan and Tousi dropped the gloves at the 14 minute mark but the bout was over in just a few seconds and I wouldn't say there was a winner either way.

Texas and Houston traded tallies in the third. Houston took its turn first when Robbie Earl scored his second of the night, beating Krahn on a tip of Ryan Gunderson's point shot. Texas went next, with Travis Morin wristing a sick shot past Kuemper. Ned Lukacevic assisted on the goal, giving him his first point as a Star.

And that's how it would end. The Stars couldn't pass to save their lives tonight. They had just hit a groove of winning 10 of their last 12 and really looking like a well-oiled machine, and then this. Are all of the players out of the lineup a factor? Tonight, the Stars did not have the services of McCulloch, Wilson, Rallo, Fortunus, Sawada, Peters, or Beaudoin. All are regular contributors to the Stars offensive potential. New or relatively new faces include Cody Chupp, Ned Lukacevic, Tyler Ludwig, and Kevin DeVergilio. Are we back to the mid-season Stars, where the team could not break out of their own zone?

Well, this was a worrying game, but I think it was just that: one game. The Stars had a pretty big stinker to start their road trip, a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee where Krahn allowed 3 goals in the first and Texas couldn't stop shots from coming in. The team needs to synch up again and work as a team. It can't be helping that there are all of these players in and out of the lineup.

Tonight's lines:

Hutchinson-Tr. Ludwig
Ty. Ludwig


Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson, Rallo, and McCulloch (injured)
Sawada, Beaudoin, Peters, and Shelast (scratched)
Benn, Climie, Fortunus (call-up)

Tonight's attendance was 6,302.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Houston - April 3 2010