The Aeros got the loss tonight, their second in a row, losing 5-3 to the Abbotsford Heat led by head coach Troy Ward, assistant coach Luke Strand, and forward Krys Kolanos -- notice the Aeros connection.
The Aeros actually played a good first period of hockey, and they had some quality shot attempts, but they just couldn't get the puck in the net. But they also suffered the loss of defenseman Elgin Reid on a boarding call early in the first period. And since it was his head that went off the wall, one would expect to see a five minute penalty. And one would expect wrong as the offending Heat player got only two minutes.
Jeff Taffe and John Torchetti were quick to remind the officials #42 Danny Burchell and #42 Jarrod Ragusin of that in the second period when some calls were missed, but the result was back-to-back unsportsmanlike penalties. Penalties which surprised Torchetti because he's never seen unsportsmanlike penalties given out for asking questions, especially when there is no profanity involved. But this is the AHL, and the AHL isn't exactly known for good officiating.
The penalties led to two goals for the Heat which put the game out of reach, despite a furious comeback in the final minutes which found the Aeros get to 4-3 with :57 remaining the in game. But sometimes deficits are just too hard to make up, and Abbotsford got the empty netter just before the horn to make it 5-3.
Torchetti took the blame for this loss, noting that he was the one who got the second unsportsmanlike penalty.
There was no word, after the game, on the status of Reid, but he did not return to the game after being knocked out of the game early in the first period.
The Aeros are off until Sunday afternoon when they host the Charlotte Checkers at 5:05 (and I the only one getting tired of the constant Sunday home games).
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