Stephanie Joplin Tabbah
Special to FOXSportsHouston.com
HOUSTON- Another shootout stinger for the Houston Aeros on Sunday created a bigger mess in the AHL playoff standings. After losing 2-1 against the Milwaukee Admirals, the Aeros fell to at 33-24-5-11 to the Admirals 38-28-2-4.
The Aeros are in a four-way tie in points for fifth seed in the Western Conference. However, if the playoffs were to start today, Houston would enter in eighth place; the team does not own any of the tiebreakers, and the other four teams each have more wins than the Aeros do.
Milwaukees star of the game was RW Ryan Thang, who scored the deciding shootout goal in the fourth round of the tiebreaker. Despite the shootout loss, Aeros Matt Hackett was named the number three star of the game, with a total of 31 saves on Sunday evening.
LW Brett Bulmer earned second-star honors, after scoring his first goal of the season (assisted by RW Nick Palmieri) for the Aeros, the first professional goal of his career. When asked about synching up with his team, Bulmer explained, Playing with the Aeros felt really good, even my first game; I fit right in. Its been a good transition. Regarding the playoff push, Brett agrees that every point is huge. You can see how much those guys care; its an important time of year.
Aeros Head Coach John Torchetti is excited about Bulmers potential: Kids unbelievable. We are very fortunate to have him. Everythings size in this league; if you dont have the size, you better have the speed to go along with it, and this kids got both.
Not at all discouraged by Sundays shootout loss, Torchetti explains, I thought our team played really well; I liked everybodys energy, I liked their concentration.
Regarding the shootout, Torchetti adds, We practice on it; we do our work on it. They score two, we score one. We will have to prepare just like we do every other week. Well be fresh with four days off, and off we go.
The Houston Aeros will face the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday evening, and then finish the regular season with two consecutive home games against San Antonio and Texas. Milwaukee will face San Antonio on Tuesday evening.