Brampton made it very plain coming into this game that they were going to set the tone physically and not be intimidated by the Aeros. The second period stepped up this physical tone, led by their defense, specifically Krista McArthur, easily the best Thunder player on the ice this night. Her play got stronger as the night wore on – a rock on defense, she logged more and more ice time the later it got, and in all crucial situations; she won more one-on-one battles than any player for either team.
McArthur even shined on the Thunder power play, making a great play in the last minute of the period to glove down a Beatrice dump out on the penalty kill at the Aeros blue line, then getting off a quick shot and crashing the net for her own rebound.
But it was not to be, McArthur or no McArthur, the Aeros pressure was unrelenting, and they found the back of the net again at the 10:40 mark of the second. Aeros’ right wing Heather Logan managed a partial breakaway, and shoveled the puck on net as she was being hauled down from behind. Kellough missed another make-able save, allowing the puck to slide underneath her for the marker.
Kellough continued to have problems down low as a goal-mouth scramble was blown down by the officials with about four minutes left in the frame, after they thought that she had frozen the puck. It was loose and the Aeros promptly deposited puck in net for what would’ve been their fourth on the night. The goal was disallowed – chalk it up to the refs not being able to see everything all the time.
Kellough really shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame for Brampton; the fact that the Thunder back checking was sporadic at best tells you that the Aeros forwards were in her face all night. With that in mind, and the fact that Brampton had limited success with their breakout at times, especially in the first period and it’s fair to say that the goals resulted from team breakdowns. However, all three goals were saves that could’ve been made.