Would the Thunder forget about the two losses they suffered at the hands of the Aeros in the pre-season in front of the home town crowd?
The early going set the tone for the game on this night, with brisk end-to-end action and some solid contact kicking off the first period. Amy Turek broke in alone on the Thunder’s Stacy Kellough 10 seconds into the contest, but Kellough turned her away. The breakaway set an early trend that persevered throughout the first period; the Aeros applying sustained pressure on the Thunder, who suffered from a number of missed assignments in the neutral zone early on and some questionable back checking by their wingers, resulting in Beatrice carrying the play in the beginning.
Goaltender Stacy Kellough of the Thunder would hold her team in for the first part of the period, but after an ill-advised retaliatory slashing penalty taken by alternate captain Karen Nystrom; she couldn’t hold the fort on the ensuing Aeros power play. At the 7:46 mark, Danielle Bilodeau crossed the blue line and took what looked to be an innocent shot from the high slot. Kellough reached for it and got a piece, but the puck found its way out of her glove, over her and into the net.
Kellough continued to play off and on in the Brampton net, letting Aeros’ Annie Desrosiers, an off season pick-up from the Montreal Wingstar, slip a wrap-around between her pads with 4:41 remaining in the period. How Desrosiers was allowed to walk out from behind the net untouched is another story, and not typical of the Thunder defense on this night, who provided good protection for their goaltender and a steady diet of in-your-face physical play for the Aeros’ forwards all night.
The period winds down with Nystrom again visiting the sin bin after having her helmet knocked off in a scrum, this time to begin a 10 minute misconduct with 41 seconds left, proving once again that you can only yap at the referees for so long before they call your bluff. Yes, she wears the “A” on her sweater, meaning she can talk to the refs. The result of these discussions really depends on what you say…