Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stars sneak by Peoria, win in shootout 2-1

The Stars were sluggish and slow all game but somehow they pulled out the win in the shootout, only their second such win all year.

The Stars did not start this game out on the right foot. Luke Gazdic's name was misspelled on the lineup sheet by Texas. This made him ineligible to play tonight. For the record, guys, it's GaZDic, not Gadzic!! Already, the Stars were down one player.

Texas garnered only 2 shots in the first period and loaded up the 5th best power play in the league twice in the period. Somehow they came out of the first tied 1-1. The Stars allowed the first goal of the night on the power play at 16:07 when Talbot fed Drazenovic from the right circle across the crease to beat Todd Ford on the at the far post. Texas had not recorded a shot in the game until 20 seconds before the Rivermen goal.

The Stars would even the score on only their second shot of the game three minutes later when Beaudoin stole a puck from a Rivermen defender and fed to Morin who beat Toivonen blocker side for a 1-1 tie. This would be their last shot of the period.

The Stars squandered an early 2nd period power play opportunity but did have the first 3 shots of the period. Peoria had tied up the shots on goal stat for the period by the 10 minute mark then passed the Stars after a Greg Rallo hooking minor that the Stars killed off. The Stars had another chance on the power play late in the period but did not capitalize. They just looked so terribly tired.

In the third period, Max Fortunus blocked a shot in the 4th minute of the period and came off the bench after skating around the ice clearly favoring one leg to the other. Fortunus would return before the halfway point of the period.

By the eight minute mark of the 3rd, the Rivermen had nearly tripled the Stars shot total 28-11. In the 8th minute, Vishnevskiy had a good defense of Cam Paddock's chance on net without taking a penalty. The net was dislodged as Paddock flew into the net and Vishnevskiy into the boards.

The Stars shots on goal started picking up as the third period drew to a close. Texas was swarming, now leading the shots battle in the period, but couldn't get a goal. Peters caught a post on a breakaway with Sawada with a minute left. Lindgren also had a good chance but McCulloch took a high sticking double-minor with 28 seconds left in the game. This moved the faceoff down to the Stars end. The Stars got the point for the tie through three periods but would be forced to kill the McCulloch minor for another 3:33 in the overtime period, which would be an always dangerous 4-on-3 power play.

The Stars managed to kill the penalty off with facility, often clearing the length of the ice. They could not sustain any offensive zone pressure after the penalty expired and the period ended again in a tie. The Stars went to the shootout where they have been less than spectacular this season at 1-4.

Vishnevskiy, 3 of 4 in the shootout coming in, went first for Texas. He deked a bit in front a roofed in backhand over Toivonen's right pad. Pelletier was the next to score, beating Ford stick side. Drazenovic, who scored the Rivermen's only goal in regulation, also scored by banking one of the left side post and into the net behind Ford. Colton Sceviour would use the exact same move as Vishnevskiy to score and make it 2-2. Ford stopped Lars Eller's attempt which left it up to Perttu Lindgren. Lindgren came in with a very similar move to Vish and Sceviour but instead tucked it under the right pad of Toivonen.

It's no question that the Stars had to be affected by the long travel day. They left Austin Bergstrom Int'l Airport at 6 AM this morning and took at 2 hour flight to Chicago. Then they took a 3 hour bus ride to Peoria. All this before noon today. They then arrived at the rink at 4 PM for a 6 PM start. They were sluggish through most of the game. Only registering 2 shots in the first period, for example. They managed to pick it up at the end of the game though, winning the shots battle in the 3rd period. The Stars have a day off before they play the Admirals in Milwaukee on Tuesday. They will travel 4 hours by bus to Milwaukee on Monday.

The Stars are now in sole possession of first place in the West division after Milwaukee lost to the Western Conference leading Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2.

On a sidenote, Peoria fans do not look to be as excited to be on camera on the Jumbotron as Stars fans do.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Morin-Rallo
McCulloch-Lindgren-Beaudoin
Combinations of:
Peters-Gagnon-Sawada
Stephenson-Sceviour (due to Gazdic/Gadzic mistake)

Fortunus-Vishnevskiy
Stafford-Jancevski
Hutchinson-Ludwig

Ford

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Tousignant, Shelast, and Korostin (scratched)
Gazdic (ineligible to play due to misspelling on lineup card)

Stephenson also seemed to play defense at some points in addition to playing up, much like Mark Fistric did in Dallas earlier in the year. The lines were a little crazy tonight overall due to the error.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Peoria - January 31 2010

1 comment:

  1. Peoria fans were comatose until the shootout, then you heard a few boos. A lot of those fans looked like they were sitting at a bus terminal.

    Good travel info, man it sounds like a bitch. I don't suppose they fly private?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. Using a name will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.