Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stars drop third straight, lose to Rivermen 4-3

Texas has now lost to the three worst teams in the West Conference in three games in a row. The Stars are clinging for their lives to the last playoff spot in the West Division. Let's get to the play-by-play.

Todd Ford got the start in net tonight with Matt Climie back in pads to ride the pine for the evening. Peoria came out firing and got a lot of early chances on Ford. They had already generated five shots when they scored 93 seconds into the game on the 6th.

Halfway through the period, some tough work by Andrew Hutchinson generated a shot on goal. Toivonen's puck control alluded him and he gave up a pudgy rebound to Aaron Gagnon who did not fail. The game was tied 1-1 nine minutes in.

Late in the period, Mitch Love got a boarding call for a strong hit on Gazdic. Luke was a little slow to get up but continued to play. Texas did not score again in the period but won the shots battle 11-7, a rarity.

Andrew Hutchinson had some good chances early in the second period again with the Gagnon line but couldn't score. At the 7 minute mark, a Nate Guenin shot also led to a large rebound by Ford which Sonne cashed in on for a 2-1 lead.

Just two minutes later, Texas went on the power play with a hooking call on Lepine. Fifty-eight seconds later, Strachan cross-checked a Texas player to make it a 5-on-3. Texas had a few shots but did not score. The two-man advantage ended when Aaron Gagnon took an interference minor. The penalties all ended without incident on the scoresheet. Texas's game-tying goal was scored by Scott McCulloch on a wrap-around on the left post at 15:42 of the second. The radio audience missed this goal due to an overlapping commercial break (Felt like I was watching the Olympics on NBC).

Sergei Korostin took an unnecessary hooking call five minutes into the period and Peoria made good on the chance. A shot from Junland went off Drazenovic in front to beat Ford at the six minute mark for a 3-2 Rivermen lead. At 13 minutes, Ford again gave up a goal, this time off his pads, a "bad goal" if you will, scored unassisted by Porter.

Texas would go on the power play almost immediately thereafter. Glen Gulutzan got tricky and pulled Ford for the extra skater to make it 6-on-4. Maxime Fortunus made sure he didn't look foolish by burying one on the pass from Lindgren to make it 4-3. Down by one, Texas only had 2:47 to tie it up.

Ford was pulled again just after a faceoff with 1:16 left. With the extra skater, Aaron Gagnon just missed Hutchinson with 30 seconds left and it would be Texas's last serious attempt at the net.

Texas was even across the board, scoring one in each period. However, Ford's last goal against was the difference. There was no video feed for me tonight, so I did not see how "bad" of a goal it was. Apparently he lost sight of it in his skates and let it roll in. Hopefully we'll see it on the highlights. After going 4-0-1 in January, Ford is now 0-5-0 in February. I hate to be fickle, but why aren't we using Bachman and Climie? I think Bachman's earned it.

Between the two teams tonight, there were only 12 minutes of penalties. I expected more between Peoria and Texas. There weren't any fighting majors either. Certainly that could have helped the energy.

Tonight's lines:
Gazdic-Peters-Sawada
Rallo-Morin-Wathier
McCulloch-Lindgren-Beaudoin
Sceviour-Gagnon-Korostin

Stafford-Graham
Fortunus-Hutchinson
Jancevski-Stephenson

Ford

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Ludwig (day-to-day lower body)
Bachman, Tousignant, and Shelast (scratched)

Tonight's attendance was 3,814.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Peoria - February 23 2010

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