Bulldog defenseman Shawn Belle and Stars center Aaron Gagnon jockey for position in front of Hamilton netminder Curtis Sanford (Photo credit: Matt Kostek)
The Stars suffered from poor defensive play in their own zone and fell for the second game in their series. Texas now heads back home in a 0-2 hole against the Bulldogs.
Texas and Hamilton skated to a scoreless tie in the first period. In all realistic estimation, Texas did well to only skate to a 0-0 tie in the first. The Stars were outshot 14-6 and took two hooking calls in the period. What Texas lacked in quantity of shots, they made up for in quality of shots.
Hamilton opened the scoring in the game just 28 seconds into the first period. Again, the power play made the difference for Hamilton with Landon Wilson in the box for hooking. Hamilton scored again at even-strength just before the five minute mark of the period. Brock Trotter walked into the Stars zone unmolested down the right wing side. Climie stopped the initial bid in tight but the rebound bounced out to a trailing Alex Henry, who potted a practically empty net goal. Texas needed to close on the Bulldogs in the zone, but did not stop the trailer.
Despite having 3 power plays in the period, Texas did not score with the man advantage. It took an odd angle bounce from the stick of Warren Peters to break the shutout for Curtis Sanford. Peters collected a hard kick off the endwall from Andrew Hutchinson and bounced it off either Curtis Sanford's back or a defender to make it 2-1. Texas would end the period with that score and be forced to mount a comeback and hand the Bulldogs their first loss after scoring the first goal in these playoffs. Texas outshot the Bulldogs 11-8, aided heavily by three power plays in the period.
Just over halfway through the third, Hamilton added some insurance on a 2-on-1 against Fortunus. Greg Stevenson steamrolled Andrew Hutchinson, who was trying to keep the puck in at the blue line, in the neutral zone. Texas's forwards did not pull back and left Maxime Fortunus to face a two-on-one from Stevenson and Glumac. Stevenson passed to the left wing circle where Glumac one-timed the puck past Climie for a 3-1 lead. The game ended with that score; Texas got outshot 30-23 in the game.
The Stars got burned for two of their goals on poor defensive coverage. For the second Hamilton goal, Texas allowed Brock Trotter to practically walk into the zone and then let Alex Henry drop in to trail the play unmolested. On the third goal, with Texas trying to pinch their defensemen in the third period, the Bulldogs broke in on a 2-on-1. This is not Texas Stars hockey. The Stars will look to improve with some home-cookin' on Wednesday. Remember that the Stars have not played a home game in over two weeks.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McCulloch, Korostin, Shelast, Ty. Ludwig, Chupp, Gazdic (scratched)
Tonight's attendance was 2,897.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Hamilton - May 16 2010