Texas played a game quite the opposite of last night's goalie battle this evening in Cedar Park. With seven goals between the two teams tonight to last night's one, offensive fireworks helped the Stars to end the Rampage's seven game win streak.
Texas got started early on offense, with the opening line scoring just 24 seconds in. Raymond Sawada collected his second of the year on a good second effort shot in the low slot. "The role players definitely responded tonight," said captain Brad Lukowich, pointing to the effort on Sawada's goal as a prime example.
Texas closed the period with a goal as well on a tip in front of the net by Sean Backman on Brad Lukowich's point shot. The goal was Backman's second of the year and first since his call up from Idaho. Texas finished the period with an 11-4 lead on shots as San Antonio had trouble putting together a coherent offensive effort.
The remainder of the game was all special teams goals. San Antonio got the next tally on the power play as Mikkel Boedker put on past Bachman at the right post. Texas responded, also on the power play, with a goal by Francis Wathier. Wathier tapped in a rebound off Matt Climie's left pad from another point shot by Brad Lukowich. Texas and San Antonio each got off 5 shots in the period of plodding offensive effort.
In the third, San Antonio would cut the lead to 3-2 with a power play goal from former Star Mathieu Beaudoin. With 8 minutes left in the 3rd period, the Stars had a game on their hands. Coach Gulutzan commented after the game, "I liked the way our guys responded [when] it got dicey down there."
Texas indeed came back, holding off a Rampage power play opportunity with 5 minutes left in the game and earning one of their own. With just over a minute left in the game, Greg Rallo caught a pretty feed from Francis Wathier to beat Climie for the 4th time on the night. The goal was Rallo's 6th of the year. As if that wasn't enough, Fabian Brunnstrom put the very last nail in the coffin, scoring an empty netter with 5 seconds left in the game for his 4th on the year.
Coach Gulutzan felt overall that the younger guys on the team could have gotten more ice, but the veterans were relied on for heavy minutes to kill off 4 Rampage PP opportunities. Texas was 2/7 on the PP and 2/4 on the PK. The point where Texas has to begin trusting and passing the reins over to the younger players is approaching, according to Gulutzan, and this win is a great one to show them the way.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Benn, McCulloch (scratched)
Krahn (day-to-day, lower body)
Roman (unspecified injury)
Blindenbacher (call up)
Tonight's attendance was 5,961.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - November 27 2010