The Texas Stars opened up their longest home stretch of the season this evening with a convincing win against the Houston Aeros. While Coach Gulutzan felt like it was not the best game that Texas had played, he noted that they played well enough to get the win.
Texas opened the scoring in this one with Ondrej Roman taking advantage of Texas power play. Receiving a deft between the legs tip from Tousignant and just tapped the puck over in the crease.
Aaron Gagnon would have the next two. Gagnon finished off a frenetic play in front of the net with a wrister over a sprawled out Anton Khudobin and then scored on a goal that trickled in over the line. Khudobin was pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots. Matt Hackett relieved him. The Aeros would get one back before the end of the period with Max Noreau capitalizing on an Aeros PP opportunity. The goal was the first allowed by Texas goaltender Richard Bachman in his last 115 minutes of play. Texas outshot the Aeros 9-4 in the period.
In the second period, Fabian Brunnstrom started off the scoring early. Greg Rallo found a hard-charging Brunnstrom's tape and landed a pass on his stick for a simple redirect on the breakaway. Hackett had over-committed right and gave up a yawning open net goal.
Texas would give up another power play goal in the contest, allowing a 5-hole tally from Houston's captain DiSalvatore at the 11 minute mark of the 2nd.
Texas was the recipient of a five minute major to Colton Gillies for boarding Greg Rallo late in the second. Rallo got up under his own power and continued playing in the game. Gillies is the same player who took out Tomas Vincour in Sunday's game. With less than a minute left in the period, Travis Morin would get it back to +3 for Texas with a wicked wrister stickside high on Hackett off a nice dish from Dan Spang.
"We've done a lot of work on [the power play]," said Aaron Gagnon, who had two goals in the game. "It's more keeping it simple and getting on net. That's paid off."
Houston would get one more in the third period at even strength from J-M Daoust. The Stars would hold off Houston for the rest of the game thanks in large part to being on the power play for 4 of the last 5 minutes of the game.
Coach Gulutzan and the Stars are looking forward to the coming homestand as an opportunity to pick up points and help define the team's identity. "Young guys sometimes take longer to find their rhythm and tempo. You hope after Christmas if we find that tempo and that identity, we'll be better."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Chupp, Stephenson (scratched)
Krahn (day-to-day, lower body)
Vincour (day-to-day, upper body)
Blindebacher (call up)
Ondrej Roman left the game in the 3rd period after collision with an Aero.
Tonight's attendance was 4,489.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Houston - November 24 2010