The Stars definitely wanted a big game to send them off for their 4 games in 5 days road trip. Against the Manitoba Moose this evening, they got just such a game. Francis Wathier celebrated his 26th birthday with a goal and an assist in the game. The winger, who started the day with the Dallas Stars in Columbus, hoped to finish the day at home with his wife and "a little glass of wine and maybe some cake, hopefully."
Texas came out in the first period with a lot of energy and several great chances but it was the Moose that collected the first goal. Cody Hodgson tallied his team-leading 10th of the season six minutes into the game and started a Moose onslaught. The goaltending of Richard Bachman kept the score at 1-0 but Texas finished the period at an 11-9 shots deficit after leading at the time of the goal by a mark of 6-2.
Texas owned the scoring in the 2nd period with birthday boy Francis Wathier starting the party 7 minutes in. Coming in on a counterpunch to a Manitoba chance, Wathier collected a centering pass in the high slot from Ondrej Roman on the left wing. Maxime Fortunus screened out Weiman while the puck crept in five-hole.
Only 44 second later Cody Chupp scored on a wraparound on his backhand. The puck got past Weiman on the far side without ever leaving the ice. Assists went to Gazdic and Backman and the Stars were in business.
Manitoba would tie it up just before the 12 minute mark of the second period. Evan Oberg snapped a laserbeam of a shot to the top left corner and beat Bachman stickside high.
Texas bounced right back in just over two minutes to regain the lead. Sean Backman scored his 3rd goal of the year on a rebound down low on the left wing side. He had all day to make the shot and didn't disappoint with Weiman facedown in the crease. Spang and Wathier collected assists on the tally. The Stars would end the period with a 10-7 shot advantage in the 2nd and 19-18 overall. The period ended without any penalties.
Raymond Sawada opened the period on a positive note against his former club with an unassisted marker at the 3:24 mark of the third. On a giveaway from the Manitoba defense, Sawada skated in alone and beat Weiman stickside high for his 3rd of the year.
Former Moose Greg Rallo capped it off with seven seconds to go with an empty netter to seal the deal. Texas now looks to the road for a four games in five days stretch. "With the big road trip coming up, to get two points in regulation was big for us," said rookie Sean Backman, who had a goal and an assist in the game.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Benn and McCulloch (scratched)
Krahn (day-to-day, lower body)
Gagnon, Larsen (call-up)
Tonight's attendance was 3,217.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Manitoba - December 7 2010