Texas got outworked, outhustled and ultimately outscored in tonight's game against the Houston Aeros in Cedar Park. "There's not one guy that played well tonight," said forward Francis Wathier. "It was a team lack of effort."
Texas was down one after the first period but gave up two in the second and only managed one shot on goal in the period. "It was probably one of our worst periods of the year." The Aeros tacked on one more in the third to set Texas below .500 at 7-8-0-1 on the season.
Houston opened the scoring in the first with an even-strength goal off a misplay of the puck by Richard Bachman outside the crease. The goal, just 87 seconds into the game, came off the stick of Carson McMillan. Texas tied things up with a shorthanded goal, their first of the season, just 3 minutes later. Tomas Vincour finished a breakaway play by collecting a fat rebound off a Ryan Garbutt shot. It would be Texas's only goal of the night. The Stars went on the penalty kill late in the period and Cody Almond netted his first of the season to take the lead for Houston.
Things fell apart truly in the second period, however. "Our shifts were way too long," said Wathier. "We didn't put the puck where we wanted it to be." The Stars' were outshot 10-1 in the period. It looked like Texas would get out of the period unscathed, but the last three minutes of the period yielded two Houston goals.
Penner scored on a lucky play from behind the net, as the puck bounced off the skate of a sliding Bachman and in for a 3-1 lead. Casey Wellman collected his 11th of the year with a sniper shot from the left wing circle.
Tyler Beskorowany would start the third and allow one goal in the period, a late tally to Chad Rau to make things 5-1. Texas was a better team in the third. "We kept everything simple. As soon as we got the puck, we went forward, dumped the puck and finished our checks."
Texas is suffering from some consistency issues. Not every period is an even effort and not every game is either. "You've gotta go for 60 or 65," said Wathier.
Two of the next three are against Houston and Texas has to see Houston as a good measuring stick for their overall game. However, the Stars' next game is on Wednesday against the Chicago Wolves in Cedar Park.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Labrie, Schultz, Hedden (scratched)
Tonight's attendance was 4,930.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Houston - November 19 2011