It was the same story, but just a different weekend for the Stars this Saturday. Following a nice OT win in Houston last night, Texas returned home for another matchup with the Aeros and dropped it in regulation. The Stars again had a mixed bag night. "I know it's cliched," said winger Luke Gazdic, "But we're not playing a full 60." Coach Pyle added to that, looking to the veteran players to provide consistency to the younger ones. "Our best players have got to be our best players, and right now, they're not."
The Stars gave up a goal in the first minute of the game but gained the lead in the first minute of the second at 2-1. Texas gave up the lead with two goals against in the second and trailed all the way to a 4-2 loss. "We get what we deserve, if you're not totally committed every shift you're going to struggle"
The first shift starting things off on the wrong foot for Texas. "Veterans guys make a mistake and didn't cover a guy in the slot," said Coach Pyle. That guy in the slot, Joel Broda, made them pay, sneaking down and gunning one past Richard Bachman just 42 seconds into the first. Texas had the quick answer with Mike Hedden's first of the season exactly two minutes later. The fourth line was really earned the goal with Brenden Dillon and Ondrej Roman picking up assists on the tying goal.
The Stars jumped ahead on the power play just 34 seconds into the second period. Jordie Benn blasted one from the point to score his 6th of the season. Glennie and Sceviour assisted, and Texas was in the driver's seat. Texas gave Houston a 5-on-3 opportunity six minutes into the period, and the Aeros made them pay. "The penalty to give them to 5-on-3 was a game changer," said Pyle. "You're only going to kill off so many penalties." Texas Stars-killer Jon DiSalvatore had the goal.
Penalties have been a going concern for Texas. "It's one thing if a guy's battling and maybe he makes a hit like the Wathier penalty in the third period," said Gazdic. "But the trips and the little things, that's just not working hard."
Houston got the next one as well on another missed coverage play by Texas's veterans. The Stars got cuaght watching the puck in their zone and Bachman had no chance to stop a puck off the stick of Chad Rau, which went five hole and set the score at 3-2. "You've got to be able to read and react, head on a swivel. You can't blame [Bachman] for [the third goal]."
Houston added another in the third period, again from Joel Broda. Texas pulled Bachman for the final two and a half minutes of the game in an attempt to get things back to even to no avail.
The Stars now head on the road for two games against the Checkers, a team they've never played before. Charlotte will then travel to Texas for their first game in the Cedar Park Center.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Coyle, Godard (scratched)
Larsen, Vincour (callup)
Tonight's attendance was 6,274.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Houston - November 26 2011