Francis Wathier scores the game winning goal in overtime against Toronto this evening (Credit: Judy True)
The Stars got back to .500 hockey this evening with a great character game against the Toronto Marlies, one of the top team in the Western Conference. After falling behind 2-0, Texas roared back to 3-2 in the second and third period only to give up the tying goal in the dying seconds of the third.
Colton Sceviour and rookie Scott Glennie each scored their first goals of the season and added assists on the night as well. "Getting that first one is huge," said Sceviour. "It's was a great play from my linemates: the cycle and the pass out front." The Stars' Francis Wathier scored his third of the year to win it just 45 seconds into the OT.
The Stars and Marlies played through a scoreless first until the last minute of the period. An extended 5-on-3 put Toronto ahead on a goal from league-leader Joe Colborne, his 9th of the season. Ryan Garbutt would take a penalty at the end of the first that would extend into the second and result in a Marlies goal as well. Ryan Hamilton collected his 2nd of the season just 19 seconds in. Texas was in a 2-0 hole early in the second with both goals coming on the PK.
"Our penalty kill, statistically, doesn't look good, but we've been battling," said Coach Pyle. "The character and work ethic was good all night long."
That character and work ethic showed through over the next 20 minutes for Texas. Luke Gazdic picked up a primary assist on a pretty play from behind the net to Scott Glennie out front, who beat Rynnas stick side high. It was Glennie's first goal of the season. The Stars took two quick minors and were staring a 93 second 5-on-3 in the face. They killed it with extreme prejudice. Pucks were cleared, and lanes were blocked. It was a complete effort.
"Anytime you kill off a 5-on-3, especially one for 1:40, that's not an easy play at all," said Sceviour. "The momentum coming off that, and the fans yelling pumped us up."
Three minutes later, Tomas Vincour skated down the right wing side and sniped one past Rynnas with assists to Garbutt and Larsen. Tied at two, Texas had momentum going into the third.
Colton Sceviour potted his first of the season five minutes into the third on one that just snuck over the line. Glennie and Gazdic assisted on the play. The Stars were set for a 3-2 victory and the full two points until the last minute of regulation. With Rynnas on the bench, Toronto beat Bachman on a rebound play with just 44 seconds left. The game would go to OT.
One shift was all Texas needed in the OT to end the game. Colton Sceviour collected a missed pass at the blue line and passed it down to Francis Wathier, who was all alone and beat Rynnas on the stick side for the win. The 4-3 OT win was Texas's second OT victory of the season, both at home.
Texas plays again on Sunday at San Antonio. Coach Pyle was happy with the win, but was looking for improvement in the mental sides of the game moving forward. "We've got to manage the clock and the score better. Sometimes we don't have the patience we need."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Fortunus (day-to-day injury)
The newly created line of Tousignant-Hedden-Schultz played good quality hockey tonight. Coach Pyle commented positively on it in the postgame: "They don't score but they're eating up a lot of minutes. You need three lines going, but I thought tonight we had four going... Everybody is an important piece of the puzzle."
The forecheck was an important piece of the puzzle, leading to one of the Stars' goals in the game. Sceviour: "We talked about getting your feet moving on the forecheck and forcing them to go D-to-D and look for other options." It worked as the pressure got the best of Toronto on more than one occasion.
Tonight's attendance was 5,781.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Toronto - November 3 2011