Sunday, March 3, 2013

Texas Drops Third Straight With 5-4 SO Loss to OKC

Matt Fraser had two goals on the night but Texas fell in the shootout. (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)
In three games, the Stars have garnered only one point after falling tonight to the Oklahoma City Barons in the shootout by a 5-4 mark. Texas hasn't lost three in a row since the games surrounding the Christmas break.

"It's unacceptable," said forward Matt Fraser, who scored two in the loss. "We're a first place team and for us to get one out of four, that's just unacceptable. We know we have better and that is not acceptable."

The Stars only trailed once in the game for just under six minutes in the second period.

"We had opportunities to win the game, and we needed to take advantage of them."

Colton Sceviour collected three assists in the loss, and Doug Jones scored his first AHL goal. Cristopher Nilstorp took the loss, looking uneven at times and ultimately stopping 25 of 29. Jonathan Cheechoo had two goals for the Barons.

The aforementioned Jones tallied the games first goal on the power play. Jones simply collected and backhanded a solid rebound off a shot from fellow rookie Jacob Johnston, who collected his first pro point on the play. Texas would end the first up 1-0 and being outshot 9-6.

Oklahoma City struck quickly in the second with former Rocket Richard winner Jonathan Cheechoo earning his seventh goal of the season from the right wing side, ripping it past Nilstorp.

Just after the Stars squandered a power play, Mark Marincin jumped out of the box and scored his fifth of the season off a nice pass from Andrew Hotham. It would be OKC's only lead of the game before the final shootout goal.

Matt Fraser went next for Texas. Somehow the Barons forgot about Texas' leading scorer and Travis Morin found him alone in the slot where he made it 2-2. Justin Dowling turned the tie into a lead, outwaiting the play and slipping one by Hovinen just short of the twelve minute mark.

Dowling would leave the game shortly thereafter on a high hit from an OKC skater. With the period winding down, Colton Teubert again tied the game with a shot from the point.

The Barons and Stars traded goals in the third period. Matt Fraser scored his 26th of the season on a nice set play.

"We talked about it right before the faceoff," said Fraser. "I think that's the first time in my career something like that has ever worked out like that. It was a good play by Morin, Baldwin and Sceviour."

The play successfully faked out the Barons and allowed Fraser to score five hole for the 4-3 lead. Jonathan Cheechoo evened it up just two minutes later though.

In overtime, Texas had a chance to win the game. Matt Fraser broke in on a two-on-one and actually got the puck past Hovinen, triggering the horn and much hat-throwing. However, behind the play, Jace Coyle had slashed a Barons skater, earning a two minute penalty and eliminating any chance for the win. It's debatable if the Stars would have scored on the play without the penalty. It looked like Hovinen had stopped playing as he saw the penalty. Regardless, the penalty stopped any momentum Texas had and put them on the PK for the rest of the OT.

In the shootout, OKC struck first and last to win it on goals from Josh Green and Mark Arcobello. Fraser, Sceviour, Wandell and Vincour all missed for Texas.

The Stars earn a point with the shootout loss and move to 75 on the season. Syrcause also moved to 75 to maintain the tie at first in the league with an OT loss to Rochester.

Charlotte, now at 69 points and Texas' closest challenger in the West, was idle tonight. They will play Oklahoma City tomorrow and Monday in North Carolina. With two wins, they could move to 73 points and within easy striking distance of the Stars.

Tonight's lines:
Wandell-Petersen-Vincour
Fraser-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Jones
Wathier-Vause-Fyten

Baldwin-Wrenn
Sneep-Johnston
Coyle-Labrie

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Oleksiak (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Sloan, Chiasson, Fortunus, Gazdic (injured)
Cameron, Tousignant (scratch)

Dowling injured in the second on a hit to the head from OKC skater. He did not return, and the Stars had no further information on his condition.

Tonight's attendance was 5,7.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. OKC - March 2 2013

4 comments:

  1. Some good and bad. Good that Fraser and Dowling are scoring because they are two of four or so players that this team needs to score on a somewhat regular basis if they are to win. I like that Wathier and Scevior dropped the gloves and showed some heart. I have to say even though I still think Labrie is the back end of the defensive talent he does many things I think guys who want to break into the roster should be do, he is good at the dirty work and is showing he has a position on the team. Jones adds that component of contributions from the back end of the roster that over the last 5 weeks or so has kept this teams head above water.

    Bad was first Nilstorp, he has put together some bad games now between here and Dallas and although I still think highly of him he might be becoming 1B to Campbells 1A. For several months great goaltending might of been a luxury more than a requirement for this team, I think that has now changed, it a must. This team really needs it's vets to step up now. Sceviour is about the only constant contributor. Wathier, Morin(granted has been injured), Peterson, and Wandell need to take ownership of the direction of this team. When Gazdic returns he needs to become an enforcer again. This team has to many undersized players at this point and we don't need him as a skater.

    It might be time for fans to accept this is the team we have. It also might be time for ownership to ask themselves do that want all the work and effort to this point to be for nothing or do they maybe want to work hard over the next few weeks to make this team better.

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  2. I'm not sure I follow how 'ownership' directs the option to make the team better.

    I'm also not sure how many AHL caliber talents are just lying around not playing right now. So Dallas would have to move players, picks, or cash in an AHL only move?

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  3. Texas currently has I believe 9 players that aren't on Dallas contracts, that is how they have the ownership makes or breaks the team. And yes, this is the AHL players are available. I'm not saying Texas has done a poor job (like last year) but the job isn't over yet.

    People thought there wasn't much AHL talent lying around last year yet quite possibly the main reason we are #1 this year and last last year is because a player (Nilstorp) who could of been gotten last year.

    There is no doubt Dallas could be a huge factor in helping out Texas but Texas is going to have to fend for themselves too.

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  4. I'm much more worried about Dallas trading away some of their younger chips for someone experienced to help out Dallas, thereby weakening Texas.

    I know there was a lot of talk last year during the bad season, but I thought I had heard that Dallas provides all of the players, whether two-way, AHL only contracts etc..

    I don't think Texas signs a Mike Hedden, for example, I think it is Dallas who signs that type of player to a Texas contract. I don't think Texas ownership is out there looking for players for Texas, or am I missing something?

    In any case, I agree it would be nice to have Dallas help their AHL affiliate out and make some moves that help shore it up. I'm willing to be patient if the 3 D-men and Chiasson are all scheduled back in a couple of weeks, but if it is much longer than that, we're going to need reinforcements or March could be pretty brutal, even with a lot of home cooking.

    ReplyDelete

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