|Matt Fraser had two goals on the night but Texas fell in the shootout. (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)|
"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.
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