Thursday, May 9, 2013

Texas Drops Game 1 on Defensive Errors 2-1 in OT

Alex Chiasson (Credit: Josh Rasmussen)
After leading the AHL in scoring in the first round, the OKC Barons managed only two goals against the Stars tonight at home. That was enough though as Anton Lander's OT tally downed Texas in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

"I thought there might be a little more open ice," said Coach Desjardins, commenting on the low score.

Both OKC goals came off defensive zone mistakes by the Stars, one a fluke and one preventable.

"It's going to be tight all series long," said Francis Wathier, who had Texas's only goal. "We have to respect their high skill players. One mistake in the D zone, and it lost us the game.

Just 88 seconds into the overtime, an extended defensive zone stay by the Stars cost the team the win as Matt Fraser attempted to clear the puck around the boards straight to Barons' forward.

"We have to be more determined," said Coach Desjardins. "The first game of the series may be one where you don't know what the other team is going to do."

Yann Danis earned first star honors with 34 saves on 35 shots. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 24 of 26.

The Stars came out of the gate strong, racking up a 10-3 shot advantage before anything went in the net. Unfortunately for the home side, it was Barons finding the board. Maxime Fortunus attempted to clear the puck out, and it hit in the narrow double stanchions on the left wing of the home side. Philippe Cornet collected the puck and found Mark Arcobello out front for the 1-0 lead.

"We have to be tighter on the puck," said Wathier. "We can't give time and space to players like Arcobello."

That lead stuck after the full first period with shots at 11-5 for the home club.

In the second period, Texas had a chance to even things up in the 16th minute as Brett Sonne hacked and slashed the puck through Danis. However, the play was already blown dead as the puck rolled into the OKC net.

"I can't say if [the first shot] was a goal. We were hungry [on the puck] and you have to take that as a positive."

Just seven seconds later, Francis Wathier made up for the early whistle with his first of the playoffs. Just off the faceoff, Wathier rang one off the post and in.

"Any time you can score a big goal it's good," said Wathier. "Benn did a great pass and got low on the play. Our line has been successful creating those chances off the faceoff."

The pace picked up in the third period as both clubs played a bit of end-to-end hockey. Scott Glennie had the play of the period as Cristopher Nilstorp drifted out of the net on the initial save and left the net empty. Glennie went down to the butterfly and stopped the ensuing OKC shot to keep the game tied at one all.

With time ticking down, OKC had a good bit of pressure, earning the last six shots of the period, including one that just glanced off the post and out.

"We got lucky in the third period; they could have buried a couple," said Desjardins.

In the overtime period, Texas did not register a shot. Fraser's failed clear kept the Stars on defense and Anton Lander charged the net with the resulting turnover. His shot deflected off Kevin Connauton in front of a crowded crease and in under the crossbar. It was Texas's first home loss of the playoffs.

"You have to get more shots from the middle," said Desjardins. "We had some good chances that didn't go. We have to get more from our power play."

Tonight's lines:
Fraser-Sonne-Sceviour
Hedden-Chiasson-Dowling
Ritchie-Glennie-R. Smith
Gazdic-Petersen-Wathier

Fortunus-Morrow
Gaunce-Connauton
Oleksiak-Benn

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Vause, McKenzie, Klingberg, Sloan, Wrenn, Jokipakka, Cameron, Faksa, Todd, Commodore (scratch)
Nemeth, Morin (injured)

Tonight's attendance was 2,840.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Oklahoma City - May 9 2013

5 comments:

  1. The waved-off goal was correctly called. The puck was sitting under Danis, and the referee was in the process of raising the whistle to blow it (intent to blow the whistle) when Sonne jammed his stick under Danis to knock the puck into the net. The referee immediately waved off the goal, as he should have.
    - PBG

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  2. Good game to watch overall. OKC was pretty physical registering more hits than the Stars in the first two periods. I think they also won more faceoffs. Overall, OKC was very fast on the transition from defense to charging attack and I think our guys were trying to adjust for that pace of play. Glennie's 3rd period save was amazing to watch, good stuff. Also, Stephen gave nice interview during the overtime intermission. I agree with him that the sooner we get Morin off of the scratch list the better. A puck to the head will do that though. I am ready for Saturday and I hope the Stars will be out for blood because I don't want to go to OKC trailing in the series by two.

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  3. Good game, but small lapses in coverage will be trouble against this team moving forward. They don't miss on their chances very often. More upsetting, in a way, was that we had (probably) the smallest playoff crowd ever at the CPC. Hopefully the turnout for Saturday is way better; the team does seem to get increased energy from a good crowd. Overall, it's just one loss. We will be back. Go STARS!

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  4. I was floored at our attendance last night. 2840? Where was everybody?

    -Kyle

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  5. It is dead week in Austin, with students preparing for finals and standardized tests. If the Game One had been on Friday night (like every other series is), the attendance would have been double. I expect Saturday night to be a packed house, especially since it will be the last home game of the season if the Stars do not win in OKC.
    - PBG

    ReplyDelete

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