Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Texas Drops Second in a Row, Loses 4-2 to Rampage at Home

Michael Houser in net for San Antonio (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The San Antonio Rampage have had no kind of luck at the Cedar Park Center in the five years they've played here. That changed tonight as they had a solid contest and earned just their fourth regulation win ever at the CPC, 4-2 over Texas.

"They didn't get breaks," said Coach Desjardins. "They deserved what they got. Goals went in for them and didn't for us."

After going on a twelve game win streak, the Stars have now suffered back-to-back home losses for the first time this season. The game also breaks up a twenty-game point streak for Texas against San Antonio. Coming into tonight, they were 15-0-2-3 against the Rampage.

"It was more maybe not burying our chances," said Chris Mueller. "Our power play didn't play as well. Hats off to their goalie; I think he was the difference."

The power play, after disappointing on Saturday with an 0-for-5 performance, had a dreary 1-for-8 effort against one of the worst penalty kills in the league.

"We didn't generate as much tonight as we have," said Desjardins. "We had the 5-on-3 though and you have to get something on that one."

Mueller continued, "It's just something we're going through. Usually when the power play's going well you expect to score every time. When you go through one or two games like we have where you only score one, you wonder what's wrong with it. In practice, maybe we need to bear down a little more and try some things. Nothing gets us out of this funk but keep shooting and keep making plays."

Michael Houser had a stellar performance, stopping 45 of 46 shots against and earning first star honors.

"It's good for the confidence," said Houser postgame. "I hadn't been playing much. To follow up [my game last week] with this, I think it goes a long way."

Josh Robinson stopped 14 of 18 shots for Texas.

Despite Texas dominating the play in the first period, it was the San Antonio Rampage that drew first blood in the game. Immediately off a faceoff, Matt Gilroy's point blast found the net behind Josh Robinson through traffic. Despite ranking one and two in the league in shots per game, after twenty minutes the two had combined for just ten; San Antonio led 6-4.

Those are tough periods when you're not seeing the shots," said Houser. "[Texas] had the puck in our zone and we had a slow start to the period. Second half of the period, I didn't see any action except for the power plays. It was a tough first period."

The second period passed quietly on the scoreboard. The Stars enjoyed two power plays but could not produce. Overall the scoring chances were 16-6 in the frame. Michael Houser continued solid play in net, stopping initial shots and getting lucky time and time again on rebounds. As they say, you have to be good to be lucky though.

San Antonio broke the game open in the third period. Just 23 seconds into the period, Jed Ortmeyer potted his ninth of the year. Josh Robinson overcommitted on the stick side and then, in an effort to re-establish, over committed blocker side and got beat for the 2-0 Rampage lead. Ortmeyer went again on the power play, tipping another point shot from Matt Gilroy immediately off the faceoff.

The Stars got into the action with a power play goal of their own. Texas's first unit cashed in with Chris Mueller dishing form behind the goal line to Travis Morin in the right wing faceoff dot. He found the open net for the 3-1 score. Morin's 26th of the year was also assisted by linemate Colton Sceviour.

Vincent Trocheck put the game out of reach with a solid rush into the zone. He beat Jamie Oleksiak on the initial play into the zone. While Texas gained control, they failed to clear and John McFarland found Trocheck for the 4-1 marker. It was Trocheck's 13th of the season.

Texas pulled RObinson with three minutes left to try to make up the deficit. Scott Glennie would find the net on a patient play, but that would be the last of the scoring.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Mueller-Glennie
Ranford-Jeffrey-Ritchie
Button-Stransky

Oleksiak-Meech
Jokipakka-Gaunce
Labrie-Fortunus
Wrenn

Robinson

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wathier, Montgomery, Sinkewich (scratch)
Peters, Petersen, Dowling, Nilstorp, Nemeth, Campbell, Vause (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 5,089.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - January 29 2014

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