Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stars End Busy Weekend With 1-0 Shootout Loss in San Antonio

Logan Shaw and Jack Campbell (Credit: Darren Abate/AHL)
After two games where they got a quick start and a win on the Rampage, the Stars fell in the shootout on the third game in three nights. It was the first time Texas has been shutout since December 20th, a 2-0 loss to the Barons in Oklahoma City. The game concluded a 'mini-playoff' series for the Stars and Rampage that saw them play three games in three nights all against each other.

"It was a tough series," said Coach Desjardins. "They've had a tough year and I have a lot of respect for them and the way they handled themselves. It would be easy for them to get frustrated and take that out on us. I thought they showed a lot of class and played hard. They deserved everything they got tonight."

Texas got two full minutes of 5-on-3 power play time in the overtime period followed by 1:37 of 4-on-3 time and could not score. The choppy ice was a factor, as the team had pucks bounce on them a lot as the third period and OT rolled on.

"The ice started to get choppy after the third," said Justin Dowling. "You don't want to blame it on the ice though. Passes have to be crisper and more deliberate."

Thanks to the 0-0 score after 65 minutes, both Scott Clemmensen and Jack Campbell collected shutouts. It was Campbell's 4th shutout of the year and just his third loss of the year of any kind.

The loss broke up the Stars franchise-record eleven game winning streak. The shootout kept their point streak alive at twelve, tying a franchise-record. Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden had point streaks of seven and eight games, respectively, broken as well.

The single point ties them with Manchester on points. They have the games played tiebreaker to keep them ahead overall.

After the quick starts of the last two nights, tonight's first period was downright lethargic. Texas had two great chances in the period though. Derek Meech clinked one off the crossbar early on. The play went to a review to make sure it hadn't gone in and the original no-goal call was confirmed. A few minutes later Matej Stransky beat Clemmensen blocker side but found the post on the far side. Texas outshot San Antonio eight to seven in the first.

The Stars poured on the shots in the second period to no avail. Their best chance was a two-on-one by Brendan Ranford and Travis Morin. Morin dished to Ranford on the right wing side. Scott Clemmensen showed his NHL stop with a sprawling double pad stack to take away the low options and a glove hand grab to stop the opportunity cold. Things amped up in the third period as the Rampage outshot the Stars 13-8 in the frame. Jyrki Jokipakka, of all people, picked up two for roughing as the physicality and intensity picked up. Jack Campbell had a glorious save late in a penalty kill.

Curtis McKenzie had a goal waved off in the frame as the referee indicated he had played it into the net with his hand.

"McKenzie says he didn't punch it in and obviously we're siding with him, but who knows?" said Dowling.

The overtime period brought some man-advantage oddities. Mike Mottau took a slash 70 seconds into the overtime. After the play was called dead, Ryan Whitney slapped away the fallen stick in frustration and got an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

"I wasn't expecting that," said Dowling. "I didn't think they were going to call anything. It was just the heat of the moment."

That gave Texas a strange 5-on-3 power play for a full two minutes with the game on the line. The Stars stayed in the zone with the first power play unit the entire two minutes but could not find the net past Scott Clemmensen. As that penalty ended, the Stars got another power play with Zanon off for cross-checking. The second power play unit loaded up and could not score on the 4-on-3.

"We just have to find a way to score," said Desjardins. "But it happens sometimes. It's a big opportunity for us, and we just missed it."

Texas outshot the Rampage 4-0 in the OT frame, but the game went to the shootout. San Antonio shot first and got goals from Bobby Butler and Logan Shaw. Brendan Ranford went forehand to his backhand for the only Stars goal of the entire game. Shaw's five-hole bid was the ultimate winner.

The Stars face OKC on the road on Wednesday.

Tonight's lines:
Ranford-Morin-McKenzie
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Petersen-Peters-Glennie
Henderson-Faksa-Stransky

Jokipakka-Meech
Wrenn-Oleksiak
Labrie-Fortunus

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Sceviour, Jeffrey, Nemeth, Mueller (callup)
Guptill, Hulak, Vause, Gaunce (scratch)
Klingberg (injury)

Today's attendance was 6,796.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - April 13 2014

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