Saturday, October 25, 2014

Frenetic Stars Comeback Cut Short By OKC in OT

Travis Morin hat trick spoiled in overtime by visitors
Travis Morin celebrates a goal (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Stars mini-series against the Barons is not turning out as well as last year's playoff matchup. Through three games, OKC has taken two of the contests and lit up the Stars offensively in the process. Despite a four point night from their leading scorer, Travis Morin, including a hat trick, the Stars ended up on the wrong side of a 6-5 OT score after trailing by three in the third period.

"It's tough to lose it when you expend a lot of energy in the third period to get back from a 5-2 deficit," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "You have to give the guys credit. That's a big point you didn't have going into the third period."

By the end of the first period, the Stars were down by two. At the end of the second, it was a three goal margin. Yet still the club found itself in overtime thanks to the efforts of vets Travis Morin and Greg Rallo.

"We obviously weren't happy with the first two periods," said Morin. "We wanted to push the pace and the tempo and throw everything at them."

A shift at forward to put Derek Hulak on a line with Morin and Brendan Ranford immediately bore fruit. Hulak had the primary assist on two goals in the first five minutes to set the difference at just one.

"When it gets down to one goal there in the last few minutes, that's the time to send everything really. We were doing whatever we could to try to get two points."

Greg Rallo tucked it under the crossbar from the left wing side with just 1.9 seconds left in regulation.

After the dry scrape, the Stars and Barons made it to 3-on-3 OT for the first time this season. It was Matt Ford of OKC scoring there on a 2-on-1 play for the win.

Coach Laxdal summarized the game saying that his club needed to tighten up defensively and get better on special teams.

While Texas had the opening goal of the game, they gave it back almost immediately. Travis Morin scored through the screen of Brendan Ranford for the 1-0 mark. Just as quickly, Dillon Simpson slapped one through traffic for his fist goal of the season.

OKC continued their march on the power play with a slick strike from the left wing circle by Andrew Miller. An odd man rush a few minutes later would make it 3-1 for the visitors. A tough defensive shift out of Julius Honka led to the Barons' fourth goal. He was unable to navigate a clear which out Texas on its heels.

The Stars got a power play at the midpoint of the period, a spot where they pretty much had to have a goal to stay in it. From the right point, Derek Meech did that just as the advantage expired. Unfortunately, Anton Lander scored on the backhand on a breakaway to kill the momentum for Texas and put OKC back at their three goal lead.

"You have to have a huge bump shift there," said Laxdal. "You have to have big saves at the right time in the game and the line that goes out there has to know this is a big shift to gain some energy."

Travis Morin's aforementioned heroics brought down the hats at the five minute mark of the third and set up a frenetic final fifteen minutes of regulation.

Going 6-on-5 for 99 seconds, the Texas Stars found the game tying goal off the assist of Travis Morin. It was a nice cross-ice pass by Morin that found Rallo and gave him a shot at the net with just a few seconds remaining.

The Stars went to OT and then 3-on-3 OT. Laxdal chose a two forward look.

"Our forwards were creating a lot of energy and we taxed our defenseman in the third."

Ford got the best of Texas for the 6-5 final.

Texas plays OKC again on Wednesday.

Tonight's lines:
Ranford-Morin-Glennie
Ritchie-Dowling-Henderson
Rallo-Faksa-Stransky
Smith-Peters-Hulak

Klingberg-Meech
Wrenn-Fortunus
Gaunce-Honka

Rynnas

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McKenzie, Jokipakka (callup)
Troock, Dalhuisen, Lagace (scratched)

Tonight's attendance was 6,080.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Oklahoma City - October 25 2014

1 comment:

  1. "Coach Laxdal summarized the game saying that his club needed to tighten up defensively"

    You think? That was about as bad defensively as I have seen this team play in the past two years. The first two periods were absolutely awful. Nice response in the third but it doesn't excuse the first two periods and more dating back to the previous game.

    ReplyDelete

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