Saturday, January 10, 2015

Overtime Unkind to Texas Again as Toronto Marlies Nab 4-3 Win

Brendan Ranford with three points, Derek Hulak extends points streak to six
Derek Hulak (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
After overcoming two one-goal deficits and charging ahead in the third, Texas fell to Toronto in overtime on Saturday night by a 4-3 final.

"It's a big point when it looked like we weren't going to get anything early," said Coach Laxdal.

The Stars had quite a few positive signs in the game: they scored twice on the power play after getting blanked last night; Brendan Ranford had two goals and an assist to pace the team; and the team weathered a first period storm to give themselves the chance to win.

However, it was overtime that once again bit Texas, which fell to 2-9 in the extra session this season. Their nine overtime losses lead the league in that regard. Laxdal continued, "We don't get a lot of bounces in overtime for some reason."

Jack Campbell got the start in back-to-back games after Jussi Rynnas took a shot in the hand earlier in the day and couldn't go. Laxdal called Campbell's effort 'solid' and pointed out that his goaltender kept the team in it as he saw a lot of rubber in the first.

Toronto opened the scoring late in the first after jumping out to a 7-1 shots lead. Petter Granberg got his first of the year and Toronto finished the frame with a 13-6 shot lead.

"We didn't have a great first period," said Ranford. "They were on us really quick, and we didn't reach the level of compete they had in the first period."

Ranford and team got on the trot in the second and outshot the Marlies 11-7 in the middle stanza. Derek Hulak slid the puck out to Jyrki Jokipakka at the point, who found Ranford in the slot for the power play goal. The assist for Hulak extended his point streak to six game, a team-high this season.

Coach Laxdal commented on the power play in post game, "We made a few adjustments in game, and we did a good job shooting the puck. We'll keep working on it."

Ranford emphasized the point on shooting the puck, "The biggest thing was getting shots through and on net. Our main mentality was to get the shots on net and create a second scrum."

Toronto and Texas combined for four goals in the final frame. Brendan Mikkelson regained the Marlies' lead at 2:22 but Brendan Ranford answered right back with a backdoor roof shot on the doorstep of Christopher Gibson's net. Five minutes into the period, Jyrki Jokipakka scored from the point on the power play and it looked like Texas had a shot at the full two points.

Toronto would even the score late on a shot that Laxdal called a 'cannon' from Matt Frattin. The winger's tenth of the year, which came just as Gord Dineen was pulling Gibson for the extra man, sent the game to overtime.

The Stars' best opportunity of the power play came as Gemel Smith slipped a pass over to Julius Honka off the rush. Honka fanned on the pass and didn't get all of it. Laxdal said Smith is the type of player you want out on the ice in OT despite his rookie status. His offensive upside is big in that situation.

Stuart Percy was the OT hero for Toronto though. His first goal of the season was the game winner. A bad defensive change and a turnover by Texas created a 2-on-0 for Percy. He shot the puck and beat Campbell for the 4-3 final.

The Stars stay in town to play Rochester on Wednesday.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Rallo
Ranford-Smith-Hulak
Glennie-Faille-Stransky
Henderson-Peters

Gaunce-Fortunus
Honka-Jokipakka
Mangene-Meech
Valentine

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ritchie (call up)
Wrenn, Dalhuisen, Root (scratch)
Dowling, Troock Faksa (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 5,602.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - January 9 2015

2 comments:

  1. So I think we can pick up two points of interest from the game.
    1. The dump and chase isn't working. It's the reason we only had 6 shots on goal in the first and 5 in the third, and it gives the opposing team the puck far too often. It doesn't look like anyone new is going to be called up any time soon, (it looks like we're on our way to being healthy again) so it's time to develop the skills necessary to break into the zone with possession. They'll need them anyways to get to Dallas and stay there.
    2. The extra defenseman in lieu of a forward on the bottom line is confusing the players. They don't look like they know their position or line mates half the time. It's part of what's creating the bad changes and scoring opportunities for other teams. Laxdal needs to create as much consistency as possible and soon. Yes, it's hard to create consistency in a development league, but he doesn't have to switch lines mid game.

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  2. I don't know at this point. Seams the team is like a dike that springs one hole and when you plug that one up another is created, and repeat.

    I really don't understand using players like the defense-men on offense, I would think at this level in pro hockey you could do better than using guys we picked up from the ECHL, defense-men to fill in your offensive player needs. Are guys like Mangene and Valentine you just "have to" do something to keep them on the roster? I really haven't seen that. It could be a consistency issue but I think it's more a talent issue.

    With each of these loses we suffer it becomes less and less important that we healthy because it becomes more likely we will need a legitimate hot streak to make the playoffs, have we seen anything from this team that we can have faith they can produce such a hot streak?

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