|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
"It's our third game in a row here that we weren't good enough," said Coach Derek Laxdal, recalling last weekend's pair of losses to Rockford. "You can't have a good road trip and come home and be stale."
Captain Maxime Fortunus, playing in his first game since February 8th, continued, "I didn't think we had a good start. That didn't help our team. We need to play a full sixty minutes and have pressure every shift."
Iowa collected the first goal on a turnover at the Stars' blue line. Olivier Archambault scored his third of the year short side on Jussi Rynnas. From there, Texas really controlled the game but couldn't break through. Iowa goalie John Curry had a phenomenal game for the Wild, stopping 34 of 35.
The Stars' bottom six stood out on the evening, generating really solid scoring chances at the end of the first and second periods.
"Their game was simple: working and hounding the puck," said Laxdal. "They won battles and got in position. You create that offensive energy, it forces the other team to defend and sap their energy."
Rookie Branden Troock returned from injury and collected three shots on net, earning himself some power play time in the third period as Laxdal tried to spark the man advantage.
Ultimately it was the power play that helped to set up the Stars' only goal of the night. Just after a minor expired, Texas captain Fortunus rifled a shot from the point that was tipped by Derek Hulak past Curry for the 1-1 tie. With four minutes left in the third, the Stars had life.
Overtime came for Texas and many fans resigned themselves to the single point. Texas holds the league's worst overtime record at 2-13 in the frame. This evening's game was no different. Right off the drop, the Wild scored off a dump-in that was collected by Tyler Graovac. Coach Laxdal thought the dump should have been called an icing, as a tie is supposed to go to the defender. His plea was rejected, and the goal stood.
Fortunus concluded, "It's hard when you look at the standings and see all the points we've lost. We've been working on OT in practice. Our overtime has got to be a lot of possession and movement, and that's what will make it successful."
The Stars have four days off before their next game Wednesday against Lake Erie. They won't practice Saturday but will hit the ice for an intense practice on Sunday, according to Laxdal.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McKenzie, Ritchie (call up)
Wrenn, Valentine (scratch)
Glennie, Faksa (injury)
Tonight's attendance was 5,556.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - March 6 2015