Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"Porous" Texas Stars Defense Allows IceHogs to Slip By in OT

Rockford's game winner (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Stars have scored 11 goals in their past two home games. They've won neither.

Each time, Texas has been bested by the visitor. Tonight, Rockford took Texas to overtime and beat the home side by a 6-5 final. It's clear they can score, now they need to stop the puck more effectively.

"A lot of it is our own doing," said Travis Morin, who scored in the game. "We are making big mistakes at bad times and leaving our goalies out to dry. We have to know that our offense is going to score as long as we play good defense."

Neither team led by more than a goal at any time as Jack Campbell and Michael Leighton were both equally porous and mistake-prone. Campbell let in an easy goal gloveside in the second and both Campbell and Leighton had misplayed pucks that ended up in the back of their nets.

"We're a little porous in the D zone," Laxdal said. "Jack played today despite traveling all day. There's probably 3 or 4 he'd like to have back. Leighton wasn't any better. It was the last team to score that would win."

Campbell stopped 37 of 43 shots on the night after arriving at 3:45 PM from Calgary. Michael Leighton stopped 32 of 37 shots. With the loss, the Stars dropped to 5-4-1 on home ice this season.

The IceHogs picked up the first goal of the night off the stick of Ryan Hartman, but the Stars answered back in quick order. Travis Morin put in a sharp angle shot on the backhand. Within two minutes, Radek Faksa had pushed Texas ahead after winning a faceoff and finishing his own rebound.

In the second, both goaltenders had some pretty notable issues with routine shots and plays. Bryan Bickell scored after a broken play on the PP left him all alone in front. Garret Ross pushed the Hogs ahead on what should have been a routine shot for Campbell. The puck seemingly went through his glove and into the net behind him. It was an abhorrent goal on a pretty standard play.

Michael Leighton had a misplay of his own and turned the puck over directly onto the stick of Travis Morin. The captain was patient and found an open Greg Rallo for a tap-in on the back door. Julius Honka pushed Texas ahead 4-3 with a shot from the point. Jack Campbell handed it back with a misplay behind the net, which gave the puck to Ryan Hartman for his second of the night, using Campbell as the backboard for his shot from behind the net.

Rockford got a faceoff win and sent it back to Eric Gustafsson on the point. His shot rimmed around the back of the net, going in stick side on Campbell for the 5-4 lead.

Justin Dowling generated the game tying goal with a rush to the net. Off the rebound, Curtis McKenzie came in unmarked and roofed it, ringing one off the crossbar for the 5-5 tie.

Texas put themselves in great position to win with a power play heading into OT. They couldn't convert and ended up on the PK with a questionable hooking call on Radek Faksa. Morin summarized, "We failed to convert on our power play and it came back to bite us."

Off a screen in front, Dennis Rasmussen beat Campbell stick side for the 6-5 win.

"4-on-3 we got some defenseman mixed up there," said Laxdal. "They had a good screen."

Texas will get a longer break now, thanks to the rescheduled game, and hit the road for a Sunday match with the Milwaukee Admirals.

Tonight's lines:
Elie-Faksa-Rallo
Shore-Morin-Ranford
McKenzie-Dowling-Stransky
Mangene-Smith-Troock

Lindell-Johns
Blacker-Evans
Backman-Honka

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Lagace, Bystrom, Ully, Kane(scratch)
Dickinson (lower body)
Hulak (upper body)

Tonight's attendance was 3,976.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - December 2 2015

2 comments:

  1. "thanks to the rescheduled game" - wait what? when did that happen, and why can't i find any notice about it anywhere? Did I sleep through something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The game on December 4th in Milwaukee was moved because the Admirals lost the date at their arena. They moved it to Oct 27th. Texas lost in the shootout.

      Delete

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