Saturday, October 29, 2016

Texas Stars, Philippe Desrosiers Hang Tight for OT Win Over Reign

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Something clicked this weekend for the Texas Stars. After a four-game slump, the Stars now have back-to-back wins against last season's division champs. All the pieces they needed to slide into place did.

Goalie Philippe Desrosiers made his home debut and was sparkling. He halted 34 of 35 shots from a dangerous Ontario offense to carry Texas to a 2-1 OT win.

"He's been working hard with the goalie coaches in practice," said Derek Laxal. "For us, if we can get two goaltenders playing well, that's part of the development process."

Desrosiers himself added, "I just wanted to do my job. I've been working so hard in practice to be ready for this game. Right now, I'm proud of myself and proud of the guys."

The game wasn't without flaws for the home side, however. Texas was stymied often on the power play but broke through when they needed it the most: in overtime.

"It felt good because I had so many chances that I could have scored," said Matej Stransky of the game-winning goal.

Remi Elie opened the scoring in the first in tight. Coach Laxdal called him out as one of the best players on the ice tonight. In the second, the Stars seemed to be in neutral after getting scored on and seeing their power play come up empty on a short 5-on-3 followed by a double minor. When the Stars took their own double minor at the end of the frame, it seemed that the momentum would swing to Ontario with a goal early in the third period.

Stransky relayed Laxdal's message in the locker room in the second intermission, "Coach said, 'Let's kill this and let's go,' and every guy was bought in. We went hard and them and it worked."

With the wind in their sails after a solid kill, Texas earned four calls in the third period to give their power play a chance to clinch the game.

"We only had 16 shots up to the end of the second," said Laxdal. "We just kept preaching that we need one shot to win this. Our guys hung in there from start to finish. We got that one shot."

As the teams moved to overtime, Texas held a 5-on-3 manpower advantage thanks to some Reign indiscretions. "They're going to take their chances of getting a call or not getting a call. Those were blatant penalties and we took advantage of it."

Stransky buried his chance just 38 seconds into OT off the assist from Julius Honka. Laxdal concluded, "We weren't sharp, but we ended up getting the win. We'll take it and move on."

Texas will move on, with four points from this weekend, to Tucson on Wednesday.

Tonight's lines:
Elie-Morin-Ully
DeFazio-Fyten-Stransky
Troock-McMurtry-Herbert
Werek-Mangene-Gurianov

Backman-Honka
Stevenson-Bystrom
Ebert-Bodnarchuk

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Smith, Dowling (call up)
Karjalainen, Van Brabant (scratch)
Ranford (out, unspecified)
Dickinson (recovering from injury)

Reign starting goalie Jonah Imoo was injured in the first but stayed in the game until the third. He was relived by Jack Flinn, who took the loss.

Tonight's attendance was 4,512.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Ontario - October 29 2016

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