Saturday, April 15, 2017

Texas Stars Finish Season with Pugnacious 6-3 Loss to Rampage

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
In their home finale, Texas put up a chippy effort but ultiamtely fell to the visting Rampage, closing the season three games below .500 at 34-37-1-4. With neither team having anything left to play for except for pride and contracts, it was a spirited contest.

"It's not always easy but at the same time we're professional athletes and that's our job." said Brandon DeFazio. "We won two of three and showed we cared, and that's the biggest thing to take from it."

It being the 14th in the season series between the two teams, it was surprising this was the first one to get so chippy.

"I think we saw each other too much. I'm surprised it didn't happen more often. That was some old school hockey. Funny to see Petey flying down there."

DeFazio, of course, is referring to the almost goalie fight following Texas's first goal of the night. Down 2-0 early, the Stars scored to cut the lead in half. Gemel Smith and goalie Spencer Martin had words after the tally and Justin Peters came flying down the ice as Smith and Martin traded jabs. Ultimately, there was no fight though.

"I haven't seen a goalie fight here in three years and I was hoping to see one," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "I think the fans were too."

The sellout crowd really got into it as Remi Elie and Dillon Heatherington scored with just 26 seconds separating the tallies. Some broken coverage gave the Stars a 4-3 deficit and was Colin Smith's second of the night. No one stepped up on the forward and he had a clean shot on net. Felix Girard would add another and Texas would look to clear the net for a chance at the 6-on-5 tally. Colin Smith scored his third goal of the night into the vacated net, but it was not an empty net goal as Peters was still on the ice.

Coach Laxdal summarized, "It was a tough game. Full crowd and the guys wanted to play hard. It's hard to get up when the season's done. Tonight was a synopsis of our year. Power play hasn't been great and penalty kill has been really bad. It's been a tough year with injuries and call ups. It was a synopsis of our year and showed a lot of the places we have to improve next year."

The Stars will clean out their lockers on Monday as disperse across the country and world for the summer. Caleb Herbert is the only Texas Star remaining who will head to the Idaho Steelheads for their playoff run.

Tonight's lines:
Gurianov-Dickinson-Elie
Stransky-Smith-Caamano
Ully-McNeill-DeFazio
Werek-Fyten-Sturos

Bayreuther-Mangene
Ebert-Heatherington
Bystrom-Dietz

Peters

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Karjalainen, Martenet, Vala, Dowling, Herbert, Stevenson, Lagace (scratch)
Bodnarchuk, Morin (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 6,863, a sellout.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - April 15 2017

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