Friday, December 8, 2017

Texas Takes Two Points From Low Energy Game With Bakersfield

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The team agreed that it wasn't their best game this season. However, the Texas Stars are finding ways to win those games now, and that's a huge improvement. The tight 3-2 overtime win may have lacked energy, but "a win is a win."

"We're finding ways to win," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "We'll take any win. Was it our best game? No. Did we get the two points? Yes."

Sheldon Dries stood out again this evening. After scoring two on Tuesday, he netted the overtime winner late in the five-minute frame. It wouldn't be exaggeration to call it one of the top three prettiest goals this season.

"I didn't want to turn it over," said Dries. "So I figured if I could do a little spin-o-rama move to keep possession and turn it to the corner that would be fine for the team. I got through though."

Dries turned Kyle Platzer inside out with the move and had a clean chance at Eddie Pasquale. The goalie stopped the first shot but couldn't get the rebound.

It was a sleepy game in many ways until that moment. Penalties going both ways slowed down the progress of the contest. The two clubs finished combined 0/10 on the power play.

"Once you start taking that many penalties you start to zap the energy of the group," said Laxdal. "We took the energy out of our game with four or five minors in the first and second period. They did a really good job on the penalty kill. They had a four minute kill and we didn't generate much on it."

Brad Malone opened the scoring for the Condors, but Jason Dickinson literally helped Texas bounce back. Brent Regner's initial shot deflected up and bounced into the net off Dickinson's shoulder.

Denis Gurianov scored his second goal of the year on a backhand move off the rush in the second. It gave Texas a 2-1 lead.

"It was good to see Denis score a goal off the rush. A backhand is a harder shot to stop than you think. You can't tell when it comes off the stick."

Roope Hintz and Gurianov have been paired together to get speed into the lineup. Hintz is feeling good about the combination, "We need to use our speed and work from that. We can get scoring chances from that. Sometimes we find each other and get some good chances."

The Stars gave up a soft goal early in the third as Iiro Pakarinen slid the puck in on a lazy wraparound. Bow hadn't sealed the post, and it was 2-2.

Texas couldn't make anything out of a late 4-minute power play and took it to OT. Dries performed his aforementioned heroics late in the frame as he was looking to change. In fact, Travis Morin got an assist on the goal but wasn't even on the ice for the goal. He had already changed by the time Dries scored.

Aside from the soft goal, Landon Bow had a solid game and his quietness of play continues. He stopped 35 of 37.

Texas plays Ontario tomorrow at home.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ully, Rallo, McKenzie, Fyten (scratch)
Elie, Honka (call-up)

Tonight's attendance was 5,296.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Bakersfield - December 8 2017

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