Saturday, April 14, 2018

Texas Closes Regular Season with Shootout Loss, Looks Ahead to Playoffs

Tony Calderone scored his first pro goal tonight (Credit: Derek Sparta/Texas Stars)
In the final game of the regular season, Texas had a predictable storyline. For the team-record 28th time this year, it took more than 60 minutes to get to a final decision. That final was a 4-3 shootout loss that included a come-from-behind third period effort.

"Thank God there's no OT 3-on-3 or shootouts in the playoffs," exclaimed Coach Laxdal after the contest.

The Stars wanted to have a lineup closer to their playoff roster in the game tonight and rested some veterans last night to make that happen. "We rested a bunch of guys last night. I thought they would have a bunch of energy but sometimes that backfires on you. We have to be ready to respond on Thursday night."

ATO forward Tony Calderone scored his first professional goal on the night, tying the game at two in the second period. "It was great," he commented. "I know I had a few chances in the early games. To bury on my chance, it was awesome."

Texas tried a number of line combinations in the third period, down by a goal and looking for energy. "I mixed it up in the third to create some energy. There's 29 guys in there and at some point someone has to step up and take this team by the horns. Any given night someone can be the hero."

The Stars got that goal from Brian Flynn with the goalie pulled, taking them to overtime and a shootout to close the season with a 38-24-8-6 record.

San Antonio jumped out to the early lead with the first AHL goal for Taylor Richart, playing in just his second AHL game. Before the end of the frame, Adam Werner's puckhandling got him in trouble as Sheldon Dries wrapped around on the goalie, who couldn't make it back to the far post in time to prevent the tying goal from Dries.

The Rampage struck again early in the second with Reid Petryk going five hole on Landon Bow. The aforementioned Calderone stepped up on the power play in the 6th minute to wrist one past Werner for the 2-2 tie. It was a quick play by Calderone, which is something he admits he'll have to work on in the league. "Everything is quicker and everyone's better. You don't have as much time with the puck. You have to make the play quick."

Zach Sanford matched the power play goal with one of his own. Just a few seconds after missing on a wide open net, Sanford earned redemption with his fourth of the year to go up 3-2. That would be the score after forty minutes.

Brian Flynn notched his 18th goal of the season on the 6-on-5 advantage with 71 seconds left in the third to push the game to OT. Despite a Texas power play in the extra frame, neither team could break through. A goalie-centric shootout ensued and Klim Kostin scored the winning goal in the fourth round.

Landon Bow stopped 20 of 23 in the loss. Adam Werner stopped 36 of 39 in the win.

The Stars now rest up to start the playoffs on Thursday at home against Ontario.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dickinson-L'Esperance
Elie-Hintz-Flynn
McKenzie-Dowling-Calderone
Gurianov-Dries-Payne

Heatherington-Regner
Bodnarchuk-Scarlett
Bayreuther-Hansson

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Mangene, Markison, Kelleher, Rallo, Laberge, O'Brien, Hanna, Paliotta (scratch)
Fyten (injury)

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

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - April 14 2018

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