|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
"I was so nervous in the box. I was in there the whole [dry scrape], so lonely and very nervous. I was on an island with a pit in my stomach."
Shore made up for his transgression as he was the recipient of a high-flip pass from Stephen Johns after his teammates killed his penalties and he rejoined them in overtime.
"I had the puck on my stick, and next thing I knew we were celebrating in the corner"
After going down 3-1 after two periods, the Texas Stars came away with a 5-4 overtime victory in their season and home opener tonight in Cedar Park.
"What a third period for the kids," said coach Derek Laxdal. "They battled their butts off. It took some time to find their game. We did a good job battling back. Quite a game for the home opener."
The first period was unkind to Texas, as they allowed two goals from players who should be frequent contributors to the Rampage's offense this season: Andrew Agozzino and Maxim Noreau.
"We played a sloppy first," said Stephen Johns. "The bounces didn't go our way."
The second period saw Texas come out fighting with Radek Faksa first of the season just 25 seconds in. Curtis McKenzie dished from behind the net to an open Faksa in the slot for the tally. The late frame saw that good work undone as Texas took two penalties to end up on the 5-on-3 kill. A tip from Dennis Everberg in front of the net sent the score to 3-1 for San Antonio.
"We got it together in the second, but they got a 5-on-3 goal. Those are going to happen. We liked the second we had."
The third period saw Texas score three goals in 6:24 seconds to rally for a 4-3 lead. Brendan Ranford scored back-to-back off assists from Esa Lindell each time. The first was a five hole tally along the ice from a sharp angle on the left wing side and the second was a breakaway that Ranford scored practically from behind the net as Calvin Pickard ran him out of room on the short side.
With things tied at three, Radek Faksa scored in very tight off a centering shot/pass from Greg Rallo.
"Faksa struggled to score early last season," said Laxdal. "He played a well-rounded, hard-working game. You saw a workhorse game, penalty kill and five on five. It was good to see him get back in it. His confidence has taken off and he's just getting better and better."
San Antonio would have to pull Pickard late to attempt the tying goal. Ben Street found the back off the net just off a faceoff on a tip of a Noreau shot. Tied at four, Devin Shore took a penalty and began his nervous wait in the box.
"The puck was in my feet on that penalty," added Shore. "I wasn't trying to trip him, but I did. I have to more responsible at that point in the game."
The Stars made it to overtime and started with the now-rare 4-on-3 setup. In 3-on-3 overtime, a player is added to the club with the power play instead of subtracting a player from the penalized team. When Shore joined the play, it would stay 4-on-4 until the next whistle, when it would have been reduced to 3-on-3. Texas and San Antonio never got there.
Coming out of the box, Shore made it back to the defensive zone to help out a tired John, Lindell and Travis Morin and then got the high flip pass from Johns to breakaway against a similarly-tired Rampage defender. With what Laxdal called a "Forsberg move," Shore put Texas in the win column for the first of 14 matchups between these teams.
"It was a lucky play, one of those crazy nights," said Johns. "It's going to be a lot like this for 13 more games. It's fun to play in these games."
Texas is idle most of this week before traveling to Illinois for games against Chicago and Rockford on Friday and Saturday.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Kane, Ully, Stransky, Mangene, Blacker (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 5,913.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - October 10 2015