|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
"They took it to us pretty well all game," said Coach Laxdal. "We had a lead going into the third period, but then you see the inexperience in our lineup."
The clubs spent most of the second period on special teams one way or the other with three of the four goals in the frame being scored either on the power play or shorthanded. The Stars grinded hard to hold that 5-3 lead after two, but the extended penalty kills in the second came back to bite them in the third.
"We played [the top two lines] so much in the second period, I think you saw our gas tank emptied in the third."
Mitch Callahan and Jeff Hoggan scored ten second apart early in the period, putting Texas on the back foot and leading them to call a timeout.
Texas would get a golden opportunity late in the third with two delay of game penalties against the Griffins. The 82-second 5-on-3 segment came up empty.
"In the 5-on-3, our execution wasn't great. The guys were tight trying to get the game winning goal."
As Laxdal often says, 'overtime is overtime'. It's a coin flip most nights out there. Eric Tangradi was all alone on the right side of the net to bury the winner past Maxime Lagace. The Texas rookie faced 48 shots on the night as compared to just 18 against Tom McCollum.
With Milwaukee coming into town, the team is certianly looking to use these games against Grand Rapids as an example of what a playoff team looks like and how they play.
"You have to play really structured," noted Laxdal. "If you want to be fancy and cute, it's not going to be a long playoff series."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Faksa, Ritchie, Johns (call up)
Rallo, Shore, Morin (injury)
Molin, Kane (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 5,466.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Grand Rapids - March 19 2016