|(Credit: Derek Sparta/Texas Stars)|
"We talked about trying to regain home ice advantage and improve our record," said Coach Laxdal. "Our guys had a great start to the game; we controlled most of it. It was an emotional weekend but we stuck to it."
After last night's fireworks, tonight's contest was remarkably unremarkable. The Stars and San Jose combined for 36 penalty minutes and 14 power play chances, but many were shortened due to overlapping. Matt Mangene and Roope Hintz had the two goals in the game for the Stars, both scored at even strength and both highlight reel worthy.
After Andrew Bodnarchuk's five-hole OT winner last night, Mangene, who was playing forward tonight, tricked Troy Grosenick with a move to score. Grosenick bit hard on a sweep to the backhand and Mangene pulled back to the forehand and tapped the puck in on the breakaway.
Mangene commented on the silky smooth plays from himself and Bodnarchuk, "We don't show it too much in practice but we had two good moves and it was a huge weekend for us."
The goal tied up the game and was the exact type of thing that Coach Laxdal was hoping to bring by adding Mangene to the forward corps, ""Matt can skate for fun, so we thought we could increase our speed. I probably should have used him in the shootout because he scored the goal!"
Greg Rallo and Mark McNeill were also added to the lineup as Brian Flynn was scratched and Justin Dowling came out for injury. Rallo's line with Cole Ully and Sheldon Dries generated a lot of energy through the first two periods.
"There's a couple guys not going up top," Laxdal noted. "I had to shake up the lines." Dries also drew in on a lot of faceoffs, as Laxdal commented he was one of the only players winning them.
As the second drew to a close, Roope Hintz collected his third of the year on a sweeping move with just over a minute left. Texas would cede a goal in the third period on the power play to set the score at 2-2. The Stars shortened the bench considerably in the final ten minutes to manage through and hold onto the point. Texas had to kill five minute combined penalties in the final ten minutes plus overtime, including the final minute of the OT frame.
The Stars' best chance of overtime was on a penalty shot by Roope Hintz, which was stopped by Grosenick. The shootout saw Cole Ully, Travis Morin and Jason Dickinson take the ice for Texas. San Jose didn't score, but Morin found twine for the shootout winner.
Texas continued its power play power outage with a 0-for-6 effort. However, they got the win with Mike McKenna stopping 26 of 28 and all three in the shootout. Grosenick took the loss with 23 of 25 stopped and two of three in the shootout.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Laberge, Flynn, Fyten (scratch)
Dowling (upper body, day to day)
Tonight's attendance was 4,741.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Jose - October 28 2017