|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
"Any time you come off a road trip, that first game back is tough," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "For us to steal two points in our own building when they're sitting here waiting says a lot for us."
The Stars traded goals with the Wild through the early second period but went down 4-2 just past halfway through the game. It wasn't unfamiliar territory of late, and Texas had the recipe for the comeback.
"Everyone's contributing," noted Sheldon Dries, who contributed two goals himself this evening. "[Falling behind] is not a trend you want to stay on, but it's a good sign for our team that we're able to come back to get the win."
Landon Ferraro got the Wild on the board early but Brent Regner tallied his first goal of the season on the power play a few minutes later to tie things up. Travis Morin and Justin Dowling got well-earned assists as their passing opened up a lane for Regner's bar down shot from the point.
Iowa jumped ahead again a few minutes later and picked up a power play to boot. It was an oft-derided faceoff violation, and this one was no exception. Sheldon Dries took it diplomatically, "You deal with those. You're not always going to like them. Any penalty against you, I don't think you're going to like."
Dries also put his displeasure into action as he broke in alone on Steve Michalek for an unassisted shorthanded tally to tie things up.
The Wild responded with two more of their own, a tough goal that came as Texas left perennial threat Pat Cannone all alone out front and a 5-on-3 power play goal. The Stars certainly disagreed with the circumstances of that penalty, but they were determined rather than mopey in their disagreement.
Facing the prospect of a two-goal deficit after forty, Texas closed the gap in the final ten seconds of the second period. Sheldon Dries tipped a Dillon Heatherington shot five hole on Michalek to move the score to 4-3. "I'll take them any way they come," he noted. "But the tip is more my style."
Laxdal continues to heap praise on the rookie Dries, "What I see in him is a prototypical third line center who can move up and down your lineup and play heavy minutes for us."
Texas got chances like Dries's all night, especially in the third. The forward added, "Laxdal is always saying that you've got to stop in front of the net. We had a tendency to drive by. In the [latter half], we were stopping in front more and that created more chances." Brent Regner even got into things, looking like he nearly had a second goal on a drive to the net.
There was no stopping involved on Jason Dickinson's tying goal in the third, however. A streaking Dickinson collected a Dowling pass in the slot and beat Michalek for the 4-4 mark. Dowling and Dickinson were paired up as Laxdal shifted lines in the third to give more speed options to the offense.
"I thought we gained energy in the third period. Once I made the line changes to put speed with speed, we had good looks on every line."
Overtime was quiet to begin as Texas spent a long time with possession, playing keep away in pursuit of a solid shooting lane. When Iowa reclaimed the puck, Jason Dickinson bumped Jason Kloos and it looked like a power play was upcoming for the Wild. However, Dickinson got the interference call and Kloos picked up two for diving.
With that lucky break, Texas found the back of the net straight away. Matt Mangene's initial shot bounced to the skate of Travis Morin, who redirected it to his stick and into the net for the 5-4 victory.
Landon Bow collected the win with 23 saves on 27 shots. He moves to 8-4 on the season.
Texas next plays Bakersfield on Friday at home.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ully, Rallo, Thompson (scratch)
Elie, Honka, McKenzie (call-up)
Tonight's attendance was 3,879.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - December 5 2017