|(Credit: Texas Stars)|
"I thought we came out hard with a lot of energy," said Dowling. "Sometimes it's hard to come out with energy when you have a week off. It's easier when you're back to back. It was a great response."
The game had a playoff feel to it as two teams in the top four of the division played a tight one.
"We got up 1-0, and the game was managed well," said head coach Derek Laxdal."They didn't look as fast as they did last night. We were physical and on our toes. It was a pretty tight game with a playoff atmosphere."
The power play was both a bright spot and a miss in the same night. The Stars earned a 5-on-3 in the first period as Tyler Gaudet and Daniel Maggio both earned slashing minors on the same play. Justin Dowling completed a play from Brian Flynn and Travis Morin for his 7th of the season.
Late, however, Texas got a chance to go ahead after Laurent Dauphin boarded Brent Regner and gave Texas a golden chance with a five-minute major. The Stars would have to wait for a Tommy Thompson minor to expire to take the power play. Dowling tells the rest, "We need to be sharper when we have a chance to win the game with the power play. I don't think we were sharp then. I think we were waiting to get into overtime to win there. We ended up taking a penalty, and it flips on us in overtime."
Laxdal added, "We bobbled some pucks. The execution was there, but it wasn't great. Their penalty kill did a better job than our power play."
Tracking down a puck behind his goal line, Niklas Hansson took a penalty for holding the stick and gave up the power play. Both teams earned a point as the game shifted to overtime, but Mike Sislo found twine as Tucson's power play began in the extra period.
"That overtime goal. It is what it is. That's a great shot by Sislo. You need a brick wall in there to stop that."
Mike McKenna had a fantastic night and held a clean sheet for most of the game. He was tested heavily in the second period with 13 saves on 13 shots. His glove grab from his stomach midway through the frame was a highlight reel effort.
The Stars have some time off before they head to Milwaukee next weekend for a three-game swing through the Midwest.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Kelleher, Hanna, Paliotta (scratch)
Dickinson, Heatherington (call up)
Tonight's attendance was 6,293.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Tucson - February 10 2018