Friday, March 1, 2019

Stars Catch Bad Break, Give Up Late Lead in 2-1 OT Loss to Wolves

The Texas Stars collected a point in the standings but gave up a power play goal in overtime to fall to the streaking Chicago Wolves 2-1. The Wolves are now winners of six straight games to keep their lead in the Central division.

(credit: Texas Stars)
“We bent but we never broke,” said head coach Derek Laxdal. “We gave up 21, 22 shots. They had a lot of zone time on us, but we didn’t give a lot of interior presence. We got some sticks on pucks. It’s one of those games we had to grind out.”

Winger Adam Mascherin scored the lone goal for the Stars eight and a half minutes into the contest on the power play. The Stars managed that lead until near the end of the third period when they caught a bad break that led to the game-tying goal.

On the play, the Wolves got the puck deep into the zone, and Chicago’s Nic Hague attempted a shot from in close that caught defenseman Gavin Bayreuther on the chin. From there, the puck ended up on Keegan Kolesar’s stick for an easy wrister.

“They got a lucky bounce that hit Gavin right in the chin and split him wide open. So he couldn’t flex out on [Kolesar]. But we had a forward miss an assignment there and it ended up on the guy’s tape. That happens.”

The Stars had several chances on five power plays throughout the game but only came away with Mascherin’s tally. Overall, the man advantage looked discombobulated and out of sync. “We had a lot of guys playing out of position and playing up in the lineup.”

Mascherin’s goal came near the tail-end of their first power play chance. The first minute seemed to be leading to nowhere with several miscues from the offense. After finally breaking into the offensive zone, Nic Caamano fired from the left circle and Mascherin got a stick on the puck for a deflection.

“We had a little bit of a dysfunctional entry,” said Mascherin. “We retreived the puck, and then Caamano ended up being up high. So I just said I’ll take his spot. And we kind of locked eyes for a second, and he saw me. So I just put my stick out, and it hit my stick and trickled in.”

The Stars had good pushes in the second and third periods for an insurance goal, but former Star Max Lagace stood tall. “We had a couple of good looks in the third period to make it 2-0,” said Laxdal. “I think [Colin] Markison had a tip, and then [Brad] McClure had a good look on the toe drag. Chicago’s a very good hockey club, so I thought our guys did a good job of just kind of hanging with em.

Phil Desrosiers was just as good in net for the Stars and deserved a better fate in his 20-save effort. “I thought Phil gave us a chance to win the game, and he was outstanding.”

Kolesar’s goal sent the game to overtime. The Stars struggled to gain possession of the puck, and it led to Caamano doing a little too much on the back check to draw a whistle. With the 4-on-3 advantage, Daniel Carr ended the game with his 30th of the season, pushing him past Joel L’Esperance for the league lead in goal scoring.

Laxdal was dismayed by the result but not discouraged. “Our guys played a real good game. I thought [Chicago] got some lucky bounces on their end. It’s a big point for us, and we take it. When you get a point, you take it and move on to the next game.”

The next game is on Saturday against the Wolves. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Mersch-Dowling-Condra
Caamano-Hargrove-McClure
Mascherin-Morin-Markison
Calderone-Phelan-Payne

Heatherington-Hansson
Bayreuther-Hanley
Hanna-Gleason

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Laberge (upper body)
Nyberg, Naas (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 5,397.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - March 1 2019

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