Gurianov Shines With Hat Trick, but Stars Fall to Wild in Shootout 5-4

Denis Gurianov has proven that he is too good to be in the AHL, and he proved it again on Friday night, though the Texas Stars fell in the shootout to Iowa Wild 5-4.

(credit: Iowa Wild)

After a recent reassignment from Dallas could’ve deflated the young Russian winger, he responded with a hat trick in the second period that took less than eleven minutes. All three goals came at even strength and were scored in a myriad of ways--deflection, one timer, and on the rush.

New top line center Tanner Kero pitched in with three helpers to go with two from defenseman Ben Gleason. Michael Mersch also notched a goal for the Stars who couldn’t quite hang onto a one goal lead in the final minute of regulation.

The good news is that the Stars got the power play going in the first period. Mersch cleaned up a loose rebound generated by Gleason to give the Stars their first tally on the man advantage and first lead of the young season.

The second period was frantic and saw six goals scored as both teams were trading tallies every couple of minutes. Will Bitten tied the game on a Stars turnover in the defensive zone nearly four minutes into the frame. Gurianov picked up his first goal less than thirty seconds later on a deflection to regain the lead.

A mistake in penalty kill coverage allowed the Wild to tie it right back up three minutes later as Nico Sturm was left unmarked on the left circle. Goaltender Jake Oettinger was left out to dry and really had no chance. Oettinger was peppered 38 times in the contest and came away with 34 saves.

After Gurianov hit the post on a wicked wrister from the slot, he followed it up with a one timer seconds later for his second goal. The Wild tied it up again, cleaning up a loose puck, but Gurianov would respond by following up his own rebound on a 2-on-1 rush.

The Stars once again held a one-goal lead in the final frame, but Gerald Mayhew swept in a loose puck with 50 seconds left in regulation when the Wild emptied their net. The Stars had to survive a penalty taken by Dillon Heatherington in the overtime period to get to the shootout. Heatherington and head coach Derek Laxdal were furious with a no call on the other end as Heatherington was bleeding from a stick to the face.

Gurianov would once again score in the shootout, but it wasn’t enough as the Wild went 2-for-3 and the Stars couldn’t match.

The Stars will look for a full two points against this talented Wild club tomorrow night at 7 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Calderone, Nyberg, MacKay (scratch)
Caamano, Gardner, L’Esperance, Hanley (call-up)

Tonight’s attendance was 4,811.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Iowa - October 11 2019