|(Credit: Manitoba Moose)|
The Texas Stars franchise-worst ninth straight loss, a 2-1 defeat in Manitoba, was a heartbreaker. It came after they played a solid first period only to give up the game's first goal with less than a minute left in the frame. The Stars wouldn't break, and in fact came back to tie it in the second. It would have been a decent road game with a less than ideal result in any other stretch of the season. Texas, for example, outshot the home team by a 2:1 margin. But as it came at the end of an already lengthy winless streak, it was extremely demoralizing to come so close and fall short ultimately.
Texas's aforementioned solid first period started with a 5-on-3 early. Fifty-six seconds of two-man advantage came up zero for the Stars. Shortly thereafter, Joel L'Esperance had a breakaway with approximately six minutes left but skied the puck over the bar. With under a minute left, Texas had a bad luck bounce as Sammy Niku's shot cut through Dillon Heatherington's shot block attempt and found twine off the tip from Kristian Vesalainen.
Brad McClure would even up the score for Texas halfway through the second period, a set play off an offensive zone faceoff. McClure tipped the puck by Mikhail Berdin off the shot from Adam Mascherin. But just a 98 seconds later, Emile Poirier finished off Cole Maier's fantastic independent contractor effort to break into the zone and head deep. Maier dished from behind the goal line for the one-timer by Poirier.
Parker MacKay had one of the best chances of the third period as he broke in alone on Berdin with eleven minutes left and tried to slip the puck five-hole. Gavin Bayreuther and JC Lipon 'fought' with approximately five minutes left in the game, a quick, one-sided fight in Landon Bow's crease that yielded a power play for the Stars thanks to an extra roughing minor for Lipon. It would yield no result for the visitors.
Berdin and the Moose locked it down the rest of the way. Texas looks to Toronto this weekend to try to break out of their losing streak. Puck drop comes early on Saturday, a 3 PM Central start.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Hanley, Caamano (call-up)
Scarlett (lower body)
Tonight’s attendance was 3,664.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Manitoba - November 13 2019