|(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)|
Just a week removed from breaking their losing streak, the Stars have put together another type of streak. Texas racked up their third win in a row tonight against Iowa, beating the visitors 4-3 behind the strength of a three-goal middle frame.
"You look at the second period, we got through the physicality of the game, ended up getting the [first] goal and getting the lead 3-1 and I thought we managed the game very well in the second," said head coach Derek Laxdal after the game.
Reece Scarlett added, "We're playing the right way and we're getting rewarded for it. We're supporting the puck well and breaking the puck out well and that translate into more O-zone time and and more goals."
Sam Anas was the first to score, but the Stars roared back in the second period. Reece Scarlett's second of the season was a seeing-eye shot from the point, aided by a screen from Joel Kiviranta, that beat Mat Robson high. The goal sent teddy bears flying, a total of 1,634 collected in under five minutes by the speedy ice crew.
"I forgot all about it," said Scarlett of the toss. "You get into the game, second period rolls around you forget all about it. I just started to celebrate and teddy bears came flying in. It's really cool to see."
Joel L'Esperance, just seconds separated from coming out of the box for fighting, earned the second tally of the night. Sliding below the goal line, he bounced one off the backplate of Robson's mask and in for the 2-1 lead. The offense seemed to be clicking as Rhett Gardner only just missed an empty net on a backdoor pass a few minutes later.
The club would get that chance back as a failed clearing attempt by the Iowa came back to bite them hard. Emil Djuse cut off the clear at the blue line and dished to Jason Robertson. The rookie forward was wide open, as was the after, since the Wild had already begun to evacuate the zone.
With a 3-1 lead, Texas went to the third period. Luke Johnson would narrow the gap to one on a wraparound, but it didn't last long for the Wild. The Stars stormed right down the ice and regained the two-goal differential. Dillon Heatherington's point shot bounced off some bodies in front before tapping off Kiviranta's stick. The forward wasn't even doing that with intent; he got lucky. It was a good example of the type of goal a team scores when things are really going their way or the type of goal that gets scored against when they are not.
"If you go to the net, good things happen and you grind it," said Laxdal.
Sam Anas would close the scoring, bringing Iowa within one. Texas did good work to keep the puck 200 feet away from their net in the last two minutes, generating "good O-zone pressure."
The Stars put their three-game streak up against Milwaukee's 12-gamer tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 PM.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Gleason, Nyberg, McClure, Felhaber (scratch)
Tonight’s attendance was 5,366.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - November 30 2019