|Sheldon Dries muscles by Ben Gleason|
(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
Texas's losing streak stretched to seven this evening with a crushing 5-2 loss to the visiting Colorado Eagles. Everything after the first intermission was just for show as the Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period and didn't need anything else to claim victory. The losing streak ties the worst in team history, an 0-3-4 stretch in November 2014.
"It seems like [if] we give up one, we give up three," said Coach Laxdal after the game. "We're a pretty fragile group. It's a 1-0 game, you know, your bench can't drop off. And our guys just drop their heads."
Coach Laxdal talked in the morning skate scrum about competing for a full sixty minutes. The poor start ended up being the killer this time around though. The Stars still have just one regulation win to their name this season and have now allowed at least four goals in five straight games and a total of seven times on the season in just 13 games.
"We have a week of practice, and we work on some stuff and it's seems not to change," continued Laxdal. "Experience is a big thing, and when you have nine first-year players or first American hockey league players in the league, it takes a while for these guys to grow and to gain that experience."
Texas did have chances in the first, but they couldn't make it happen. Joel Kiviranta could have opened the scoring after he was hit with a breakout pass out of the penalty box in the eighth minute. His bid wouldn't go. Rhett Gardner rang one off the post. Texas had two posts on that same shift but the score remained at 0-0. Laxdal praised the first period play five on five but noted that Texas took too many penalties. With the addition of losing Reece Scarlett 24 seconds into the game to an undisclosed lower body injury, the defense was overtaxed.
The Stars third straight penalty kill bit them as Jacob MacDonald uncorked one from the point. Exactly two minutes later, Shane Bowers redirected the puck five-hole past Bow for the 2-0 lead. Things went from bad to worse as Ben Gleason got beat at the point on a power play, and Logan O'Connor scored shorthanded on a breakaway, making it 3-0.
"Our bench kind of dropped a little bit [after the first few goals] but that's where a veteran leadership's got to help and step up and kinda, you know, guide the ship a little bit."
One time ECHL playoff MVP Michael Joly set up AJ Greer for his first of the year in the opening moments of the second, making it 4-0 and ending Landon Bow's night.
Jason Robertson would get credit for the Stars' first goal on the night as his shot redirected off a defender's skate in front and dribbled past Hunter Miska. It wouldn't last though as Greer got his second of the night off the initial shot from former Star Sheldon Dries.
The third period would bring one more Stars goal, but it really wouldn't matter. Josh Melnick redirected a shot by Dillon Heatherington for the 5-2 final.
"You know, as coaches on the bench, you know, we're saying all the right things, trying to get the guys going, but sometimes you have to lead by example and some of the young kids have to make sure that they step up and lead too. Because you can't always look to the veterans. They have to learn how to do it."
Texas hits the road for five starting Monday in Manitoba.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
L'Esperance, MacKay (scratch)
Bayreuther, Hanley (callup)
Tonight’s attendance was 6,778, a sellout.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Colorado - November 9 2019