|(Credit: WBS Penguins)|
Something is happening with this Texas Stars club. A roster that couldn't put one skate in front of the other a month ago has suddenly figured it out. Tonight's 5-3 in Wilkes-Barre gives them a seven-game point streak (6-0-1) and has lifted them out of the basement of the division.
The story of the night is two-fold. First, the continued development of the newer players that Texas really bet the season on is promising. Jason Robertson scored twice in the first period; Joel Kiviranta had the eventual game winner to open the third period. But second, and perhaps more importantly, Texas lost a two-goal lead in the course of just under four minutes in the second period. A month ago, that's the end of the game for the Stars. This month, they put on their work boots and got to making a comeback.
Robertson's aforementioned scoring came late in the first period. His first was a 2-on-1 chance with Joel L'Esperance and his second came with 0.8 seconds left in the period, a quick shot by definition through the legs of Emil Larmi.
The Pens roared back in the second period thanks to their special teams play. Sam Miletic got a recbound goal at even strength to break open their scoring. In the seventh minute, David Warsofsky scored 5-on-3 for WBS and a minute later Zach Trotman tied it, also on the power play, and both with a shot from the blue line. It was suddenly 3-2 for the home side. Texas called their timeout to regroup.
From there on out though, it was all Texas. Joel L'Esperance got the Stars a power play goal 12 minutes into the second to tie things. Kiviranta's game-winner came just 15 seconds into the third, a goal on a deflection off a defender's skate that ended up right on Kiviranta's stick. Nick Caamano would seal it with an empty netter late in the frame.
Frustrated with their back-to-back losses, Warsofsky slashed Caamano after the goal and the fracas on that goal and Riley Tufte's last second attempt at a sixth led to 77 minutes of penalties. WBS goalie Larmi even got 12 minutes total for leaving the crease to try and fight Landon Bow. He did not take the bait.
Texas returns home to play Manitoba on Wednesday.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Gleason, Nyberg, Cuglietta (scratch)
Tonight’s attendance was 6,770.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - December 7 2019