|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
Despite coming into the final frame ahead by one, Texas could not close the deal in the third. Calen Addison scored his first two professional goals to push Iowa ahead by one and an empty netter finished things for a 5-3 final score from Cedar Park.
"When you have a 3-2 lead, you're in the driver's seat," said Texas head coach Neil Graham. "We were in a good situation, and we failed."
There were many, many opportunities throughout the game for Texas to move ahead by more than just one. The club had too many almost-maybes to claim the victory. "Their goalie made some incredible saves," noted defenseman Ryan Shea. "But right now we just have to squash that game and think of the positives and move on and get ready for tomorrow."
The Stars certainly weren't blaming their 13-day layoff for the game, "We're all competitors. This year there's a bunch of uncertainties, but I think our mindset once we came back to the rink after the break was like nothing had changed."
As to positives, defense activated well in the contest with Shea earning a pair of assists and Joseph Cecconi and Julius Honka also collecting a point each. Thomas Harley extended his point streak to six games. Graham noted, "We have a mobile backend and it's important to bring out those strengths. It started on the defending side for those guys with good gaps and transition game."
The Stars continued to have issues on the young season with giveaways in their own zone. Iowa's first goal was more of the same in that regard. Nick Baptiste attempted a backhanded saucer pass up from the half-wall into the middle of the ice. Mitch McLain collected the errant puck and scored to open the ledger for the night.
"There are a lot of self-inflicted wounds. We want to be a team that makes plays but at the end of the day our execution has to be on point. Yes it's early. Yes we've had time off. But those are excuses. The puck management ... is being addressed."
Texas came back with a great sequence that found them in the zone for 50 seconds uninterrupted, just cycling and confusing the Wild skaters. Finally, Julius Honka slipped below the goal line and distributed to Cole Schneider at the net, who dipped and ducked around Baribeau for the tie.
After the first, the tie would hold, and Texas would surge ahead to open the second period scoring. Ryan Shea activated on the rush off a pass from Anthony Louis. It created a 2-on-0 for Shea and Nick Barach, who finished the play with a quick elevated shot out of the reach of Baribeau.
Iowa would knot the score on a 2-on-1 rush the other way five minutes later. Ben Gleason had a spill in the offensive zone to create the rush. Dewar didn't even look pass as he broke in and beat Point blocker side high.
Mascherin would make it a Texas lead at the end of two after Iowa defenseman Keaton Thompson fell on his own goalie and gave Mascherin the chance at the empty net following Joseph Cecconi's initial shot. Harley's second assist gave him a six-game point streak.
Addison's heroics came in the third period first in transition out of the defensive zone on a play that just backed Colton Point up too quickly. A rifle over the catcher did it: 3-3 tie. His second was a power play marker that blasted Point's bottle from the right wing circle.
Texas cleared the net with over two minutes left but ceded an empty net goal to set the final score at 5-3. These two teams play again tomorrow night.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:Barteaux, Slaker, Porco, Markison, Moutrey, L. Martin, M. Martin, Jurusik (scratch)