Opportunistic Wild Smother Stars 2-1

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)

In the second game of their four-game series this week, it was Iowa coming out on top. The Stars seemed to have the upper hand for so much of the game but could not break through. The power play was powerless on six opportunities. After an opening eleven minutes with a 11-2 shot advantage for Texas, they were down 1-0. It just wasn't a night for good bounces as Texas fell 2-1.

"There's gonna be ebbs and flows and there's gonna be ups and downs," said head coach Neil Graham. "Unfortunately, it was important that we get one or two in that period and especially when we had those power play opportunities.

"You do need to make good on one or two opportunities when you earn six power plays. You've got to make them pay and unfortunately we didn't."

It wasn't for a lack of trying. Among 36 Texas shots, Adam Mascherin had 12. With linemates Riley Damiani and Nick Baptiste, that trio had half of the team's shots.

"I'm a guy that's counted on to produce offense night in and night out," said Mascherin. "I just happened to be the guy throwing pucks at the net. I just happened to be the guy tonight to get in those open spots."

Iowa netminder Hunter Jones, who had a rather horrendous record coming into the night, played his best game of the year to stop 35 shots and carried a shutout through much of the game.

Louie Belpedio's goal was the only one of the opening frame. At the time of the tally, Texas was outshooting Iowa 11-1. Belpedio's goal came on the power play with Nick Moutrey screening his own goalie.

Texas exited the frame with a 19-2 shot margin. Mascherin added, "That's just hockey. Sometimes you dominate a period like that and you don't get the results."

A mostly uneventful second period gave way to the always dangerous Gerry Mayhew finding twine against the grain and through traffic in the first two minutes of the third. Nick Baptiste would extend his scoring streak to eleven games with an assist on the Stars only goal of the game. Adam Mascherin got the goal off the shot from Thomas Harley. Mascherin's 11th goal of the season has pushed him to a three-way tie for second in league scoring.

In 77 seconds of 6-on-5, Texas was not as lucky as last night. Mascherin had the best chance of the sequence with less than ten seconds left, but the effort came up short.

These two teams get a whole one day off before playing again on both Friday and Saturday night.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stranges, Kawaguchi, Barteaux, L. Martin, M. Martin, Jurusik (scratch)
Louis, Felhaber (injury, day-to-day)

Nick Porco drew into his first game of the season tonight. Graham liked Porco's game overall and said that his play tonight makes the coach's decision harder in the future to take him out of the lineup.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - March 31 2021