|(Credit: Mollie Kendall/Texas Stars)
The Stars scored the first goal, but their opponent scored all five in a row to win it. Texas fell 5-2 to the visiting Tucson Roadrunners, their first loss to the club all season. After Thursday's 7-2 rout, this one went the other way and you can't say the pushback was unexpected.
"Great response tonight," said Tucson Roadrunners head coach Steve Potvin. "It started with the will to compete from both within the game and during the game. Great to see our youth contribute offensively. What impresses us the most is their will to play in hard areas in key moments."
Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham agreed, "I believe we showed some immaturity in our game. As a group, they're not going to roll over. They're gonna push back and we're gonna have to handle some adversity. And I thought, in turn, we didn't handle that situation very well."
Adam Scheel took the loss, allowing the third goal of the game and stopping 16 of 20. Colton Point stopped 6 of 7 in relief. Riley Damiani kept pace with Jack Dugan for the rookie scoring lead with an assist on the late-game power play goal. Damiani sits at 32 points in as many games with Dugan at 31.
Texas's early goal was a pretty one. The power play struck off a double-deflection. Josh Melnick and Anthony Louis deflected Thomas Harley's initial shot in turn for the 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, Michael Carcone completely undressed Jerad Rosburg and backhanded the tying goal past Adam Scheel.
Jalen Smereck grabbed the lead for Tucson on a deflection of a point shot as well. It was a set play off the faceoff on the left dot. A minute later, no one picked up Tyler Emberson in the slot, and he made it 3-1 in quick succession.
"We didn't do nearly good enough job of stopping ourselves, allowing it to snowball in the wrong direction. Momentum is a big part of the game," added Graham.
Riley Tufte noted, "Something that we struggle with a little bit this year is we get the lead and then the other team comes back to score right away and we just kind of get downin the dumps. We have to find our composure [in those moments]."
The second period had a pair of goals for Tucson coming just 31 seconds apart. Carcone struck again with a laser on the power play. That would end Scheel's night. Colton Point got acquainted with the Roadrunners goal scorers quickly as he allowed a goal on his first shot against, making it 5-1 to end the period.
The Stars got a chance to give themselves some momentum in the final minute of the game with a lengthy 5-on-3. Cole Schneider tucked one home with 19 seconds left off the assist of Damiani and Thomas Harley.
The season series and Texas's home schedule conclude tomorrow at 5 PM.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Baptiste, Felhaber, Stranges, Porco, Markison, L. Martin, Shea, Sholl (scratch)
Honka (personal leave)