|(Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Cedar Park, TX - The travel-weary Texas Stars lost a heartbreaker 3-2 to the Manitoba Moose Tuesday night at The H-E-B Center at Cedar Park despite the last-second heroics from Curtis McKenzie whose goal with 0.1 seconds left was enough to get the point for the road-weary team, but not enough for the W.
Texas picked up the early advantage just 3:52 into the game when Nick Caamano found Joel L’Esperance camped in front of the net in front of the net. L’Esperance turned and in one swift move buried a backhander past Manitoba goalie Mikhail Berdin's glove-side giving the Stars the early 1-0 lead. L'Esperance, who missed Sunday's contest in Manitoba, extended his goal-streak 3 games and his point streak to nine with the tally.
The remainder of the period cruised along mostly uneventful, with both teams getting multiple clean opportunities but seemingly headed to the intermission with the 1-0 score intact when Manitoba picked up a huge momentum-builder with :25 seconds left in the frame when a centering pass from behind the Texas net found Ty Pelton-Byce alone in front. Pelton-Byce buried his shot past Texas goalie Matt Jurusik, tying the score at 1-1
Manitoba took their first lead midway thru the second period when Cole Maier picked up a power play goal to give the Moose a 2-1 advantage with 8:02 left in the frame that held until the 2nsd intermission. The Moose finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play while Texas went 0-for-8.
The Stars, having been outshot 13-7 in second, picked up the pace in the third, peppering Berdin repeatedly only to come-away empty-handed each time until McKenzie finally found the back of the net with the clock showing 0.0. After reviewing the call, the officials found that McKenzie beat the horn and the teams headed to OT for the second straight game and third-straight against eash other.
Manitoba captain Jimmy Oligny ended the game just 1:08 into the extra-frame when he skated past L'Esperance and elevated a shot past Jurusik on his stick-side. Jurusik ended the night with 24 saves on the 27 shots he faced.
With the OTL, Texas moves to 12-15-5-3 (32 pts./.457%) keeping them in 7th place in the 7-team Central Division, with several games-in-hand on every team in the division. With the win, Manitoba improves to 25-11-2-1 (53 pts./.679%) keeping them in 2nd in the division.
The teams meet again Wednesday at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park for a 7 p.m. face-off. After a day-off Thursday, Texas welcomes the Milwaukee Admirals Friday and Saturday for their first appearance of the '21-'22 season.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Barteaux, Merchant, Wardley, Lipanov
Tonight's attendance was 3,733