|(Photo Credit: Colorado Eagles)
Loveland, CO - The Texas Stars got a goal from Tanner Kero and newcomer Riley Barber picked up his team-leading seventh tally of the season, but they were unable to overcome an early deficit, falling 3-2 to the Colorado Eagles (Colorado Avalanche AHL affiliate) in front of 5,048 fans on Military Appreciation Night at the Budweiser Event Center Tuesday night.
Colorado jumped out to the early lead on the power play just 3:52 into the game when forward Jayson Megna found paydirt tipping a Brad Hunt prayer up and over a defenseless Stars netminder Anton Khudobin to give the Eagles an early 1-0 advantage.
The Stars answered right back when forward Marian Studenic saucered a cross-slot pass to Kero who lifted his shot from the top of the crease, top-shelf past Eagle goalie Jonas Johansson to tie the game at 1-1 9:57 into the first period.
The Eagles continued their pressure in the opening frame, a period that saw them outshoot the Stars 14-6 until Colorado forward Mikhail Maltsev tipped yet another one past Khudobin, this one set up by Keaton Middleton from the point, lighting the lamp and putting the Eagles back on top 2-1 with 3:11 remaining in the period, a lead they would take to the intermission.
The Stars would jump right back into the fray in the second, outshooting Colorado 15-7 in the middle frame. Texas picked up the only goal of the stanza late in the period while on the power play, when Barber took a clean feed from Kero and buried a wrister from the slot, to tie the game at 2-2 with just 3:02 left in the second, a score they would take to the second intermission.
The Eagles wasted no time getting back on top in the third when they took advantage of a 3-on-2 rush when Jean-Luc Foudy flicked a wrister from the slot that beat Khudobin to give Colorado a 3-2 edge just 1:54 into third period.
With plenty of time to work with, Texas was still unable to get to Johansson. The Stars went empty net over the final 92 seconds of play, but never really met the challenge before finally falling for the 3-2 final.
Johansson earned the victory, stopping 25-of-27 shots, while Khudobin saved a solid 26-of-29 shots in the loss.
The Eagles outshot Texas 29-27 for the game, while both Texas and the Eagles both finished 1-for-5 on the power play.
Texas gets a chance to re-rack and hope for the split on Wednesday as they will be back in action for a 7:05pm MT faceoff at the Budweiser Events Center. Dallas Stars 2020 draft pick and Training Camp star Remi Poirier is expected to make his first career AHL start.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Gleason, Karow, Karlstrom, Ducharme, McKenzie* (scratch)
(*This was McKenzie's first missed game since the 20-21 season)
Tonight's attendance was 5,089.