|(Photo Credit: Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose)|
Winnipeg, MB - The Texas Stars' Marian Studenic and Will Butcher each scored late goals to knot the game in the third period, but Texas could not complete the comeback before falling 5-4 in overtime to the Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets affiliate) in front of 5,671 Saturday afternoon at the Canada Life Center.
Texas struck first when on their second power play of the afternoon, Matej Blumel one-timed a Butcher pass and fired it in the narrowest of spaces to beat Moose goalie Arvid Holm to make it 1-0 Texas with 7:46 left in the opening period. Blumel's eleventh goal of the season extended his personal goal-streak to four-games. Tanner Kero was also credited with an assist.
Texas finished 1-for-2 on the power play for the day.
The teams headed to the first intermission with the Stars ahead 1-0, having outshot Manitoba 12-8 in the first. Texas came into Saturday's game with a record of 17-1-1 when leading after one.
The teams skated pretty evenly for the first half of the second period until Manitoba's Daniel Torgersson shot one over Stars goalie Matt Murray's glove-side shoulder to tie the game up at one apiece 10:04 into the second. Murray, coming off of his second shutout of the season last Sunday against Milwaukee, had a personal 130+ minute shutout streak ended with Torgersson's tally.
The Stars wasted no time in re-taking the lead when just over three minutes later All-Star Thomas Harley found the twine for the seventh time this season when he walked into the slot, retrieved his own rebound and backhanded one past Holm to make it 2-1 Texas with 6:45 left in the middle frame. Studenic and Curtis McKenzie each were given the helpers.
Milwaukee then exploded to score three unanswered goals starting with noted Stars-killer Alex Limoges' power play goal with 5:37 left in the frame. Limoges' goal gave him nine on the season, with five coming against the Stars.
The Moose also completed the day 1-for-2 on the power play.
Just over two minutes later, Manitoba took their first lead of the day at 3-2 when Tyler Boland took a deft Limoges pass and put it past Murray with 3:13 left in the second stanza.
The teams went to their respective rooms with Manitoba maintaining their 3-2 lead with the Moose having outshot Texas 10-8 for the middle 20.
Boland capped the Moose three-goal run 4:40 into the third period when he took a pass from guess who - Limoges - to make it a daunting 4-2 Manitoba, but with plenty of time left.
Studenic ended Manitoba's run with his thirteenth goal of the season and brought the Stars back to within one at 4-3 when he took the give-and-go from McKenzie and snapped one past Holm with 12:01 left in regulation. Linemate Oskar Back was credited with the secondary assist.
As time waned, Texas leveled the score when fourth line center Rhett Gardner did the hard work of keeping the puck in the offensive zone as well as creating a turnover in the zone dropped a pass to Butcher who walked in and fired one past Holm from the top of the right circle to make it 4-4 with 5:15 left in regulation.
Each team had their chance for the game-winner in the final minute of play but each netminder stood their ground and the teams headed to overtime for the fourth-straight time this season. Manitoba outshot Texas 11-5 in the third period to give them a 29-25 advantage through sixty minutes.
With Texas having struggled this season in overtime, coming into Saturday's game a lowly 1-4 in bonus time, while Manitoba was a solid 4-2, things just didn't seem to be in Texas' favor and neither team bucked their trend when just 1:23 into free hockey Declan Chisholm notched the game-winner off of a pass from who else but Limoges giving the Winchester, Virginia native a four-point day and the Moose the 5-4 victory. Manitoba had two shots to the Stars one in overtime to give the Moose a 31-26 advantage for the game, marking the first time since December 21st that the Stars had been outshot in a game and only the third time in their last 25 games.
In the win, Holm stopped 22-of-26 shots while Murray turned away 26-of-31 shots in the loss that saw his record drop to 10-5-2-2.
With the overtime loss, Texas has gotten points in 16-of-17 games and remains atop of the Central Division at 22-8-5-2 (51 points), maintaining a six-point lead over Milwaukee who are playing at Iowa Saturday night. With the win, Manitoba moves to 20-13-2-1 (43 points), vaulting them past Iowa into fourth place in the Central Division standings.
The teams square off again Sunday afternoon at Canada Life Center for the finale of the the two-game set with the game set for another 2:00 p.m. faceoff.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Caamano, Karow, Stranges (scratch)
Rosburg (out for season - upper-body injury)
Today's attendance was 5,671.
1. MB - A. Limoges
2. MB - T. Boland
3. TEX - W. Butcher
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Manitoba - January 21, 2023
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