Third Period Texas Rally Falls Short as Firebirds Earn Series Split, 6-3

(Credit: Mike Zitek/Coachella Valley Firebirds)

One night after finding another gear in the third period with a pair of shorthanded goals, Texas fell short on a repeat comeback performance tonight, falling 6-3 in Coachella Valley. The Stars did manage a pair of goals in the early third frame but were further back this evening to start, beginning to last period at a 5-1 deficit.

It was Remi Poirier's first pull in the AHL as he stopped 9 of 14 and dropped his record to 4-2-1 with the regulation loss. Dylan Wells came in for mop-up duty, stopping a final six shots.

Nicholas Caamano started the scoring in the first off a turnover from Matt Tennyson. Within three minutes, Texas found itself down though. Jimmy Schuldt launched a rifle from the blue line with Tye Kartye tipping it past Poirier. Thirty three seconds later, Brogan Rafferty jumped on a clearing attempt by Caamano and lofted it on net for the 2-1 score. It was a lead the Firebirds would not relinquish.

Kartye kept it going in the second period with his 19th and 20th of the year, earning him a hat trick. The first play came off a defensive zone faceoff win that Coachella Valley marched up ice.

Peetro Seppala leveled Fredrik Karlstrom with a cross-check later in the frame, sending Karlstrom down the tunnel with an injury. Texas would not convert on the power play and saw Kartye finish the hat trick a few minutes later on a Firebirds power play to make it 4-1. Cameron Hughes would push it to 5-1 and end Poirier's night.

The Stars made it interesting in the third with a pair of goals early. Riley Barber generated the play from the Texas net, skating through neutral, dishing to Rhett Gardner and getting the pass back at the net for the 5-2 score. Curtis McKenzie stole a puck off Kole Lind and found Scott Reedy, who scored his second as a Star to make it 5-3.

That would be all she wrote though as CV scored an empty netter to bring the offense to a close. Texas played an aggressive empty net strategy, pulling Wells at 15:32 of the third.

Texas continues its roadtrip with a Wednesday date back in Bakersfield.

Injuries, scratches and notes
Olofsson, Murray (callup)
Laaksonen, Stranges (scratch)
Rosburg (out for season - upper-body injury)

Tonight's attendance was 7,911.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Coachella Valley - March 12 2023