|(Credit: Bakersfield Condors)
Texas scored early and late and needed a shootout to win the first game of a back-to-back against the Condors by a 4-3 margin tonight. The Stars once again saw a video review go against them on a goal in a one-goal game late in the third period but rallied to win despite the overturned play against them.
Logan Stankoven, who also added a shootout goal, scored his 14th of the season to keep himself in second among the league's top point scorers. He trails only his linemate, Mavrik Bourque, who extended his point streak to eight with a primary assist late in the third.
Condors PR man Ryan Holt noted that this might have been the best game Bakersfield has played all season. Olivier Rodrigue, who stopped 34 of 37, was certainly a big part of that. Remi Poirier was no slouch for the Stars, stopping 29 of 32 and holding the game close with big middle-frame saves.
Stankoven kept up his hot pace as December opened with a goal just 1:29 into the game. It was a highlight reel goal as he cut right-to-left and then brought the puck back against the grain to beat Olivier Rodrigue high glove. It was his league-leading fifth first goal. Curtis McKenzie also deserves ample credit for a deceptive backhand pass to Stankoven as he cut to the net.
The Stars didn't necessarily sit back from there, but instead the Condors poured it on. Bakersfield had plenty of high danger chances go wide, hit a cross bar in the first and had an easy rebound putback miss the net off the stick of Drake Caggiula.
Remi Poirier put in heavy work in the middle frame especially. Multiple penalty kills and a lengthy sequence where the Condors outchanged the Stars twice could have put the game in a different footing by the midway point.
The home side finally broke through though at the end of the second. It was former Star Ben Gleason keeping the puck in at the left point and chipping it past Fredrik Karlström down to Caggiula. Cameron Wright then scored his first career AHL goal to make it one all after forty.
Bako scored on their first shot of the third period. Lane Pederson got the give-and-go play with Caggiula, who was all over it this evening. Stankoven had a penalty shot attempt after a Bakersfield skater covered the puck in the crease; he did not convert.
Oskar Bäck converted on a tip from Lian Bichsel's point shot to tie things at two late in the third.
However, the end of the third was a truly wild affair. It appeared as though Christian Kyrou had made a goal line save against Caggiula with 2:32 remaining and the two teams skated without a whistle into overtime. Or so it seemed as the officials reviewed the play and called it a goal, putting all that time back on the clock and putting Texas down 3-2.
The Stars were undeterred. McKenzie found the net on the 6-on-5 off the assist of Bourque. Then it was officially time for OT.
Overtime gave way to a shootout where Stankoven picked his spot in Round 2 and Blümel finished it in Round 4. It was a late one for Texas-based fans, wrapping up at 11:44 PM in Central Texas. Keep the coffee handy though as these two teams meet again tomorrow for a 9 PM CT puck drop.
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Tonight’s attendance was 3,559.