|(Photo Credit: Manitoba Moose)
Winnipeg, MB - The Texas Stars got two goals in the last 1:42 of the game, including veteran Alex Petrovic's game winner with 1:05 left as netminder Remi Poirier turned away 27 of 29 shots on their way to completing a two-game road sweep of the Manitoba Moose in front of a near sold out 7,667 at the Canada Life Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Texas gained the game's first lead when Kyle McDonald one-timed a Curtis McKenzie touch pass on the power play just 3:48 into the first. It was the rookie's eighth goal of the season, his sixth on the advantage.
McDonald's early goal went for naught as Manitoba answered right back just 1:15 later when Moose centerman Brad Lambert answered right back with a power play goal of his own to level the game back at 1-1. That score would remain the same through the end of the first period that saw Texas outshot the Moose 10-9.
After a choppy and scoreless second period that had Manitoba outshooting Texas 10-9, the third period saw Manitoba take their first lead of the weekend when Ashton Sautner logged his fifth goal of the season - with four coming against the Stars - to give the Moose a 2-1 lead with 8:17 remaining in regulation, and with the pace of this game, it seemed like it might be enough.
However, the Stars had other plans. Late in the game, Lambert was called for two consecutive penalties and with the Stars reeling, Poirier was pulled for the extra attacker, giving Texas a 6-on-4 advantage. The gamble paid off. With 1:42 remaining in regulation, rookie sensation Logan Stankoven netted the game tying tally, and Texas was back in business, seemingly assured of at least point in the matchup.
Just 37 seconds later though, the veteran Petrovic sucked the life out of the building when he potted one from the bottom of the left circle for the game winner as he lifted Texas to a 3-2 lead with just 1:05 remaining. The Stars were able to close out the affair to complete the two-game road sweep.
In the cage, Poirier stopped 27 of 29 shots to pick up his fourth straight victory as he improved his record to 10-3-2-1, putting him in strong contention for an All-Star slot alongside head coach Neil Graham. Salminen turned away 27 of 30 as he saw his record fall to 4-5 for the season.
With the win, Texas improves their record to 18-7-2-1 (39 pts.), keeping them strongly ahold of the top spot of the of the Central Division, With the loss, Manitoba falls to 12-15-0-0 (24 pts.) keeping them entrenched at sixth in the Central.
Up next, Texas heads back to the States to kick off the 2024 portion of their schedule as they take on the Chicago Wolves in Rosemont on Tuesday. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:00 P.M.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Wheatcroft, Reedy (scratch)
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Tonight's attendance was 7,667.