|(Photo Credit: Tim Garland/Iowa Wild)
Des Moines, IA - The Texas Stars scored four goals in the first and never looked back as they snapped a six-game losing streak with a dominant 7-4 win over the Iowa Wild in front of 3,326 at Wells Fargo Arena Wednesday night.
In a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score would appear, for the first time since the beginning of the Stars six-game losing streak, the Stars got on the board first. Christian Kyrou opened the scoring just 3:09 into the game after he lined one from the right point into the lower left corner of Zane McIntyre's cage to give the Stars the 1-0 lead early, and the rout was underway.
Curtis McKenzie made it 2-0 after Mavrik Bourque cleaned up his own rebound and fed it to the Stars captain. McKenzie snapped it in near the left post with 9:22 left in the period. Forward Riley Damiani tacked another on just 2:12 later to make it 3-0 Texas with 6:10 left in the first, chasing McIntyre and sending in Peyton Jones for his first career AHL appearance.
Oskar Back made it 4-0 on the first shot that Jones saw to cap the first period scoring with 2:28 left. The teams headed to the intermission with Texas having outshot the Wild 11-5.
Damiani kept things rolling when he netted his second goal of the night 3:18 into the second to make it 5-0, and Logan Stankoven made it 6-0 just 1:20 later with his nineteenth goal of the season, extending his league-leading point standard to 47 through 37 games played.
The Stars kicked the extra-point when, on the Stars lone power play, Kyle McDonald lit the lamp to make it 7-0 with 4:10 left in the middle frame. McDonalds's power play goal was his seventh of the season on the advantage to lead all rookies in the league in that category.
Iowa finally stopped the bleeding with 2:37 left in the second when Adam Beckman redirected a shot from the point to make it 7-1 before the teams headed to the intermission. The Stars once again outshot Iowa in the second, this by a 10-9 margin, giving them 21-14 advantage through forty.
In the third, the Wild scored a pair of goals 1:15 apart, with Kevin Conley scoring with 10:46 left in regulation just before Gavin Hain shoved one in with 9:31 left to cut the deficit to four. Beckman added his second of the night with 2:14 remaining in regulation to close it to three to make it less ugly than it was. Unfortunately for the Wild, it was too little too late for them as the Stars skated away with a 7-4 victory playing the prevent defense for the final period for the team to earn the split of the two-game series.
In the net, Poirier improved his record to 12-7-2 as he stopped 28 of 32. McIntyre took the loss, dropping his record to an astounding 3-11-3 as he only stopped 3 of 9. Jones turned away 14 of 18 in relief.
With the win, Texas improved their record to 20-14-2-1 (43 pts.), eight points behind the first-place sitting Milwaukee Admirals who won their eighth-straight game against Belleville on Wednesday night. With the loss, the Wild remain entrenched at sixth in the Central Division with a 14-22-1-2 (31 pts.) record.
Up next, the Stars head home to face a back-to-back against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. The Stars looked good against the Seattle affiliate posting a 3-1 record against the AHL Western Conference Champion in 2022-23. Faceoff on both Saturday and Sunday is slated for 7:00 P.M,
1. TEX - C. McKenzie
2. TEX - R. Damiani
3. TEX - L. Stankoven
Injuries, scratches and notes
Petrovic (out - illness)
Caamano (out - upper body)
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Wheatcroft (out - lower body)
Tonight's attendance was 3,326.