Manitoba Turnaround Stings Stars 3-2Feb 9, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, opened the scoring with two second period goals tonight but were countered by a three-goal surge from the Manitoba Moose. The Stars face off against the Moose again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to continue the club’s road trip.
After a scoreless first period, Texas forward Michael Mersch opened up the game with his 12th goal of the season. The winger stole the puck away from the Moose defense, breaking down the ice untouched. The breakaway opportunity 17 seconds into the middle frame resulted in a rebound that Mersch collected and slid behind goaltender Eric Comrie.
Five minutes later, Joel L’Esperance was the benefactor of another Moose miscue. Michael Spacek took the puck in front of his own net and while attempting to launch it behind his own goal, sailed it off of Comrie in the crease. The Stars rookie was eagerly waiting in front and pushed the rebound right past the Manitoba netminder to give Texas a 2-0 lead. The league leading 26th goal of the season came unassisted for the Brighton, Michigan native and extended his scoring streak to five games (4-2=6).
The fairly quiet and penalty lacking game turned a corner with five minutes remaining in the period. Sam Laberge attempting a hit on Moose defenseman Peter Stoykewych was called for a five-minute match penalty for checking to the head. In addition, Stoykewych was called for delay of game as he threw the puck out of play on the hit. Both players left the game after the collision and would not return.
The 4-on-4 time and additional three minutes of power play time were enough to put the Moose back in the game. Skyler McKenzie was slid a pass on a 2-on-1 from Nelson Nogier a minute following the calls. The puck was tapped into the net past Philippe Desrosiers for his sixth of the season. Two minutes later, while Manitoba was on the man advantage, Tucker Poolman tied the game. The defenseman came across the ice and launched a one-timer into the net with less than two minutes to play in the second period.
In the third period, Marco Dano put the go-ahead goal in, eventually winning the game four minutes into the final frame. The forward swatted a puck out of the air in front of Desrosiers after a shot deflected off the body of Seth Griffith. The goal was Dano’s seventh of the season and first game-winner of the year.
The Stars rallied for 13 shots in the third period with some prime opportunities but were unable to equalize the contest. Comrie held off the charge with 30 saves in the game while Desrosiers suffered the defeat with 23 stops. Texas finished the night 0-for-1 on their only abbreviated power play of the evening and Manitoba completed the contest with a 1-for-4 rating.
Photo Credit: Manitoba Moose