Stars’ Win Streak Ends in 5-2 Loss at Utica

Feb 18, 2015

UTICA, N.Y. -- A pair of power play goals by the Utica Comets was the difference on Wednesday night as the Texas Stars three-game winning streak came to an end in a 5-2 loss at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Former Star Dustin Jeffrey struck late in the first period to give Utica a 2-1 lead on the power play, and Brendan Gaunce also scored on the man-advantage midway through the second to extend it to a three goal cushion and pull the Comets (30-14-5-1) away for good in the Texas loss.  It was the first time in 15 road games the Stars had given up a power play goal, as they entered the game as the AHL's top penalty killing team away from home.

Jesse Root and Derek Meech each scored for Texas (23-17-10-1).  Jussi Rynnas suffered just his second regulation loss in the last 10 games, stopping 20 of 24 Utica shots.  In his only appearance against the Stars this season, Jacob Markstrom turned aside 24 of 26 shots to earn the win.

Texas continues their road trip on Friday when they visit the Rochester Americans at 6 p.m. CST.

Bobby Sanguinetti wasted little time to put the Comets on the board, scoring his13th of the season just 37 seconds into the game.  Root knotted things up for the Stars at 13:36, deflecting Scott Glennie's wrist shot past Markstrom for his fifth of the year.  Jeffrey tallied Utica's first power play goal through a scrum in front of the Texas net to put the Comets back in front with 1:02 remaining in the frame.

Utica added two more in the second, striking quickly again at the start of the period with DeFazio tapping in a loose puck at the left side of the goal crease 17 seconds into the frame.  Brendan Gaunce, younger brother of Stars defenseman Cameron Gaunce, buried a power play goal from the slot at 12:16 of the period for his eighth of the season.

DeFazio made it a two-goal night with an empty-net tally late in the period.  Derek Meech slipped a wrist shot from the point past Markstrom with less than a minute to play to seal the final score.

Texas finished 0-for-5 on the power play.  Utica scored twice on six chances.

Photo Credit:  Lindsay A. Mogle/Utica Comets

Three Stars:
1.  Brandon DeFazio (UTI)
2.  Bobby Sanguinetti (UTI)
3.  Jacob Markstrom (UTI)
Stars - 26
Comets - 24
W - Markstrom
L - Rynnas
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