Texas Falls, 3-2, in Heartbreaker to WildMar 11, 2017
Stars - 39
Wild - 17
DeFazio Scored his 100th Career AHL Goal and 200th Point
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- A 39-17 shot differential and a third-period rally put the Texas Stars on the doorstep of forcing overtime, but the home team came up short in a 3-2 loss to the Iowa Wild on Saturday night at H-E-B Center.
Matej Stransky and Brandon DeFazio each scored for Texas (27-29-1-2) in the third to close the gap to one, but Alex Stalock and the Iowa defense held off a Texas power play for the final 1:36 of the game to seal the win.
"Sometimes when its three-nothing, you’re not playing well, and you can’t really find that boost because you’re not playing well anyways," said DeFazio. "That wasn’t the case tonight. We were playing well. We knew, potentially, if we stayed on that same track that things would flip around, and they did. If we get a bounce or two we probably win that game.”
Iowa forward Alex Tuch opened up the scoring with his third goal in two games against the Stars after stuffing a power play goal past Peters 3:54 into the game for the first period's only goal.
The Wild (29-13-6-2) padded their lead in the second as former Texas Captain, Max Fortunus, drilled a one-timer from the top of the left circle past Stars netminder Justin Peters at the 3:41 mark. Four minutes later, forward Zach Mitchell snapped home Iowa's second power-play goal of the evening to make it 3-0.
After stopping all 26 shots faced in the first forty minutes of play, Stalock finally broke when Stransky found the back of the net two minutes into the third with a shot from the slot to earn his 19th goal of the season.
Then, with 10 minutes remaining, DeFazio capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play that came after Nick Seeler took a match penalty for a check to the head on Texas forward Gemel Smith and Mike Reilly took a two minute minor for delay of game. DeFazio's goal in front was the 100th of his AHL career and his 200th point.
"I thought we played a really desperate game," said DeFazio. "We really wanted it. You could tell the desire was there to win. It's always disappointing when you come out on the other side of that, especially when you throw everything you can at them."
The Stars earned one last shot at knotting the score when forward Ryan Carter took a minor penalty with less than two minutes remaining in the game, but Stalock, who finished with 37 saves in the contest, shut the door to give the visiting club a weekend sweep.
"You can’t fault our guys after they played hard and got back in the game at three-two," said Laxdal. "We got a couple looks on the power play late, and they got a couple of shot blocks. They’re a team that defends well. That’s part of their identity. They played very well, and obviously it paid off for them tonight.”
Justin Peters suffered the loss with 14 saves on just 17 shots.
The Stars return to action on Monday as they host the San Antonio Rampage on Monday at 7:30 p.m. CST.
1. Mitchell (IA)
2. DeFazio (TEX)
3. Stalock (IA)
W - Stalock
L - Peters
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars