By: Duck & Hound and Cameron Turner
ONTARIO,CA – Texas followed Ontario back to California to continue their series last night. The Reign didn’t fare well in Cedar Park and were hoping to rebound after Saturday night’s underwhelming performance.
The game turned into an evenly matched battle where neither side could really put the other one away.
After a scoreless first period, the action really picked up in the second. Texas would need only 0:14 of period two to grab the game’s first goal. Andrew Bodnarchuck slapped a shot wide from the point, but the rebound kicked off the boards and then ricocheted off Ontario netminder Cal Peterson and in. The lead didn’t last long as the Reign responded just under four minutes later. Mike Amadio and Austin Wagner came in on a 2-on-1, and although Landon Bow made the initial save off of Amadio’s shot, Wagner was all alone to deposit the rebound and even the score. The Reign built off of the goal spending the next 10 minutes pressing the Stars for a go-ahead goal. They were rewarded off of a Texas turnover 14:36 into the middle stanza. Andrew Crescenzi stole an ill-advised pass deep in the Texas zone, then calmly outwaited Bow and put the puck in the net. The Reign seemed to fade a bit after that, engaging in that frustrating past-time of sloppy passes & puck handling. Texas was not thru attacking, however, and would find an equalizer while a man down. With just 1:14 remaining in the second, the Reign were caught napping, allowing Brian Flynn to sneak in shorthanded and beat Peterson tying the game at 2.
The third period would also be a very competitive period, in a game that always felt destined for overtime. The Stars struck first, capitalizing on an early Ontario penalty. With 15:54 left Justin Dowling blasted a shot through a screen that would elude Peterson, and put the Stars on top. The lead would not last, though, and Ontario once again tied the game with 6:33 left. The Reign won a draw in the Stars’ zone and fed it to Paul LaDue who sent a shot at Bow that was deflected by Cory Ward. Ward’s first would send us to overtime even 3-3.
It would not take long to find a winner in the extra frame, as just 1:09 in, Justin Auger played hero with Mike Amadio’s help. Amadio picked off a Texas turnover, speeding up the ice with Auger, then feeding it to him for a nice finish.
Despite playing a solid road game overall, the Texas Stars fell to the Ontario Reign 4-3 in overtime Wednesday night. Texas battled Ontario to a hard-fought 3-3 tie thru regulation, however, the Stars would allow an overtime goal for the first time this year. The Stars are now 6-1 in games decided in overtime, and 17-10-1-1 overall.
The Good, Stars Edition: The Stars continued their recent run of success on the road, earning a point for the sixth time in their last seven tries (5-1-1). Texas is now 7-7-1-0 after staring 2-6-0-0 away from Cedar Park. Landon Bow also played well again, stopping 30 of 33 Reign offerings in the contest. He played even better than the stats indicate as well, as he was left out to dry on two of the Ontario tallies.
The Good, Reign Edition: The Reign managed to arrest their fade and pull themselves back into the game, matching the Stars play and keeping themselves in the game.
The Bad, Stars Edition: Turnovers. Texas turned the puck over too much last night, and Ontario made them pay twice. Ontario was able to find both their first goal, and the game winner, after a Stars turnover set the table. The Stars will need to be much cleaner going forward.
The Bad, Reign Edition: The Reign’s tendency to take a period off nearly cost them the game and did cost them a short-handed goal.
The Ugly, Stars Edition: The Stars also needed to do a better job of helping out Bow. There were long stretches of the second period that were spent entirely in the Texas zone, as Bow and the Stars had to defend wave after wave of the Reign attack. The Stars defense need to do a better job of forcing one and done opportunities and clearing the zone when possible.
The Ugly, Reign Edition: That short-handed goal was a failure on many levels for the Reign. They were also guilty of some bad changed that led to odd-man rushed for the Stars and quality scoring chances on Peterson.
All in all, it was a hard-fought point, that somehow feels both earned and stolen from both teams. Texas will look to earn the full two points in their next stop on the trip when the battle the Barracuda in San Jose tomorrow night while the Reign will face their arch-rivals Saturday afternoon.