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Texas Stars take down IceCaps on the Rock

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The Stars held the balance of play for the first two periods, and led 1-0 as a result of a goal by Brett Ritchie late in the second period. The IceCaps made a valiant resurgence in the third period, with a goal by Kael Mouillierat. Despite having the balance of play in overtime, they fell to the Texas Stars when Travis Morin scored at 7:20 of overtime.

Bruce Fedyck - USA TODAY Sports

Recap

Texas shut down St. John's for two periods. allowing only 13 shots, before giving up the momentum and the tying goal in the third period. Brett Ritchie scored for Texas at 15:44 of the second period.

Kael Mouillerat answered with a goal for St. John's at 11:44 of the third frame. St. John's had 17 shots in that period, compared to only 6 for Texas. The Stars had fired 26 shots at Michael Hutchinson in the first two periods.

The IceCaps pressed hard into the overtime, with many good rushes and flurries, despite having only 2 shots on goal.

Adam Lowry briefly sent the home crowd into ecstasy, when he slapped a rebound behind Christopher Nilstorp a few minutes into overtime. The fans' rapture was quickly nullified by a fast whistle, as the referee had thought that the original shot was still held by Nilstorp.

A few minutes later, the IceCaps fell victim to that classic overtime sequence - a save in one end followed by a goal at the other - when Travis Morin scored for the Stars at 7:20 into overtime.

Ten Thoughts

  • That's gotta hurt. Like the proverbial big fish that got away, Lowry's disallowed overtime goal must have IceCaps fans shaking their heads in disbelief.
  • Credit to the 'Caps - they did not give up. This team is a resilient bunch, with a great deal of heart.
  • A fine kettle of fish - the IceCaps have 6 days to mull over this loss. See the previous point, above. I'm sure the IceCaps will spend time breaking down what wasn't working for them in the first two periods.
  • Team defense - like game 2, the IceCaps played sound hockey - perhaps their most solid defensive hockey so far in the series. This is a good sign for St. John's.
  • Seeing Stars - Texas has great talent spread around 10 or more players. The IceCaps can't let them out of their sight for a moment. St. John's has to keep that diligent defensive effort going continuously throughout each game. Every miscue is dangerous.
  • Lowry looked really good in this game - his best game in the series. He seems to be gaining confidence, after a frustrating game one, in Austin.
  • Nilstorp is steady. I dislike goalie interference, but it might be time for the IceCaps to test the limits a little. They need to do something to disrupt his rhythm.
  • Texas appears to have adopted a "defense first" game plan. They might be onto something. If they could duplicate the results from the first two periods, I think they'd be very happy with that.
  • The teams have almost a week to go back to the whiteboard, and try some new approaches. Game four could be very interesting, in terms of what changes each team brings to the rink.
  • Michael Hutchinson was strong again for the IceCaps. Game three might have been the most evenly matched game so far. If the remaining games are as close as game three, Hutchinson needs to be the difference in favour of the IceCaps, in order for them to win the series.