CEDAR PARK, Texas — Missed opportunities, a hot Texas Stars goaltender and poor special teams play doomed the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night.
The Stars won Game 2 of the AHL Western Conference semifinal series, 2-1, evening the series at one game apiece.
In the first period, Oklahoma City took control and forced the Stars to take three penalties. However, despite having a five-on-three advantage for the final minute of the period, the Barons could not find a way to put anything past Stars goalie Cristopher Nilstrop.
“Any time you have a five-on-three opportunity, you should be able to generate something.” Barons head coach Todd Nelson said. “We had some good chances on our power play, we just didn't finish and capitalize on those. Sometimes you have games like that.”
With the Stars leading 1-0, after a redirection from Mike Hedden on a Jamie Oleksiak shot, the Barons began the second period still on the power play. But the Barons still could not find a way to cash in and did not score.
For the game, they would go 0 for 4 with the man advantage and 1 for 5 on the penalty kill.
Midway through the second, Oklahoma City was called for a bench minor for too many men on the ice. The Barons' special-team struggles continued as Stars defenseman Joe Morrow threw a wrist shot through traffic that found the back of the net to put Texas up 2-0.
“I saw him (Morrow) as he was about to shoot and as I went down it just grazed the top of my shoulder and I didn't really even see it.” said Barons goalie Yann Dannis, who had 37 saves on 39 shots.
In the third period, Oklahoma City finally got a shot past Nilstrop. With time slipping away, Danis was pulled for an extra attacker. The Barons were able to move the puck around to find Mark Arcobello, who ripped a shot into the net to cut the deficit to one.
With less than 10 seconds left, Jonathan Cheechoo was called for interference, sealing the victory for the Stars.
The Barons now return home for three straight games, starting with Game 3 of the series at 7 p.m. Monday at the Cox Center.