The Texas Stars came out firing on all cylinders against the Charlotte Checkers in an effort to rebound from their embarrassing loss on Saturday.
Though admiral, offense was still hard to come by as the Checkers took a victory 3-1.
Though Texas is ready to get much of their lineup back now that Dallas’ season is over, the roster on Sunday might have been even more depleted than Saturday.
Three players were recruited from the wonderfully named Greenville Swamp Rabbits, a nearby ECHL team, to help deal with the injuries and call ups.
Through the first period, Texas actually looked like the better team. It helped that Charlotte, who is fighting for a playoff spot, took four penalties during the first period to get outshot by a 2 to 1 margin.
It was Gavin Bayreuther who was most noticeable. The college star free agent has been a relative boon for the team since joining.
Though he plays a traditional puck mover game, his ability to switch between being the puck carrier versus the puck passer is a skillset that has helped stabilize a struggling blueline. And he’s done so with a rotating door of defensemen. Sunday afternoon, it was Nick Ebert’s turn and the two played stout games.
The first period ended scoreless despite some good looks from the Texas power play.
Charlotte capitalized in the second period. A familiar foe, Patrick Dwyer first, and then Phil Di Giuseppe on the power play to immediately follow it up.
Texas got into a lot of penalty trouble in the second period, and couldn’t seem to dig their way out.
Bayreuther cut the lead to within one at even strength to punctuate the beginning of the final frame with a seeing eye shot from the left circle to beat Tom McCollum.
However, it was the only offense Texas would find that period. Charlotte scored in the empty net for the win. Texas probably wishes this game had been saved for a day or two later, as this would have been a certified squad of commandos with the reinforcements head their way.
The cavalry comes back home Wednesday against San Antonio at 7:30.
Texas Stars Line Up
Brandon DeFazio – Mike McMurtry – Matej Stransky
Scratches: Bodnarchuk, Dietz, Fyten, Bystrom, Morin, Stevenson