With the 2016-2017 season functionally behind the Texas Stars, Friday’s contest was about giving some of the prospects playing time.
Chris Martenet and Phillipe Desrosiers dressed for the game, which saw Desrosiers put on his cape and cowl for a 1-0 shutout victory.
The first period was a constipated affair, for lack of a better term. The contest didn’t feel like the usual Texas vs. San Antonio puck warfare.
Martenet was on a pair with Ludwig Bystrom, and seemed as anxious as you might expect. No goals were registered, and the shots were kept to a minimum.
One of the bigger stories, especially for scout nerds, was the progression of Gavin Bayreuther. Trusted on the penalty kill, Bayreuther has played with an educated poise on defense that somewhat belies his offensive talents. Needless to say, his future in Texas will be something to watch out for.
Going into the second period, the game kept its sluggish pace. It was a good old fashioned standoff between Martin Spencer and Desrosiers. Neither goaltender had to be Hasek or anything, but they played focused, and were the best players on either team.
Though it’ll be never earn the hashtag “Starsing”, the game was a veritable chess match of positioning and opportunity.
When the third period rolled around, it was San Antonio who turned the tide. Even without a bunch of special teams being exchanged, the Rampage kept pressure, and fished for rebounds while Desrosiers held up a vibranium shield.
Despite the abundance of chances in San Antonio’s favor (shots were 13 to 4 in the third period), it was Denis Gurianov, increasingly displaying his talent and ability to dominate a shift, who finally got the red light going.
— #TXStars (@TexasStars) April 15, 2017
It was a brilliant one-man effort that relied on Gurianov playing the puck while falling down and a wonderful reminder of why Dallas held him in such high regard as a first round talent.
Gurianov’s season looks “slow paced”, or perhaps even “underwhelming” to outside observers, but Derek Laxdal didn’t expand his role until relatively recently. Gurianov has played a deliberate pace, and like a few other prospects, his status in the organization will be watched closer and closer.
It wasn’t a great team effort. Defensive breakdowns, and blown coverage happened far too often, but it was a good game for specific players.
Texas returns home for their final game against San Antonio Saturday at 7.
Texas Stars Line Up
Remi Elie – Jason Dickinson – Denis Gurianov
Nichols Caamano – Gemel Smith – Matej Stransky
Brandon DeFazio – Mark McNeil – Cole Ully
Ethan Werek – Austin Fyten – Reid Sturos
Dillon Heatherington – Nick Ebert
Gavin Bayreuther – Matt Mangene
Chris Martenet – Ludwig Bystrom
Scratches: Dietz, Peters, Karjalainen, Vala, Morin, Bodnarchuk, Morin, Herbert