Hat trick by Barons’ Hall is too much for weary Texas Stars

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Steve Ha­bel Amer­i­can-states­man Cor­re­spon­dent

CEDAR PARK — The equa­tion of an ex­plo­sive Ok­la­homa City team given too many of­fen­sive chances plus a short­handed and dead-legged Texas team equaled a 5-4 vic­tory for the vis­it­ing Barons on Thurs­day be­fore a crowd of 5,354 fans at Cedar Park Cen­ter.

Ok­la­homa City’s Tay­lor Hall notched a hat trick as the Barons out­lasted Texas, who was with­out in­jured lead­ing scorer Cody Eakin and was weary af­ter los­ing on the road in over­time to Hous­ton Wed­nes­day.

The Stars never led but – be­hind two goals from Colton Sce­viour – never sur­ren­dered, end­ing the game with a fi­nal flurry as time ran out. Texas com­mit­ted eight penal­ties in the game and sur­ren­dered three power-play goals, even­tu­ally suc­cumb­ing to Ok­la­homa City (15-10-1-3, 34 points).

“Con­sid­er­ing the fact that we were short­handed and worn out, I think we played pretty well,” Texas coach Wil­lie Des­jardins said. “Ok­la­homa City took ad­van­tage of the chances we gave them, but we did a lot of things well tonight.”

Ok­la­homa City’s Jor­dan Eberle snapped a shot over the right shoul­der of Texas goal­tender Jack Camp­bell at 4:13 in the first, and the Barons’ lead grew to 2-0 with just 19 sec­onds left in the pe­riod on a shot by Hall.

The Stars (15-10-3-2, 35 points) broke through in the sec­ond pe­riod, cut­ting Ok­la­homa City’s lead to 2-1 on a goal by Jamie Olek­siak at the 5:20 mark. Texas then tied the game when Colton Sce­viour scored past Yann De­nis at the 15:07 mark of the pe­riod.

Ok­la­homa City’s Teemu Har­tikainen lifted a shot over the glove of Camp­bell just 1:06 af­ter the Stars had worked so hard to get back to even. But Texas bounced back to tie the game at 3-3 on a power play when An­toine Rous­sel rammed home the re­bound of a Bren­den Dil­lon shot at the 5:39 mark of the third pe­riod.

Hall put the Barons back in front at the 12:43 mark of the third pe­riod on a power play as he and Ar­co­bello used the same play they had em­ployed on Hall’s first-pe­riod goal to beat Camp­bell again. A minute and a half later Ar­co­bello cor­ralled the re­bound of a shot by the Stars’ Jordie Benn and whipped a pass to the streak­ing Hall, who eas­ily beat Camp­bell on the break­away chance to earn the hat trick.

Sce­viour added his sec­ond goal at the 15:15 mark to bring Texas back to within 5-4 but the Stars could not find the net again, los­ing for the third straight gamne af­ter earn­ing points in eight pre­vi­ous games.

The Stars re­turn to the ice Satur­day for a 7 p.m. con­test against Char­lotte at the Cedar Park Cen­ter.

RODOLFO GON­ZA­LEZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Texas’ Nneka Enemk­pali will take team-lead­ing av­er­ages of 16.2 points and 12.1 re­bounds into Fri­day night’s game against Iowa.

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