Hat trick by Barons’ Hall is too much for weary Texas Stars
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.
Texas’ Nneka Enemkpali will take team-leading averages of 16.2 points and 12.1 rebounds into Friday night’s game against Iowa.