Well, Stars prospects were better Saturday than they were Friday. A lot more compete in their game, but the bottom line result wasn’t much better. They did get a point by going to overtime, but they gave up seven goals for a second straight game, falling 7-6 to St. Louis.
They were dominated early in the game but settled down and played pretty well and seemed to have things under control with a 6-3 lead in the third period, but then a couple of penalties led to two St. Louis power-play goals and a turnover led to the game-tying goal. Then it is three-on-three overtime, and the Blues scored late in the extra period, and the Stars are 0-1-1 at the tournament.
“We got up 6-3, and they battled back,” said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal, who is coaching the Dallas prospects. “We had a turnover on the sixth goal where we had horrible D-zone coverage. It’s one thing we had video on this morning and talked about. The message to the guys moving forward is it just shows you that pro hockey is so good that if they force you into a breakdown, they are going to capitalize. This is not juniors; this is not college. You have to be ready to be solid defensively because that is what’s going to happen. It happened tonight on that sixth goal.”
As for players, Sheldon Dries, who is under contract to Texas, had another strong game. He had one goal and one assist. Laxdal singled him out Friday night and again Saturday.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s been our most consistent player in both games,” Laxdal said. “He comes from a great culture at Western Michigan University with Andy Murray. You can see that he is a typical Andy Murray hockey player. He’s going to be a real good leader in our group. He’s going to take his game and try to elevate it and hopefully get an NHL contract.”
Samuel Laberge and Max French, two other guys under contract to Texas, continue to do well at the tournament so far.
Roope Hintz, the Dallas second-round pick in 2015, looked more comfortable in game two of the tournament.
“We saw flashes of Roope,” Laxdal said, “his speed going wide, taking pucks to the net.”
Laxdal is still waiting for Denis Gurianov, the Dallas first-round pick in 2015, to get going at the tournament.
“I’ve got to be honest. I expect more out of him. I thought his game was just okay,” Laxdal said. “Skating on the puck, it has to be consistent. He’s trying to find his way. He’s probably thinking about the NHL training camp. You’ve got to survive here. You’ve got to excel here. You’ve got to use this as a springboard. Again, this is early hockey. We know what Denis can do.”
Forward Brett Davis, the sixth-round pick in this summer’s draft, had a nice game. He tallied one goal, one assist and had two shots on goal. Not bad for an 18-year-old who was a late-round pick.
“He was better tonight,” Laxdal said. “It’s tough for a first-year draft pick playing against [older players]. I thought he found his way a little bit tonight. He was a little more of a factor in the game. He moved his feet more and showed more jam in his game and got rewarded with a goal and an assist.”
Defenseman John Nyberg (6th round/2014) and Ondrej Vala (free agent signing/2016) both had nice games. I’ve liked defenseman Gavin Bayreuther (free agent signing/2017) for the most part. He is a slick skater, smart player. He jumped into stand up for a teammate in Saturday’s game. There is a lot to like about him.
I wrote about Niklas Hansson on the official site. He’ll play in Cedar Park this season, but he’s coming off an up and down season in Sweden’s top league. He’s been up and down so far in Traverse City.
Landon Bow looked more comfortable in net Saturday, but the results were similar. He allowed seven goals on 27 shots Saturday after allowing six goals on 27 shots on Friday.
That’s where we are. Sunday is an off day. Stars play Miinnesota Monday at 2:30 p.m. Central Time.
You can find the boxscore and player stats for Saturday’s game here.
Here was Saturday’s lineup:
Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Denis Gurianov
Nick Caamano – Sheldon Dries – Tomas Soustal
Samuel Laberge – Max French – Brett Davis
Zach Roberts – Shaw Boomhower – Cole Tymkin
Gavin Bayreuther – Niklas Hansson
Chris Martenet – John Nyberg
Eric Sweetman – Ondrej Vala
Scratched: Shane Hanna, Vince Loschiavo