After staging a dramatic rally Friday night, Dallas Stars prospects fell victim to a comeback Saturday. The Stars couldn’t hold a 4-2 lead and fell 5-4 in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.
Carolina scored in the final minute of the second period to cut the lead to 4-3, tied the game at 4-4 early in the third and then won 56 seconds into the five-minute three-on-three overtime when Sergey Tolchinsky tapped in a rebound from close range.
“Three-on-three is three-on-three,” said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal, who is coaching the Dallas prospects. “[Remi] Elie loses his stick, and the guy gets a rebound. That’s what happens. You lose one man and all of a sudden you get a great scoring chance.”
Brett Pollock scored two goals and Branden Troock and Cole Ully also scored for the Stars, who are now 1-0-1 at the tournament. Brent Moran got the start in goal and stopped 20 of 25 shots.
“I thought [Moran] was solid,” Laxdal said. “But you would love to win that three-on-three.”
The Stars fell behind 7:19 into the game on a goal by Tolchinsky, but the Stars bounced back to take a 2-1 lead on goals by Troock and Ully. The Hurricanes tied it early in the second, but Pollock scored two goals, including one on the power play, in a 2:49 span later in the period to give Dallas a 4-2 lead.
But a goal by Carolina’s Brett Pesce with 58 seconds left in the second period made it a 4-3 game and set the stage for the comeback.
“The third goal at the end of the second period hurt us,” Laxdal said. “They didn’t have anything going, and they got a little energy from that.”
After Carolina bounced back to tie, the Stars made a strong push to win the game in regulation but couldn’t get that fifth goal. Their best chance came when Ully hit the crossbar with 11 seconds left.
“We kind of took it to them the last five minutes, we had two great looks right down the pipe and then hit a crossbar,” Laxdal said. “But give our guys credit. Both teams played two games in 24 hours; the pace slowed down in the third, and that is to be expected.”
*The Stars outshot Carolina 32-25.
*Julius Honka and Branden Troock co-led the Stars with four shots on goal.
*Through two games, Brett Pollock (two goals), Cole Ully (two goals), Emil Molin (one goal, one assist) and Ludwig Bystrom (two assists) are tied for the team lead in points scoring with two.
*Pollock’s two goals Saturday came after he was moved up to the top line with Jason Dickinson and Mattias Janmark. “I thought he was better tonight,” said coach Derek Laxdal. “We put him on the first line with a couple of skilled players and in a situation where he can have a little bit more success. You saw his hands around the net.”
*Janmark, who was bumped up to the first line during Friday night’s game, was back there for Saturday’s contest. Laxdal liked what he saw from the Swedish forward. “He’s got a lot of poise,” Laxdal said. “I thought he adjusted to the small ice a lot better. Yesterday, he said he felt like he didn’t have a lot of room but you had more time. So, he’s a pretty cerebral player to figure that out so quick. I thought he did a pretty good job of utilizing that small ice area and making plays. He wasn’t shy; he went to the hard areas. I liked his game.”
*Janmark had already been playing preseason and tournament games in Sweden before coming to Traverse City. He talked about the adjustment to the North American game Saturday. “It’s a different game over here than Sweden. It’s more of a puck possession game in Sweden and trying to keep the puck. You’ve got a lot more space,” Janmark said. “Over here sometimes you feel pressured maybe when you are not and you get a little bit less time, you have to find the game to know how to get time. That’s the adjustment. You’ve got to find the positions to set yourself in a good scoring position and that’s what I am kind of struggling with.”
*Stephen Johns was the captain for the Stars prospect team Saturday. Devin Shore and Jason Dickinson served as alternate captains.
*Forward Radek Faksa, who is coming off shoulder surgery, was given Saturday’s game off. He will be back in the lineup Monday, according to Laxdal.
*The Stars do not play Sunday. Their next game is Monday vs. Detroit at 6 p.m. (Central Time).
Stars lineup vs. Carolina
Jason Dickinson – Mattias Janmark – Brett Pollock
Remi Elie – Devin Shore – Cole Ully
Emil Molin – Gemel Smith – Branden Troock
Chase Witala – Brandon Magee – Mads Eller
Esa Lindell – Stephen Johns
Ludwig Bystrom – Julius Honka
Patrick Sanvido – Chris Martenet
Scratched: Radek Faksa, Aaron Haydon, Alex Peters
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.