CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Iowa Wild were defeated by the Texas Stars, 4-3, in a shootout in front of 4,691 fans at Cedar Park Center on Wednesday night. After Zack Phillips scored with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and the eventual shootout, the Stars picked up their 11th win in a row on home ice by squeezing out a shootout victory.
Despite the defeat, Iowa picked up a point for the 17th time in the last 22 games (11-5-3-3). Iowa goalie Johan Gustafsson (7-7-2) stopped 41 of 44 shots in regulation and two of four in the shootout loss.
The AHL’s leading scorer, Travis Morin powered the Stars with three assists in the final period. Iowa forward Raphael Bussieres scored a goal and added an assist, as his club fell to 8-5-1-3 on the road. Texas goalie Christopher Nilstorp (14-10-2) left with an injury late in the second period, stopping 10 of 11. Josh Robinson (4-2-0) came in for a relief appearance, stopping 10 of 12 in regulation and three of four in the shootout win.
The Wild opened the scoring at 3:00 of the first period with a power-play goal by defenseman Brian Connelly. Forward Raphael Bussieres and defenseman Jon Landry worked the puck to the left-wing side for Connelly, who rifled a shot towards the Texas net. Connelly’s third goal of the year bounced off a Stars defender and flipped over the shoulder of goalie Christopher Nilstorp.
After a scoreless second period, Texas used its power play to tie the game merely 46 seconds into the final frame. Stars forward Curtis McKenzie found a rebound in the Wild crease and pushed the puck past Johan Gustafsson for his 14th goal of the year. Forwards Chris Mueller and Travis Morin each had an assist on the play. Iowa reclaimed the lead at 8:46 of the final frame, when Mike Ullrich found Bussieres in the Texas zone, freeing the Wild forward up for a one-on-one play with goalie Josh Robinson.
Bussieres slipped a backhand through the pads of the Stars goalie for the 2-1 Iowa lead. Texas countered with a power-play goal at 11:06, as Chris Mueller finished off a centering pass from Morin. Muller’s 18th goal of the season was also assisted by Colton Sceviour for the 2-2 score. Texas took its first lead of the night with 1:04 left in the third period as Sceviour snapped a wrist shot past Gustafsson. His league-leading 26th goal of the year was assisted by Morin and McKenzie.
Iowa pulled Gustafsson with less than a minute remaining in favor of the extra attacker. Defenseman Steven Kampfer worked the puck down low in the Texas zone for Mike Ullrich. The Wild forward found forward Zack Phillips on the back door feed. Phillips buried the game-tying goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation, knotting the score 3-3 and forcing overtime.
After a scoreless overtime the teams went to a shootout. Carson McMillan scored the lone Iowa shootout goal. Texas forwards Colton Sceviour and Chris Mueller scored to push the Stars past the Wild 2-1 in the shootout.