Expectations exceeded reality as the Texas Stars (0-1-0-0) dropped their season opening game to the Colorado Eagles (1-0-0-0) by a score of 6-to-3.
Colorado’s Charles Hudson and Martin Kaut led the team with 2 goals and an assist, each. Matej Blumel led Texas with a goal and assist.
“Obviously, we looked pretty disjointed,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. “Obviously, there is a lot for us to work on. It’s important not to over react.”
Puck management was a challenge for the Stars. Turnovers at the defensive blue line, the red line and the offensive blue line produced a behavior of dumping and chasing the puck down ice.
“Things spiraled in the wrong direction,” said Graham. “The guys were almost trying to do too much, and they’re chasing a bit.
Kaut opened the scoring for the Eagles just 2:30 into the contest on a power play. The Stars’ Mavrik Bourque evened the tally midway through the opening frame, only to have Colorado’s Hudson reclaim it two minutes later.
Kaut and Hudson had repeat goals in second period, giving the Eagles a 4-to-1 advantage. Blumel narrowed the margin by a goal late in the frame. Jean-Luc Foudy gave Colorado a 5-to-2 edge going into the second intermission.
The Stars’ Riley Barber opened the period with a goal in the first minute, only to have the remainder of the period go silent. Colorado’s Callahan Burke scored the final goal on the game on an empty net.
Colorado net minder Justus Annunen (1-0-0) earned the win, making 21 saves against 24 shots. Texas goaltender Matthew Murray suffered the loss, allowing 5 goals on 33 shots.
Despite the less than stellar start, Graham was optimistic, saying, “There’s a lot of character on that team. A lot of talent. And there is plenty of coachable moments and opportunities.”
Looking to tomorrow night’s repeat match against Colorado, Graham said, “Right now we can target some areas. Prioritize some areas. Get some structure back into our game. Get some predictability back in our game.”