Stars Shined too Bright

Gulls Fall to Stars 3-1

Feb 27, 2024

By Morgan Korovec/    

The San Diego Gulls came up short in their first of back-to-backs with the Texas Stars Tuesday night as they couldn’t find a way to claim the lead after tying up the game, ultimately dropping a 3-1 decision at H-E-B Center. 

Antonio Stranges led the charge for Texas, finding the back of the net at 8:49 to put the Stars on top with the lone goal of the opening frame. 

Unshaken by the slow start and trailing by a single goal, the Gulls fired up their play to kick off the middle frame.  

At 4:26, Nikita Nesterenko maximized the breakaway opportunity, netting his 12th goal of the season to put San Diego on the board while tying up the score. 

Texas found their response at 13:05 as Keaton Mastrodonato gave a last nudge on a puck that sat in the crease, restoring the Stars’ lead to end the second.   

Discipline defined the first two periods, as the two sides remained penalty-free until a San Diego cross-checking call right at the twenty-minute mark leading into the final frame.   

Neither net saw new action until 19:39 in the third as Mavrik Bourque beat the clock, cashing in on the empty net to hand Texas their victory.  

Gulls goaltender Tomas Suchanek made stellar saves on the night, stopping all but two of 30 Texas shots. 

"Tomas was great," head coach Matt McIlvane said. "Three or four unbelievable saves and a really solid effort between that. For us, we’re just looking at why are we giving up so much and making him make so many great saves." 

Pavol Regenda recorded an assist on Nesterenko’s goal, giving him points in seven straight road games (4-6=10).  

Tomorrow, the Gulls will be back for the second of back-to-back faceoffs with the Stars at H-E-B Center (5 p.m. PST) to close out their season series.  

"I think we can get a little bit more connected to the game mentally and I think we can be a bit more competitive to a man. I think that we have another level that we can show, and it’s going to be up to us to show it."

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