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Traverse City: Toronto Takes Care of Stars, 7-3

Dallas outshoots another opponent, but defensive lapses and a lackluster finish send them to a third defeat.

Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

First Period

The Dallas Stars continued several trends in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday morning, few of them good. An early goal by Nick Robertson put them down less than two minutes into the game and a last second tally by Matt Hellickson had the team leaving the ice down 3-2.

Sandwiched between, Dallas scored two power play goals, the first on a wrister by Thomas Harley from the high slot. Jacob Peterson tapped in a nice feed from Riley Damiani on the second to continue his noticeable debut.

Toronto’s second goal came from Curtis Douglas, who at 6’ 9” found himself alone in the slot half way through the period. Harley and Dawson Barteaux continued their disturbing trend of eating minuses and Adam Scheel hasn’t been able to bail the team out of their defensive lapses. Shots ended 19-5 Stars.

Second Period

Dallas looked like they were working back into the game to start the second period. In the aftermath of a successful penalty kill, Max Martin took a rebound in the slot and buried it to tie the game.

From that point on, however, there wasn’t much to like. Cedric Pare scored from in tight just before the halfway point, and from there, the Stars structure seemed to break down. Instead of skating the puck up the ice, they started going for stretch passes. Toronto tilted the ice, getting two more goals, one from Noel Hoefenmayer on a bounce and the second from a tight angle off the stick of Jeremy McKenna.

For the second start in a row, Adam Scheel found himself pulled in the second, giving way to Remi Poirier after the sixth goal at 16:10. Poirier came up with a few solid saves right after coming in, but Dallas left the ice looking a bit shell shocked.

Third Period

Pond hockey, followed by a last second Nick Robertson empty netter. Not much to see here. At least Poirier kept a clean sheet.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jacob Peterson (40) - Riley Damiani (13) - Jordan Kawaguchi (42)
Antonio Stranges (71) - Mavrik Bourque (45) - Ty Dellandrea (10)
Riley Tufte (27) - Wyatt Johnston (53) - Conner Roulette (52)
Fredrik Karlstrom (41) - Oscar Back (37) - Francesco Arcuri (54)

Thomas Harley (55) - Dawson Barteaux (65)
Artem Grushnikov (59) - Max Martin (51)
Jacob Holmes (60) - Luke Profaca (58)

Adam Scheel (31)
Remi Poirier (50)

Scratches

Tye Felhaber (43)
Logan Stankhoven (57)
Yauheni Aksiantsiuk (48)
Ryan Shea (46)

Standouts

Riley Damiani was back at center, and he looks more comfortable. He had several good setups, so even if he isn’t scoring, he’s contributing. The Grushnikov - Martin pairing has been solid in the defensive zone. It was nice to see them get on the score sheet.

Jacob Peterson seems to be a consistent offensive option on the top line.

Sleepers

Oscar Back hasn’t been given an offensive role on this squad, but he’s been dependable on both ends of the ice and stands out on the penalty kill.

Disappointments

Not going to kick anyone when they’re down. Dallas has mostly prospects at this tournament while other teams have a bit more experience.

Things to look for on Monday

The defensive crease. The Stars have put out the welcome mat - Grushnikov, Barteaux, and Shea are the partners who should be tasked to make it more difficult to camp in front of the net.

Veteran leadership from Dellandrea.

Game time is 11 am on Monday against the St. Louis Blues.