The Stars saw their three-game winning streak ended Wednesday night after a 4-2 loss to the Ontario Reign.
Mark McNeill scored in the first period and Curtis McKenzie gave Texas a 2-1 lead in the second, but Ontario scored three unanswered goals in the second and third period to pick up the win.
“It was a hard fought game and both teams were physical and battled,” McNeill said. “Unfortunately we fell a little short. With that being said, we’ve got to take some positives out of this and put the loss behind us. We’ve got a couple practices to get ready for the weekend.”
The goal was the 11th of the season for McKenzie, who leads the active team. Jason Dickinson was called up to the NHL team on Sunday and scored 13 AHL goals this year, tied for third in the league.
McNeill scored his fourth goal of the year and veteran forward Travis Morin picked up his league and team-leading 24th assist on the Stars’ second goal, extending his points streak to five games.
Landon Bow stopped 25 of 28 shots in a losing effort. Reign goalie Jack Campbell stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn his first win at the H-E-B Center since being traded in June 2016. He’s made one NHL appearance since the transaction.
The two teams combined for 19 penalties and 44 penalty minutes. Four of the six goals in the game were scored with a man advantage.
“They’re a big team to begin with so we knew coming in that it was going to be a physical game,” McNeill said. “We knew they were going to come out hard. That’s just hockey — guys finishing checks and being tough in front of the net.”
McNeill opened the scoring three minutes into the game with a two-man advantage but Ontario tied things up six minutes later.
Morin and Matt Mangene traded passes and set up McKenzie in front of the net midway through the second period. But again, the Reign answered with the only 5-on-5 goal of the game with two minutes left in the frame. Ontario scored a power-play goal and an empty-net goal in the third period.
The Stars beat the Reign 4-2 in the first game of the series on Saturday. Dickinson scored two goals and Texas rallied in the third period with three goals and have won eight of its last 10 games.
Texas wraps up a five-game homestand Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Cleveland Monsters. The Stars play three games in California next week and return home to face the San Antonio Rampage on Dec. 27.
“We’ve just stuck with it. Everyone has bene working hard in practice and bearing down when we get out there. Some pucks are going in for us right now but I don’t think any of us are satisfied with where we’re at and we want to keep pushing."