CEDAR PARK — There hasn’t been much separation between the Texas Stars and Oklahoma City Barons this season.
The two divisional rivals have already played six times and the last four meetings have required overtime.
On Friday, Oklahoma City got the all-important goal when Brandon Davison scored in overtime of a 2-1 victory. It was Texas eighth straight loss, extending a franchise-record losing streak.
Davison’s goal came on Oklahoma City’s first shot in overtime and Texas had the better chances before the game-winner.
Cameron Gaunce had a rebound chance go wide early on, while Brendan Ranford had a pair of chances on a wrap-around attempt that Barons goalie Richard Bachman finally covered on the goal line, giving his team a chance to steal the victory.
“Frustrating is an understatement right now,” Stars defenseman Derek Meech said. “We had a ton of chances tonight, we just couldn’t put the puck past him for some reason. We got to bear down and we’ve got to start putting the puck in the back of the net.”
Earlier Oklahoma City handed Texas multiple opportunities, but the power play couldn’t convert in the opening period, mustering only one shot on three opportunities with the man advantage.
There was a seemingly golden opportunity when Texas had 38 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage. However, Texas didn’t fire a single shot and spent most of the time backtracking after clearances by Oklahoma City.
Power play struggles stung even more after Dillon Simpson gave Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot with 5:31 left in the period. Texas almost countered during even strength play, but Bachman denied Travis Morin during a 2-on-1.
Texas killed an early penalty in the second period and then turned up the pressure on Bachman.
Bachman made a pair of saves on Jesse Root and Radek Faksa from tight angles, while Matej Stransky and Justin Dowling had a 2-on-1 where the chance just lipped over the net.
Texas sufficiently shut down a pair of Oklahoma City power plays midway through the period before Maxime Fortunus finally ended Texas power play drought that had lasted since Nov. 14.
Meech fired a shot from the point that ricocheted off a Baron’s forward Curtis Hamilton and over to Fortunus, who quickly lifted a wrist shot over Bachman for the Stars first power play goal in 24 tries.
Texas carried momentum into the third period and limited Barons to five shots in the final frame, both which came during an early penalty kill.
Derek Hulak almost gave Texas the lead with 11:04 remaining on the power play, but Bachman made a save with the left pad on a point-blank chance.
Despite its lack of chances Oklahoma City almost stole away a late victory in regulation when Tyler Pitlick hit the cross bar with less than a minute remaining.