OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Texas Stars tallied a power play and shorthanded goal, but Bogdan Yakimov’s two goals for the Oklahoma City Barons were the difference as the Texas Stars lost, 5-2, on Saturday night to split their weekend set at Cox Convention Center in front of 5,542 in attendance.
The loss also splits the season series between the two division rivals at 5-5 with two matchups remaining. Derek Meech and Derek Hulak each scored for Texas. Hulak finished with a two-point night. Jussi Rynnas suffered the loss, stopping 30-of-34 shots in net for the Stars, while former Star Richard Bachman was 30-of-32 in the win for the Barons (27-9-2-2)
The Stars (16-14-9-0) close out their three-game road trip on Tuesday when they visit the San Antonio Rampage at 7 p.m.
Texas opened up the game’s scoring at 9:56 of the first with Meech burying his sixth of the season on a rebound at the side of the net. Greg Rallo and Hulak tallied the assists as Rallo’s one-timer from the slot set up the Stars veteran defenseman for the goal. Andrew Miller responded for the Barons less than two minutes later with a rebound goal of his own off an Iiro Pakarinen shot.
In the second, Oklahoma City added two more tallies to take a 3-1 lead as Yakimov struck his first of the night on an odd-man rush from the left circle just 1:32 into the frame. Barons’ leading scorer, Jason Williams, then found a loose puck in a scrum at the right side of the goal crease at 7:01 for his 15th of the season.
The Stars tried to give themselves a chance in the third and erase the deficit when Hulak scored the third shorthanded goal of the season for the Stars at 6:33 of the third, but Yakimov’s second of the night from between the circles extended the lead to 4-2 at 13:42. Oklahoma City added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal the win.
Texas finished 1-for-2 on the power play and remained hot on the penalty kill, holding the Barons scoreless in three man-advantage chances in the game and eight opportunities over the weekend.