Grand Rapids Edges Texas in a Sold Out, 4-3 Thriller

Mar 28, 2015

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- The Texas Stars and Grand Rapids Griffins combined for 84 shots in an entertaining contest on Saturday night with the Griffins holding on for a 4-3 win in front of a sold out crowd at Cedar Park Center.

Jeff Hoggan's third period goal at 8:46 would hold up as the game-winner, but Tom McCollum's 45 saves for the Griffins (40-19-6-2) was the difference as the Stars (32-21-13-1) peppered 48 shots on net in the loss -- their second-highest total of the season.

The Stars wrap up their three-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the Adirondack Flames at 7:30 p.m.

Jamie Oleksiak's slap shot from the left point at 11:27 of the third pulled the Stars within one and set up a final push with the extra attacker on the ice during the final two minutes of regulation.  Despite a flurry of opportunities for the Stars, McCollum and the Griffins held onto their lead for the netminder's 16th win of the season.  Jack Campbell suffered the loss despite a 32-save effort in net for Texas.

Grand Rapids opened up the scoring at 5:28 of the first on a rebound goal from Louis-Mark Aubry.  Gemel Smith tied things up for the Stars, banking in a sharp-angled shot off the back of McCollum for the rookie's ninth of the year at 14:38.

Both teams traded goals again in the second with Landon Ferraro pushing the Griffins in front, 2-1, at 4:01 of the period, but the Stars answered right back as Smith fed Kevin Henderson in the slot for a one-timer goal at 10:50 to knot the score again on his fifth of the season.

Grand Rapids jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the third with Andy Miele tipping in a goal at 3:11, and then Hoggan's game-winner on an odd-man rush from the right circle.

Both teams were held scoreless on the power play as Texas finished 0-for-4 and Grand Rapids went 0-for-2.  Despite the loss, the Stars maintained their hold on sixth place in the AHL's Western Conference and did not lose ground on fifth-place Oklahoma City, but they now lead seventh-place Milwaukee by just three points after an overtime loss for the Admirals on Saturday night.

Greg Rallo, Matej Stransky, and Maxime Fortunus all registered assists for Texas in the loss, along with Smith.

Photo Credit:  Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars

Three Stars:
1.  Jeff Hoggan (GR)
2.  Tom McCollum (GR)
3.  Gemel Smith (TEX)
Stars - 48
Griffins - 36
W - McCollum
L - Campbell
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