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McKenzie’s Third Period Goal Lifts Stars to a 4-3 Win

Nov 29, 2014

CEDAR PARK, Texas – After being reassigned from an NHL call-up earlier in the day, Curtis McKenzie tallied the game-winning goal in the third period to lift the Texas Stars to a 4-3 win over the Iowa Wild on Saturday night in front of 4,186 in attendance at Cedar Park Center.


McKenzie registered two points in his return to the Stars (7-6-6-0).  Last year’s AHL Rookie of the Year one-timed a back door shot past Wild goaltender Johan Gustafsson at 1:19 of the third period that would prove to be the difference maker in the contest.  Brendan Ranford was credited with the lone helper on the goal. 


Making his third straight start, Jussi Rynnas stopped 27 shots for his fifth win of the season in net.  The Stars close out their homestand on Wednesday against the Utica Comets at 7:30 p.m.


Greg Rallo, Julius Honka, and Travis Morin also tallied goals for Texas, while Christian Folin, Zack Mitchell, and Michael Keranen notched scores for Iowa (5-13-1-0).  The win snapped an eight-game winless skid for Texas.


Rallo converted a power play try at 4:17 of the first period to open the scoring on the night.  Honka added his second career tally off a one-timer from the blue line at 9:04 to give the Stars an early two-goal lead.  Folin recorded his second goal of the season to cut the Stars lead in half at 2-1 to end the frame.


Both teams traded goals in the first 31 seconds of period two. Mitchell capitalized on a miscommunication between Rynnas and defenseman Cameron Gaunce to even the contest 21 seconds in.  Just ten seconds later Travis Morin caught a bouncing rebound and lifted it from the left circle past Gustafsson to put the Stars back on top, 3-2.


Michael Keranen drew the Wild even once more at 12:15 of the second before McKenzie’s game-winner in the third.


Texas went 1-for-1 on the power play. Iowa was 0-for-2.


Gustafsson was 16-for-20 between the pipes for the Wild.


Three Stars:
1.  Curtis McKenzie (TEX)
2.  Zack Phillips (IA)
3.  Brendan Ranford (TEX)


The Texas Stars entered the 2014-15 season as the AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions.  Single-game tickets and season ticket packages for the 2014-15 campaign are on sale now.  For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStarsHockey.com. 


Photo Credit:  Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars


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