Oettinger, Stars Blank Griffins 4-0Jan 4, 2020
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, blanked the Central Division rival Grand Rapids Griffins 4-0 on Saturday night in their return home to the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. Jake Oettinger dazzled yet again, posting 33 saves for his third shutout in just 19 games this season.
Texas dominated the opening period as they net a pair of goals on 11 combined shots. Jason Robertson opened scoring just five minutes into the contest as he cleaned up a rebound on a blast from Joel Hanley. Hanley’s hard shot was right to Robertson’s stick and the winger corralled the puck at the top of the crease to smack in his 12th goal of the season on a wide-open opportunity. With less than five minutes until the intermission, Joel Kiviranta teamed up with Joel L’Esperance to double the lead. L’Esperance carried the puck into the zone along the boards and fired a shot toward Poulin from the right circle. Kiviranta then got a piece of the shot to tip in a goal just hours after rejoining the team from Dallas.
L’Esperance kept the Stars hot in the second as he extended the team’s lead to 3-0. Anthony Louis fired a shot from the circle that bounced in front of the net. Tanner Kero was then able to redirect the shot to L’Esperance who ripped a quick shot past Poulin from his knees. It was the only power play goal of the game as Texas finished the night 1-for-5 on the man advantage and a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The Stars held off a third period push from Grand Rapids to preserve the shutout victory. The Griffins shot 10 attempts toward Oettinger,but failed to convert on an opportunity. As icing on the cake, Dillon Heatherington extended the final score to 4-0 in the last moments of the contest. As the Griffins pushed for a goal, the Stars captain skated around Oettinger’s net, collecting the puck from the goalie on his way around. Heatherington then tossed the puck out of the zone in an attempt to clear. However, the puck slid perfectly into the empty Grand Rapids net for his first goal of the season and Oettinger’s first career point.
Oettinger earned his third shutout of the season after a 33-save performance. The Stars net four goals on 27 shots to serve Poulin the loss in his first appearance of the season.
The Stars continue a six-game home stint on Friday as they welcome the Toronto Marlies back to Cedar Park for the first time since the 2018 Calder Cup Final. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Written by Stevie Golding
Photo Credit: Tyler Schmitt
|Game Info||Shots||Goaltenders||3 Stars (Xerox Business Solutions Southwest)|
|Boxscore||TEX: 27||W: Jake Oettinger (TEX)||1: Jake Oettinger (TEX)|
|Photo||GR: 33||L: Kevin Poulin (GR)||2: Tanner Kero (TEX)|
|Video||3: Jason Robertson (TEX)|