Playoff Bound: Stars Punch Postseason Ticket with 5-0 Shutout of HamiltonApr 11, 2015
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Greg Rallo's two goals and Jack Campbell's 24 saves led the way for the Texas Stars in a 5-0 shutout win over the Hamilton Bulldogs to clinch a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs in front of 5,404 in attendance on Saturday night at Cedar Park Center.
It is the fifth postseason appearance for the Stars (37-22-13-1) in their six-year existence in the AHL. Jack Campbell won his 10th game in his past 13 appearances while earning his second shutout of the season and the sixth overall for Texas. Rallo's two-goal night extended his point streak to a team-high seven games.
Texas will close out their season with three straight games against the rival San Antonio Rampage, beginning Tuesday on the road at 7 p.m.
Needing just a point to clinch a playoff spot, the Stars wasted no time getting the offense going as Devin Shore and Justin Dowling each scored in the opening four minutes of the game. Shore finished off an offensive flurry from the right side of the goal crease for his fourth of the season and Dowling scored his 23rd of the year from Curtis McKenzie's centering feed after forcing a turnover at the Hamilton blue line. It was a busy period for Hamilton's Mike Condon, facing 18 shots from the Stars and suffering the loss with 32 saves overall.
In a physical second period between the two clubs, emotions finally boiled over in the closing minutes as Hamilton's Bobby Shea was tagged with a five minute spearing major and a game misconduct. Rallo took advantage of the opportunity for the Stars, drilling a one-timer from the left circle with 1:29 remaining to extend the Texas lead to 3-0 off a pass from Maxime Fortunus.
The power play chance carried over into the start of the third, where Matt Mangene buried his second of the season at 1:39 to make it a 4-0 lead. Midway through the frame Rallo added his second of the night and team-leading 27th of the season as Jamie Oleksiak found the veteran forward on the doorstep for a tap-in goal. Campbell would shut the door the rest of the way to preserve the shutout, and the Stars closed out their season series against the Bulldogs (33-28-12-0) with their fifth win in the last six games.
Texas finished 2-for-3 on the power play against the AHL's top penalty killing team in Hamilton, who went 0-for-3 and failed to score a power play goal against Texas in 15 chances overall through the four meetings.
Travis Morin extended his point streak to six games with a pair of assists. Derek Hulak saw his four-game point streak end. McKenzie also finished with two assists.
The Stars are currently fifth in the Western Conference, just two points ahead of the Oklahoma City Barons. Both teams have three games remaining in their regular season, and with Rockford's win earlier in the night the Stars can finish no better than fifth in the final standings.
1. Jack Campbell (TEX)
2. Greg Rallo (TEX)
3. Devin Shore (TEX)
Stars - 37
Bulldogs - 24
W - Campbell
L - Condon