Stars Come Up Short in Grand RapidsMar 6, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, were equal with the Grand Rapids Griffins through two periods tonight, but were bested 5-2 through 60 minutes of hockey at Van Andel Arena. The Stars are now 2-3-0-1 in six meetings with Grand Rapids this year and will host the Griffins for two more games in Cedar Park this year.
Texas would only surrender the first goal of the game due to an extended 5-on-3 power play by Grand Rapids. Chris Terry began incredible five-point night with the opening goal, scoring with less than 20 seconds remaining on the two-man advantage. The veteran’s 25th of the season broke the scoreless hockey game open just before the 13 minute mark of the first period.
Justin Dowling responded for the Stars before the intermission. The Texas captain glided to the left side of the net as Niklas Hansson let a one-timer go toward the net. The puck was blocked off a pair of shin pads before redirecting to Dowling’s back hand. The eighth-year pro had a wide open net to shoot at for his 13th goal of the season. Dowling now has four points (1-3=4) in his last three games and leads the Stars with 47 points (13-34=47).
Texas would take the lead early in the second period. For the third straight night Michael Mersch notched a goal, redirecting a pass from Dillon Heatherington into the net. The winger has scored 18 goals, ranking second on the roster. Mersch began the play before sending a pass to his defenseman at the left point and crashed the net looking for the go-ahead goal at 3:41.
Unfortunately for the Stars, the Griffins would again find the net on the power play. Grand Rapids ended the night 2-for-6 on the power play thanks to Martin Frk finding an opening in the right circle. The winger was fed on a cross ice pass from Terry before slamming home his second goal of six AHL games this year.
At the second intermission with the score tied, the Stars looked for the go-ahead goal again. Despite having three chances on the power play in the final period, the second ranked unit in the AHL failed to find the back of the net for the first time in seven games. Texas ended the night 0-for-6 on the power play and outshot the Griffins 30-24. Patrik Rybar ended his night with 28 saves while Philippe Desrosiers ended his game with 20 stops.
Backhanded goals from Carter Camper and Christopher Ehn made it 4-2 Grand Rapids in the third period before Terry buried the empty net goal to complete the contest. Camper and Ehn each turned their goals into the net on 1-on-1 breaks up the ice as the Stars pushed the pace to tie the game.
Photo Credit: Grand Rapids Griffins