Stars Early Lead Thwarted by GriffinsJan 31, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, battled the Central Division leading Grand Rapids Griffins in tonight’s contest, falling 5-3. Texas led 3-1 over the Griffins through the first 30 minutes, but were countered by a strong push by Grand Rapids in the second half of the contest.
Tony Calderone opened scoring 7:12 into the game off a dish from Joel Hanley to put the Stars in the lead. Skating into the zone from the Stars bench, the winger fired a shot from the top of the circles that deflected off the crossbar and into the net. Four minutes later Dominic Turgeon evened the score at one, converting on a 3-on-1 rush for Grand Rapids.
With just three minutes remaining in the opening frame, Joel L’Esperance put the Stars back on top. A shot from Gavin Bayreuther bounced off the pads of Harri Sateri. The rookie forward got a hold of the puck, and put it past the Griffins netminder, making the score 2-1. Grand Rapids forward Chris Terry later matched L’Esperance’s goal as the pair of skaters continue to lead the AHL with 24 goals each.
Only five minutes into the second period, the Stars earned a power play opportunity and capitalized for the second time in the contest. The team’s lethal power play unit took the ice and converted just seven seconds into the man advantage. Erik Condra served the puck to Michael Mersch, who tucked it into the left corner of the net to give the Stars a 3-1 lead. The Stars would end the night 2-for-3 on the power play.
Chris Terry and Michael Rasmussen answered for the Griffins, scoring a pair of goals before the second intermission to tie the game at three going into the final period.
Two and a half minutes into the third, Dominik Shine scored the eventual game-winner for the Griffins. Grand Rapids shut down the Stars comeback effort despite several opportunities in the final five minutes. Sateri eventually earned the win in goal with 25 saves while Landon Bow finished the night with 33 saves. The final tally came on the empty net with 45 seconds remaining as Rasmussen converted on his second goal of the night.
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski