Stars Earn Crucial Point in 3-2 Shootout Loss to San Antonio

Feb 3, 2015

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Dan Ellis stopped Justin Dowling in the third round of a shootout to lift the San Antonio Rampage to a 3-2 win on Tuesday night over the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center.

It was first shootout game this season for the Stars, who were one of only two teams left in the AHL who had not played in a game past overtime this season entering tonight (Hamilton Bulldogs).  Brendan Ranford was the only goal-scorer for Texas in the extended session, while San Antonio picked up goals from Vincent Trochek and Rocco Grimaldi.  Grimaldi's was the shootout-winner.

The Stars (19-15-10-1) and Rampage (26-14-4-0) wrap up their home-and-home set on Thursday at 7 p.m. in San Antonio.

Grimaldi also scored the game-tying goal just 38 seconds into the third period after a deflected puck from the corner pinballed onto the blade of his stick in the slot for his eighth of the season, unassisted.  Both goaltenders shined in the tight contest as Ellis finished with 32 saves for the win, and the Stars' Anders Lindback turned aside 40 shots in net to begin a conditioning assignment after being sent down from the NHL's Dallas Stars earlier in the day.

The Stars opened up the scoring, and an early lead, off a goal from rookie Gemel Smith at 3:43 of the first.  Julius Honka picked up the first of his two assists on the night on Smith's sixth of the season.  Four of those goals for the rookie have come against the Rampage.  Less than two minutes later San Antonio responded when Connor Brickley's point shot was deflected past Lindback to knot the game at 1-1.

Things stayed tied until 1:04 remained in period two with Justin Dowling pushing Texas back in front on a power play strike from the left circle.  The slap shot goal was his 11th of the season.  Honka and Brendan Ranford recorded the helpers prior to Grimaldi's tying goal early in the third.

The Stars held the AHL's fifth-ranked power play in San Antonio scoreless in five chances.  Texas went 1-for-3 on the man-advantage.

Texas remains unbeaten in regulation over their last five games, going 3-0-2, and now sit one point back of a playoff spot behind Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Hamilton -- who are in a three-way tie ahead of the Stars with 50 points.  Brett Ritchie made his return to the ice after being reassigned from Dallas earlier in the week.  Texas has now played 13 overtime games this season, tied for third in the AHL.

Photo Credit:  Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars

Three Stars:
1.  Rocco Grimaldi (SA)
2.  Dan Ellis (SA)
3.  Anders Lindback (SA)
Stars - 34
Rampage - 42
W - Ellis
L - Lindback
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