Stars Fall to Rampage 3-1 in Season FinaleApr 13, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, met the San Antonio Rampage for their final game of the season on home ice, ending the year on the wrong end of a 3-1 final. Even a win would not have helped the Stars playoff hopes with Milwaukee finishing a 5-0 win to eliminate Texas from contention. Texas ends the year with a 38-31-4-4 with 23 wins at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
The Stars took the lead early in the game after a faceoff win by Michael Mersch lead to a Rhett Gardner goal. The forward snuck a backhanded shot off Jake Walman’s skates before it deflected into the net past Rampage goalie Jared Coreau before he could react. Following his senior season at the University of North Dakota, Gardner ended his stint with the Stars with three goals in three games. The rookie scored four times in his first 11 AHL games.
Each team saw minutes on the power play in the opening frame as San Antonio was called on three offences to Texas’ two. The team’s respective penalty kill units held on to erase each of the five power plays to keep the score 1-0 heading into the intermission. Texas eventually fell 0-for-7 on the power play while the Rampage ended the night 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
San Antonio opened the second period with a game-tying goal by Nikko Mikola on a short, quick pass from Ryan Olsen that made its way past Jake Oettinger. The tying goal was the fourth straight game that San Antonio rallied from a deficit to even the game and the third time in that stretch that they came back to win.
After 40 minutes of play, the score would remain locked at one going into the final period where San Antonio rallied for two third period goals with Joey LaLeggia notching a power play goal with seven minutes remaining and Ryan Olsen adding a short-handed tally less than two minutes later.
Oettinger ended the game with 25 saves and in his first six pro starts, Oettinger finished with a 3-2-1 record. Coreau made 19 saves tonight, earning his 100th career win in the AHL.
San Antonio ended their year with three wins in their final four games after falling to the bottom of the division. Texas’ defeat removes them from the Calder Cup Playoffs conversation for just the third time in the team’s 10 seasons. Texas still finished the season with an 8-5-1-0 record against the Rampage to take the season series.
The Stars will return for the 2019-2020 campaign for the 11th season in Cedar Park.
Photo Credit: Taylor Sammarco