Stars Outshine Griffins in 6-3 VictoryMar 20, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, returned to the H-E-B Center for the first of four straight games at home to battle the Central Division rival Grand Rapids Griffins. A third period offensive explosion led to a hat-trick by Colton Hargrove and a 6-3 victory over the Griffins. Four players recorded multi-point nights in the success.
In an even paced, chippy start to the game, Grand Rapids fired seven shots on net and Texas answered back with 10 shots on Griffin’s goalie, Harri Sateri. Ultimately, the first period ended scoreless.
Texas opened scoring midway through the game when Gavin Bayreuther fired a rocket past Sateri. The team built off the momentum from their recently expired power play to put pressure on the Griffins in their defensive zone. Justin Dowling slid a cross-ice pass to Bayreuther who was parked in the left circle. The defenseman took a shot at Sateri that rattled the post and flew into the back of the net. Grand Rapids answered back four minutes later with a goal from Turner Elson to tie the game at one.
Denis Gurianov reclaimed the lead for Texas, just 60 seconds before the intermission. The forward carried the puck into the zone on a rush and delayed for the perfect chance with a toe drag in the slot. He shot a blast over the left leg of Sateri for his 20th goal of the year setting a personal best for a single season.
Dallas, Texas native Hargrove found his name on the scoresheet for the first time in the game 4:24 into the final frame. Just a minute and a half later he added his second of the night to give his team a 4-1 lead. Hargrove walked into the zone on a rush, and carried the puck to face Sateri one-on-one, he went left to right on the netminder and slid a goal right over the line. Hargrove found himself in an almost identical situation to score his second goal, this time besting Sateri with a forehand shot. The third-year pro scored his opening goal on the power play, as the Stars finished the night 1-for-5 on the man advantage and halting Grand Rapids on their only two chances.
The goals kept coming for Texas, and just 15 seconds after Hargrove’s pair, Erik Condra buried a one-timer from Justin Dowling and Michael Mersch into the back of the Griffins net. As icing on the cake, Hargrove completed a hat-trick with an empty-net goal to secure an eventual 6-3 win on home ice.
Grand Rapids would net two goals in the third period, scoring their final tally with 34 seconds to play, but a comeback was far out of reach for the visiting team.
Goaltender Landon Bow continued to excel on home ice, securing his 23rd win of the season and 18th win in Cedar Park. Bow stopped 22-of-25 shots he faced to improve to 16-1-1 in his last 18 games at the H-E-B Center. Sateri suffered the loss despite 30 stops in the contest.
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski