Stars’ Playoff Magic Number Stays at One in 4-3 Loss to HamiltonApr 10, 2015
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Two goals by Nick Sorkin and 41 saves from goaltender Mike Condon were the difference as the Texas Stars fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs, 4-3, on Friday night at Cedar Park Center in front of 5,696 in attendance.
The regulation loss holds the Stars' playoff magic number at one point with four games left in the regular season. Along with the Texas (36-22-13-1) loss, the San Antonio Rampage won their game over Grand Rapids to win the West Division Title.
Texas and Hamilton (33-27-12-0) close out their two-game set tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Sorkin's second goal held up as the game-winner for his 11th of the season at 12:13 of the third. Texas pulled Rynnas for the extra attacker late, but Condon weathered the late surge to keep the Bulldogs' playoff hopes alive in the win. Rynnas finished with 32 saves in his first action since suffering an injury on March 15.
Sorkin's first goal of the night opened up the scoring, sneaking a tight-angled shot off the back of Rynnas at 2:25 of the first to make it 1-0 Hamilton. Brandon Troock answered back for the Stars at 10:06, deflecting a point shot from Julius Honka past Condon for his sixth of the year.
Entering the second period tied, Hamilton wasted little time regaining the lead as Eric Tangradi found a loose puck in the slot just 25 seconds in and snapped it past Rynnas for the 2-1 lead. With 4:15 remaining in the frame, Texas capitalized on the man-advantage when Travis Morin's shot from the right circle kicked into the air, and Derek Hulak finished the play off batting the puck out of the air for his 22nd of the season. Greg Rallo extended his point streak to six games with an assist on the play. Morin also earned an assist for a five-game point streak.
Justin Dowling pushed Texas in front for the only time in the game at 1:15 of the third with a hesitation play carrying the puck from the top of the slot to left circle drawing Condon out of position. The reigning AHL CCM Player of the Week buried his 22nd of the season and fifth in the last five games to make it 3-2 Texas. Less than two minutes later, Hamilton knotted things back up off a one-timer goal by Brandon McNally.
Despite Hamilton boasting the AHL's best penalty kill, Texas finished 1-for-2 on the power play and is 3-for-12 in the season series overall. Hamilton finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage.
The loss snapped the Stars' four-game winning streak.
Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars
1. Nick Sorkin (HAM)
2. Justin Dowling (TEX)
3. Derek Hulak (TEX)
Stars - 44
Bulldogs - 36
W - Condon
L - Rynnas