Late Heroics Lead Stars to 3-2 Overtime WinJan 5, 2018
CEDAR PARK, Texas - Trailing by a goal in the dying minutes of regulation, the Texas Stars relied on their recently-selected All-Star captain to take over and lead the charge to a 3-2 overtime win over the Bakersfield Condors on Friday night at H-E-B Center.
A day after being selected to the AHL's 2018 All-Star Classic, Curtis McKenzie tipped home the tying goal with 1:13 to play and then buried the game-winner 50 seconds into the overtime to pull off the comeback win for Texas. Travis Morin tallied the assists on both goals and Landon Bow outlasted Eddie Pasquale in an entertaining goaltending duel for the win.
The win snapped a four-game winless skid for the Stars (19-13--3-1), who host the Condors (13-13-6-0) again Saturday at 7 p.m. CST.
Iiro Pakarinen gave the Condors a 2-1 lead with seven minutes remaining in the third on a one-time blast from the bottom of the circle for a power-play goal. Earlier in the third, Justin Dowling hit the post on a breakaway and Tommy Thompson's follow-up chance was denied by Pasquale to keep the game even between the two division rivals.
Once the game got to overtime, Morin picked up the puck on a partial break and generated a rebound chance for McKenzie to tap home his team-leading 17th of the season at the right side of the goal crease. It was the Stars' league-leading 14th overtime game of the season and eighth win -- three of those overtime wins have come against the Condors.
The Stars came out flying in the first, outshooting the Condors at a 13-3 margin at one point, but it was Brad Malone that forced in a loose puck in front with 13 seconds remaining to give Bakersfield a 1-0 lead.
Texas responded on Thompson's second of the season, and his career, with seven minutes to play in the second after Gavin Bayreuther and Dowling went back-and-forth across the Condors' zone on a touch-passing play to set up the tip-in goal.
Throughout the game, Bow and Pasquale manages chaotic plays in front of their own nets to keep the game evenly played for the majority of the net. Thompson's second-period goal ended a 142:47 shutout stretch for Pasquale, who had stopped 69 of 70 shots entering the game.
Bow earned his 12th win of the season.
Texas finished 0-for-5 on the power play. Bakersfield went 1-for-5.
Photo Credit: Derek Sparta/Texas Stars