Griffins Outlast Stars in 5-4 Final

Dec 18, 2015


Stars - 31
Griffins - 41

McKenzie Tallies 100th Career Point for Stars

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Grand Rapids Griffins needed three third period goals and few bounces in their favor to hold on for a 5-4 win over the Texas Stars on Friday night at Van Andel Arena in front of 7,311 in attendance.

The win extends the Griffins' (15-8-0-1) franchise record winning streak to 13 games. Curtis McKenzie notched his 100th career AHL point with a late third period goal to pull Texas (14-11-2-2) within one. In the final minute of regulation Travis Morin missed a one-time shot from the slot and the Stars rang a shot off Jared Coreau's shoulder, which the Grand Rapids goaltender never saw.

The Stars and Griffins will square off again on Saturday at 6 p.m. CST.

Trailing 3-2 entering the third period, the Griffins scored three times to take a 5-3 lead over the Stars off goals from Tyler Bertuzzi 48 seconds in, Anthony Mantha on the power play at 14:26 and Louis-Marc Aubry's deflection at 15:20. Less than a minute after Aubry's goal, McKenzie set the table for the photo finish when he tipped Morin's centering pass past Coreau for his fourth goal of the season to make it 5-4.

Jack Campbell finished 36 of 41 in net for the Stars in the losing effort. Coreau earned his 11th win of the season going 27 of 31 in net.

Texas jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first as Morin converted a breakaway chance 38 seconds in, and Justin Dowling drilled a one-timer power play goal from the right circle at 4:08. Jeff Hoggan made it a 2-1 score at 6:32 with his second of the season.

The offense stayed quiet until 17:51 of the second whenMartin Frk's shot from the blue line beat Jack Campbell of the Stars to tie the game. Just when it looked like the second would end tied up, Brendan Ranford buried Jason Dickinson's centering feed from the right wing corner for his seventh of the season with just over a second remaining, and Texas carried a 3-2 lead into the break.

The Texas power play remained hot going 1-for-4 in the game. Grand Rapids finished 2-for-4.

Three Stars:
1. Anthony Mantha (GR)
2. Travis Morin (TEX)
3. Xavier Oulette (GR)
W - Coreau
L - Campbell

Photo Credit: Grand Rapids Griffins

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