McKenzie's Hat Trick Takes Down Griffins, 5-2Nov 29, 2017
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Curtis McKenzie was the dominant force on Wednesday night as his second hat trick of the month powered the Texas Stars to a 5-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena in front of 5,738 in attendance.
McKenzie's hat trick goal proved to be the game-winner after Grand Rapids' Tyler Bertuzzi knotted the score at 2-2 just over a minute into the third. Landon Bow earned his seventh win in his last 10 games after stopping 27 of 29 shots. Travis Morin also scored a goal and added an assist to maintain his team lead in points for Texas (22 points).
The Stars (12-8-0-1) and Griffins (8-10-0-2) square off again Friday at 6 p.m. CST at Van Andel Arena.
After Bertuzzi tied the game early in the third, the Griffins failed to capitalize on an extended power play that included 1:10 of a two-man advantage. After the Stars killed off the opportunity, McKenzie snapped home a breakaway goal at 7:45 of the third to make it 3-2 Stars and record the hat trick.
Max French made it a 4-2 Texas lead five minutes later on an odd-man rush from Colin Markison's centering pass. Justin Dowling's second assist of the game set up Morin on the doorstep with just under five minutes to play to seal the road win as Texas scored three straight goals to pull away.
The win was the fourth straight for the Stars and their seventh in their last nine games.
The Griffins opened up the scoring midway through the second on a shorthanded tally when Bow tried to clear the puck out of his own zone and it was blocked by Colin Campbell, who hit the empty net for his fourth of the season. Just two minutes after the Griffins struck, McKenzie tapped in Dowling's centering pass from the right circle as a Texas power play expired, followed by stuffing home Brian Flynn's centering pass on the man-advantage with 2:35 left in the second.
Jared Coreau suffered the loss going 24 of 29 in net for Grand Rapids.
Texas finished 1-for-3 on the power play. Grand Rapids was 0-for-6. Texas has stopped all 12 power play they've faced in three games against the Griffins this season.