Stars Stun Wild in 4-3 Victory

Stars Stun Wild in 4-3 Victory

Feb 21, 2020

CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, stunned the Iowa Wild in a 4-3 victory on Friday night in the first of a pair of weekend games between the Central Division rivals. Texas got the final word in a back-and-forth contest as Joel Kiviranta net the game-winning goal with seconds remaining in the game. 


Jason Robertson continued his hot streak to open the game as he put Texas on the board midway through the first with his 10th goal in the last 15 games. On the power play, the rookie forward collected a pass from Taylor Fedun from the blue line and snuck into the left circle where he was able to rip a shot through the legs of Kaapo Kahkonen. However, Iowa leveled the score just four minutes later. On the play, Nico Sturm threw a shot toward the net that snuck past Jake Oettinger and landed perfectly on the goal line and Sam Anas was there to bury the goal and level the score at one. 


At the midway point of the game and on the Stars second power play of the night, Reece Scarlett broke the tie with his third goal of the season. Josh Melnick and Joel Hanley combined on the assists, passing at the blue line before Melnick dished it across the ice to Scarlett. The defenseman blazed his third goal of the season into the back of the net to regain the lead. Just three minutes later, Dmitry Sokolov kept the back-and-forth affair alive as he drove the front of the net and lifted a goal over Oettinger’s leg before throwing it into the net. 


Facing a 2-2 tie in the final period, Taylor Fedun was whistled for tripping, sending Texas to their third penalty kill of the evening. However, Riley Tufte and Melnick quickly flipped the script on Iowa with a shorthanded goal. Melnick fought for a breakaway after a turnover in the Wild zone. With Tufte rushing up to join the play, Melnick carried the puck along the wall and put a slick pass past a Wild defender and onto the stick of Tufte. The rookie forward then ripped a one-timed shot past Kahkonen, putting Texas ahead 3-2. 


The visitors heavily pressured Texas for the remainder of the game and came within inches of leveling the score on an unfortunate bounce. Gerry Mayhew got ahold of the puck in front of an empty net after it bounced off the glass and Oettinger was behind the goal line in anticipation of the dump in. The Stars goalie then made an unbelievable glove save, jumping in front of the crease to beat Mayhew in one of the best saves of his career.


With less than five minutes until the final horn, Kyle Rau again evened the score, putting the equalizer past Oettinger on a tip-in off a one-timer from Brennan Mennell. 


For the fourth time in the game, the Stars took the lead. Just inside the final minute of the game Tufte and Kiviranta broke into the zone. Tufte beat the defenders to the loose puck behind the net and turned a pass behind his back to his linemate on the left post. Kiviranta tucked in the game winning goal with just 51 seconds remaining in the game.


Texas went a perfect 2-for-2 on the man advantage and successfully help Iowa without a power play goal on three chances. Oettinger earned a thrilling win after a 33-save performance. Kahkonen suffered the loss as he surrendered four goal on the Stars 24 shots. 


The Stars and Wild square off again tomorrow to wrap up their season series, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 at H-E-B Center.

Written By Stevie Golding
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski

Game Info Shots Goaltenders 3 Stars (Xerox Business Solutions Southwest)
Boxscore TEX: 24 W: Jake Oettinger (TEX) 1: Joel Kiviranta (TEX)
Photo IA: 36 L: Kaapo Kahkonen (IA) 2: Riley Tufte (TEX)
Video     3: Jake Oettinger (TEX)
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