Friday, May 21, 2010

Benn's 2 goals power Stars past 'Dogs 2-1 in OT

Matt Climie and Curtis Sanford battled it out tonight at the CPC in a 2-1 goalie duel that needed more than 60 minutes to decide. It was Jamie Benn in the overtime period who took the series to two all and guaranteed a sixth game Monday night in Hamilton.

Texas and Hamilton skated to a scoreless tie in the first period depite four Texas power play opportunities. The Bulldogs got physical with the Stars early and often. Overall, the power play was 0/7 on the night. "[The power play] was kinda struggling tonight but we found a way to win," said Jamie Benn after the game.

Texas allowed the first goal of the game on the power play in the 2nd period. David Desharnais scored his 8th of the postseason on a slow dribbler between Climie's legs. Of the goal, Climie shared, "I didn't let it get to me too much and moved forward from there and continued to keep the team in it". Texas would take a 1-0 deficit to the locker room. They had been outshout 11-6 in the period and 19-15 overall in the game.

The Stars game back strong in the 3rd, starting the Benn-Gagnon-Sceviour line and getting amply rewarded for it. Only 24 seconds into the period, Colton Sceviour found Benn on the backdoor where he had an easy chip in for his 12th of the playoffs. The crowd was re-energized and so was the team.

Texas outshot the Bulldogs 13-7 in the 3rd period. "Our character showed in that third period," said Coach Gulutzan. Texas had a bit of a scare in the game when a Bulldog coming out of the box snuck in behind the D pair and had a breakaway to the net. Dan Jancevski caught up with him and swung the lumber to knock the puck away. "Good thing Janny's six-four with a long stick," mused Gulutzan after the game.

The Stars would take it to overtime for the second game in a row. And who else would you expect it to be, but Jamie Benn? Benn got in close on a rebound of Mathieu Beaudoin's shot and potted his 13th goal.

Among the positives in the game, the biggest was Matt Climie. The Cedar Park Center got to watch Climie mature over these 60+ minutes. Climie focused more this game on economy of movement and being smart with the puck: "It's important that I take a step back and be more patient and let the puck come to me instead of being aggressive and getting myself out of position." Climie had some degree of trouble through the year with being out of position on shots and I think we may have witnessed a change in his style for the better this evening.

Tonight's lines
Benn-Gagnon-Sceviour
Morin-Lindgren-Beaudoin
Sawada-Peters-Wathier
Rallo-McCulloch

Jancevski-Stafford
Graham-Hutchinson
Fortunus-Stephenson-Tr. Ludwig

Climie

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Krahn (head)
Wilson (unknown)
Korostin, Shelast, Ty. Ludwig, Chupp, Gazdic (scratched)

Tonight's attendance was 6,215.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Hamilton - May 21 2010

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