Friday, April 1, 2011

Larsen's OT Blast Puts Stars Past Wolves 3-2

The Texas Stars completed a season sweep of the Chicago Wolves with a 3-2 overtime victory tonight at the Cedar Park Center. After Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period, Chicago battled back to tie it at two in the third period. Philip Larsen was the overtime hero for the Stars tonight, one-timing a puck in the high slot for the winner just 38 seconds in. "It was a really good win for us," said Larsen. "Chicago is a team that's fighting for the playoffs, too. Every point counts and we took two tonight."

The Stars came out seeming a little flat after a 6 day layoff. Luckily, Chicago was a little gassed as well with a game last night in Houston. "After a week off, it's hard to avoid the lull," said Colton Sceviour, who had a goal in the game. The Stars were outshot 10-4 in the first but stayed in it at zero all.

Texas responded early in the second period. Colton Sceviour tapped a pass out of midair to rainbow it over Mannino's blocker side and in. Ray Sawada got an assist on the goal for a deft pass from behind the net to Sceviour. Maxime Fortunus collected his fifth of the year on the power play, rotating down low for a tap-in goal with assists from Francis Wathier and Greg Rallo.

Chicago started the comeback before the end of the second with Riley Holzapfel sending a pass to Jamie Sifers in the slot. Sifers' one-timer cut the lead to 2-1. Early in the third, Andre Deveaux, who received hearty boos from the crowd all night, collected a rebound in the slot and chipped it past Bachman for the 2-2 tie. The power play goal came with Ondrej Roman in the box on a questionable tripping call.

The Stars went to OT, and it was Larsen making the Wolves pay for a mistake. Chicago's Zubarev decided to skate the puck through the crease on the way out of the zone. Travis Morin and Greg Rallo converged on him. Larsen told the rest: "[Morin] had a really good stick to get it out to me there. It was bouncing a little bit and I just wanted to one-time it." The puck beat Mannino blocker side high for the 3-2 win.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Roman-Gagnon
Morin-Rallo-Backman
Sawada-Sceviour-Tousignant
Gazdic-Chupp-Schultz

Dillon-Fortunus
Spang-Stephenson
Larsen-Benn

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ludwig (upper body)
McCulloch, Embach, Monast (scratched)
Vincour, Segal, Lukowich (callup)

Tonight's attendance was 5,710.

Philip Larsen played his first game back from a hip injury. "It felt good to be back on the ice," said Larsen. "I kept my shifts short." While he is still experiencing some pain off the ice, he said it doesn't bother him when he's in the game. Larsen was named the first star of the game for the first time in his AHL career.

Stephen Schultz played in his first AHL game, recording one shot and a minus-1.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - April 1 2011

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