The Texas Stars extended their winning streak to three games with a 3-1 victory in Grand Rapids. Reilly Smith had the game tying goal, his second in as many games, and had a crucial play to get the insurance goal. Jordie Benn scored his second goal in as many games as well. Alex Chiasson also collected his second of the year. Cristopher Nilstorp had 18 saves on 19 shots on the night.
Despite outshooting the Griffins 13-6 in the first, Texas found themselves on the wrong side of a 1-0 score at the end of the period. Landon Ferraro broke in alone and went high glove on Nilstorp for his sixth of the year.
The Stars and Griffins skated to a mostly quiet second period, trading power plays mid period. Perfectly even on shots in the middle frame, Texas decided they also needed to even up the score. Reilly Smith scored his second in as many games, gathering the rebound of a Cam Barker shot with just 39 seconds left in the period. Even without the goal, Smith's name was all over the game. He had five shots and a plus-2 rating.
The Stars took the lead in the third period with two goals just 43 seconds apart. Jordie Benn went first on the power play. Crashing the net with Sceviour, Benn collected his third of the year and second in as many games off a beautiful backhand dish from Sceviour. Texas led 2-1.
Next it was Chiasson's turn. Reilly Smith drove the net on his brother, Brendan, with the puck kicking out to the point after the initial shot. Brenden Dillon's point shot was tipped by Alex Chiasson out front for the 3-1 lead. Despite Reilly's lack of a point on the scoresheet for the play, he was instrumental in making it happen.
Texas needed to make a big stand at the end of the game, killing a late Travis Morin penalty. They did so with facility, continuously clearing the puck and killing clock.
The win put Texas at 9-7-1-1 on the season. They are two games above .500 for the first time since the second game of the season.
Texas stays in Grand Rapids to face the Griffins again tomorrow.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Gazdic, Vause, Sloan (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 8,619.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Grand Rapids - November 30 2012