Saturday, March 30, 2013

Texas Overpowers Griffins With Campbell's 42 Save Effort

Jack Campbell tracks a puck into his pads, one of 42 saves on the night. (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)
A packed Cedar Park Center played host to a battle between two of the top teams in the AHL on Saturday night with the hometown Texas Stars coming out victorious on the back of a career-high 42-save effort by rookie goaltender Jack Campbell.

"This was a must win game, and I knew I needed to step it up and get back to how I played in January and February," said Campbell.

Texas allowed the first goal of the game to Grand Rapids but shut the door on all further attempts. Justin Dowling evened the score and Travis Morin put the Stars ahead for good in the dying seconds of the first. Matt Fraser added his 33rd of the year on the power play in the final frame to put the game out of reach for the Griffins.

"It was a playoff atmosphere a bit," said Coach Desjardins. "We were lucky Jack played well. He won the game for us tonight."

Texas moves to 89 points with the win and continues to hold the top spot in the American Hockey League.

Early in the first, Texas did need a lot of help from their rookie tender. The Griffins and Stars traded extended offensive zone visits. Texas turned the puck over several times but Campbell stood tall.

"We don't usually make those mistakes," said Desjardins. "We weren't moving our feet. I don't know why. We turned a couple over, and he bailed us out."

Grand Rapids scored the first goal of the game as Jan Mursak picked the top-right corner of the net while Campbell was screened by bodies from both teams. It would be the only goal he allowed on the night.

Justin Dowling scored his 13th of the year just over a minute later.

"You've got to drive the net and create havoc," said Travis Morin. "It was a prime example in [Dowling's goal]."

Dowling was the beneficiary of a rebound which he put between Mrazek's pads for the 1-1 tie. Alex Chiasson assisted on the goal.

With time ticking down in the first period, Texas picked up the eventual game winner off a crafty play by Colton Sceviour and Travis Morin.

"I was going to the net," said Morin. "Sceviour made a great play getting it through to me. I tipped it, and it just found a hole."

With 7.4 seconds left in the period, Morin's goal set the score at 2-1.

As the second period wore on, Texas and Grand Rapids both poured on the shots. Fifty seven total shots were racked up in the first forty minutes alone.

"The guys started to take over the game in the second half," said Campbell.

After fifty one minutes of five-a-side hockey, the game's first and second penalty were called back-to-back against Grand Rapids. This led the to the Stars' third goal of the night, an insurance power play goal off the stick of Matt Fraser.

"It's sure nice to get that third one," said Desjardins. "It was a great shot by Fraser and a great screen by Sceviour."

Texas immediately went on the kill with Tyler Sloan in the box for high-sticking. The Stars closed out the penalty and the game with solid defensive play and stout goaltending. Both are things Texas and Grand Rapids will need as they hurtle towards the playoffs.

"It really was a playoff game," said Campbell. "We're both battling for that top spot in the Western Conference."

What a difference a year makes.

Tonight's lines:
Fraser-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Chiasson
Gazdic-Vause-Glennie
Tousignant-Wathier-Cameron

Oleksiak-Sneep
Wrenn-Morrow
Fortunus-Sloan

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Roussel, Benn, Vincour, Petersen (call up)
Nemeth, Nilstorp, Wandell (injured)
Commodore, Labrie, Baldwin (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 6,462.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Grand Rapids - March 30 2013

9 comments:

  1. How did Tousignant end up on the 4th line and scratched? He's on the game sheet.
    Any idea why Campbell wasn't credited with 60 minutes of play?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tousi played on the 4th line. I fixed that.

      Campbell came off briefly during the first penalty call during the delay.

      Delete
  2. Any idea when we'll see Commodore on the ice? I thought I heard someone say he was injured, but he's not on the injured list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Texas is holding him out until he is ready physically. He hasn't played hockey since January.

      Delete
  3. Well, now, THAT was interesting. I tried to comment as my AIM profile and got the strangeness above. Can you check which, if any, of the accounts we can use to "comment as" work? Thx (Team Mom)

    ReplyDelete
  4. What was that Sloan scrap after the final buzzer? It looked like he was getting on the Griffs nerves all night. Looks like someone finally jumped him, but Sloan easily wrestled him to the ice and sat on his chest. Did catch it? What happened?

    ReplyDelete
  5. it looks like Francis Pare (RW) took off his gloves and helmet and starting having at itt with Sloan. they each got 2 minutes for roughing officially, even though the game was over.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It looks like we're getting a little thin on offense again - No healthy scratches, nobody looks likely to be sent down from Dallas, Wandell still out. I suppose we've got Brett Ritchie on the way.

    This must be why we signed Brock Montgomery. It had seemed odd until I look at the roster left.

    ReplyDelete
  7. From what i have heard Brett's team did not make the playoffs in the OHL and Texas is likely to sign him to an ATO. whether Texas will actually sign him or not remains to be seen.

    I have also heard Rumours about Texas signing Jyrki JokiPakka also being signed to an ATO if his team in the Swedish league did not make playoffs.

    if this happens this gives up 1 Dman and 1 forward for the playoffs. and who knows when Mike Commodore will be game ready.

    ReplyDelete

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