Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Texas Stars Storm Back to Win in Shootout 3-2

Almost nothing fazed Dov Grumet-Morris tonight, despite the final result. (Credit: Darren Abate/pressphotointl.com)
Texas showed why they are leading the West with their comeback performance in San Antonio tonight. After allowing the first goal and trailing 2-1 late in the third, the Stars scored a power play goal off the stick of Travis Morin and persevered through overtime and the shootout to win in the skills competition.

The story of the game was the play of San Antonio goalie Dov Grumet-Morris. Texas put a total of 50 shots on the Rampage net. However, Grumet-Morris, the same Rampage tender who was pulled in Sunday's game after ceding five goals on seventeen shots, would not give in. He earned first star honors stopping 48 of those 50.

With the win, Texas moves their magic number for clinching the West to just one point. A point in any of their next two games or a loss of any kind by the Toronto Marlies, who still have three games left, will clinch the top seed for the Stars. Also with the win, Texas moved their record when allowing the first goal to 21-16-5-1. They also set their final record against San Antonio at 10-0-1-1 for the season.

Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 13 of the just 15 shots on his net in his first action since reassignment.

San Antonio struck first in this one in a bit of unluckiness for the Stars. The initial shot from Rheault deflected off Tyler Sloan's skate and onto Nilstorp's net. While the Texas tender had the initial deflection handled, the rebound bounced to Jared Combs, who collected his fifteenth of the season.

Texas pounded the Rampage net with fifteen shots each in the first and the second periods. This compared to just 11 eleven shots for San Antonio in the same span. After forty minutes, it was Dov Grumet-Morris keeping the Stars off the board because they were not without chances.

The Stars would break through DGM in the final period as a wild scramble in front of the net yielded Brett Sonne's first goal as a Star. After the initial shot was tipped by Morin, Connauton and Sonne had chances at the rebounds. Sonne's goal at the 32 second mark of the third tied the game at one.

That score didn't last long as the Rampage came back to regain their lead five minutes later. Jared Gomes tipped the point shot of John Lee through traffic to earn the 2-1 mark.

Late in the period, Jon Rheault took an ill-advised slashing penalty behind the play. On the ensuing power play, Texas took advantage. Colton Sceviour had the initial shot and Travis Morin cleaned up the rebound, knocking and bouncing puck off the ice and over DGM for the two all tie.

The stunned Rampage and the surging Stars would head to overtime. The best chance of the extra period came when Justin Dowling stormed the net one-on-one with John Lee but put the puck right into the chest of the San Antonio tender.

Dowling would redeem that chance in the shootout as he scored five hole and Sceviour went forehand-backhand to score on two of the five attempts for Texas. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped four of five to seal up the win.

Tonight's lines:
Sonne-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Glennie
McKenzie-Vause-Cameron
Gazdic-Petersen-Wathier

Gaunce-Connauton
Oleksiak-Morrow
Fortunus-Sloan

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Fraser, Chiasson, Benn (call up)
Montgomery, Nemeth, Commodore, Wrenn, Ritchie, Jokipakka, Faksa (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 6,732.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - April 16 2013

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