Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mueller Nets Hat Trick as Texas Scores Five Unanswered to Beat OKC 6-5 in OT

Texas celebrates Chris Mueller's hat trick goal, which tied the game at five.
 (Credit: Steven Christy)
Usually after five goals against and a goalie change, it's time to pack it in and hope for a better outing next time. Tonight, the Stars flipped the script. Trailing 5-1 just past the halfway point of the game and having allowed two shorthanded goals, Texas scored five unanswered goals and allowed just seven shots against them to turn around and win 6-5 in overtime tonight in Oklahoma City.

Chris Mueller was the shiny penny in this one, scoring a hat trick that included the game-tying goal with just over a minute left in regulation. Mueller has been doing his scoring quietly this season, ranking third on the team in scoring despite fifteen goals and seventeen assists. He would rank first on all but three other teams in the league.

Two quick goals late in the first put Texas in an early hole. A redirect by Curtis Hamilton and a rebound goal by Will Acton were the tallies. Acton added another with Texas on the power play early in the second period, stealing the puck from Brett Ritchie in the Texas zone and rifling it past Nilstorp.

Texas got on the board with a power play goal on that same advantage. It was Mueller's first of the night, going five-hole on Mueller off the initial shot from Morin.

The seeming nails in the coffin came in rapid succession from OKC as a shorthanded two-on-one yielded a Barons' goal following by another Texas turnover to make it 5-1 off the stick of Derek Nesbitt. The Stars would answer back with their second goal of the night but would still trail 5-2 after forty despite the Mike Hedden tally.

The comeback started early in the third with a solid fourth-line goal, a cram play from Taylor Peters. The rookie's third goal of the year opened the door for the veterans to take over. Chris Mueller scored off the rush, going low glove on Bachman after a passing play that saw Wrenn, Oleksiak and Ritchie trade the disc in rapid succession.

With time winding down, the Stars pulled Josh Robinson for the extra attacker. They put out the top power play unit and added Jamie Oleksiak. Chris Mueller was the trigger man though, finding the puck off of a scramble in the crease started by a Maxime Fortunus slapshot. The goal completed the hat trick and set the score at even.

Heading into overtime, the Barons did just what they didn't want to do: loaded up the top power play in the league. Late in the carryover penalty from regulation, roughing to Taylor Fedun, Colton Sceviour charged up the boards toward the net. His backhander trickled over the goal line for the 6-5 win just 46 seconds into the extra session. It was his 21st goal of the year as he continues to lead all players league-wide.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Sceviour
Ranford-Mueller-Ritchie
Hedden-Dowling-Stransky
Vause-Peters-Wathier

Jokipakka-Fortunus
Wrenn-Oleksiak
Sinkewich-Labrie

Nilstorp
Robinson

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Gaunce (callup)
Montgomery, Button (scratch)
Nemeth, Glennie, Campbell, Petersen (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 3,804.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Oklahoma City - December 31 2013

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