Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mike Hedden Puts Texas Over OKC in OT 3-2

Hedden's first goal (Credit: Steven Christy)
This is what the playoffs are about. Gritty come from behind wins in the other guys' building are par for the course. Tonight, Texas got just that thanks to Mike Hedden's OT goal 5:35 into the extra frame. After falling behind 2-0 in the second period, the top-seeded Stars had to fight back with three unanswered goals to win things in overtime. Derek Meech opened the scoring on the power play, and Mike Hedden got the other two for the 3-2 final.

Cristopher Nilstorp got the start and stopped 26 of 28 shots against him. He was named the game's second star. Texas leads the best-of-five series 1-0.

The Barons stormed out of the gate with all the momentum. The home side generated eight shots in the first eight minutes of the period to Texas's three. Cristopher Nilstorp kept the Stars in it. It looked like the club caught a break on the penalty kill as Brendan Ranford had a shot called a goal with Scott Glennie in the box. Further review indicated that the puck rode the crossbar left to right and never entered the net.

Despite a second half of the period that saw the Stars draw near even in shots at 9-8 OKC, there was no score after one.

Former Texas Stars Austin Fyten opened the scoring in the series with a play that probably never should have made it past the hashes. Fyten charged down the right side and scored a very similar goal to Mikael Granlund's OT game winner in Minnesota two nights ago. Cameron Gaunce did not step up on the play and allowed Fyten to slip behind him and go one-on-one with Nilstorp.

OKC went up 2-0 just five minutes later as Curtis Hamilton picked a corner on Texas. Bachman was looking to be the story of the game through 30 minutes.

Texas earned a power play as the period wore on and made it count. Derek Meech got a shot off from the right point, squeaking one through Bachman with Dowling at the net to cause havoc. Brendan Ranford had the second assist on the power play goal.

The Stars would have to kill two short 5-on-3s among nearly six minutes of penalty kill time to end the second. That helped the Barons draw to even on the shot count at 23-23 after Texas led earlier in the frame.

Needing their best players to step up, Mike Hedden took the charge. Scott Glennie dished to the third-year Star on the right wing. He bore down on Bachman and beat him up high over the glove for the two all score.

Texas would get a final power play in the third period but come up empty.

Hedden ended up the overtime hero off the wraparound from Dowling. The initial play pulled Richard Bachman out of position and allowed Hedden to roof the rebound.

These two teams are back in action Saturday.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Ranford
Hedden-Dowling-Glennie
Petersen-Peters-Vause
Henderson-Faksa-Stransky

Oleksiak-Gaunce
Labrie-Fortunus
Jokipakka-Meech

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Jeffrey, Nemeth, Mueller (callup)
Wrenn, Troock, Guptill, Desrosiers (scratched)
Klingberg, Hulak, Ritchie (injury)

Today's attendance was 1,278.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Oklahoma City - April 23 2014

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