|(Credit: Colin Peddle)|
Texas managed to keep the crowd out of it by scoring first, getting on the board in the second period thanks to Brett Ritchie's fifth of the playoffs. IceCap Kael Mouillierat put the score at a tie and got the sellout crowd back into the game in the third period, forcing OT.
The Stars top line made their impact in the extra frame. All three forwards were involved in the play that ended the game at a 2-1 win for the Stars.
An even first period on the scoreboard was lead by the Stars in intangibles. They managed to turn things against the IceCaps and do some work with their own forecheck. After one, Texas led on shots 12-7 but neither team had scored.
Carl Klingberg had St. John's best chance of the second period, hitting the post two minutes into the frame with Justin Dowling in the box for a rare minor penalty. Travis Morin had similar luck in the ninth minute of the frame. With Texas on the power play, Michael Hutchinson slipped right to left in his crease deftly to glove what looked to be a sure goal from the AHL's MVP from the right wing circle.
With just over four minutes left in the frame, it was rookie Brett Ritchie breaking through. His fifth of the postseason broke up a streak of 55 straight saves by Hutchinson getting Texas on the board with his fifth of the playoffs in the second period. His line was dynamic again, generating the goal off the rebound of the Justin Dowling shot. Mike Hedden picked up the second assist, his 17th point of the postseason in just 19 games.
The Stars more than doubled up the IceCaps on shots in the frame, putting them at 26-13 after forty.
Texas got into penalty trouble in the third, getting outshot 6-0 early in the frame. Jyrki Jokipakka had the best play of the PK, swatting away a puck that had trickled behind Nilstorp while killing the Henderson slashing minor.
Finally, St. John's pierced the Swedish goaltender at 11:44 of the third. Zach Redmond's point shot for the right side was tipped around Nilstorp by Kael Mouillierat. It was Mouillierat's sixth of the playoffs and third of the series. He has scored in every game so far. By that point, shots were 14-3 for St. John's in the period.
The two teams ground out the remaining minute of the third and headed to overtime.
Josh Lunden had what seemed to be the game winner early in the extra period. The whistle had blown and the puck squirted out to his stick. He roofed it and the goal light went off. It was a no-goal and a lucky one for the Stars.
Texas was awarded an early power play in the extra frame but squandered it. It wasn't for lack of trying. Ritchie had the best chance of the advantage with a point blank chance on Hutchinson that the goalie collected in highlight reel fashion.
The Stars top line came down the ice after the power play expired and ended the contest. Curtis McKenzie dropped a pass for Brendan Raanford. He found Morin through traffic on the backpost for the easy tip-in goal and the 2-1 win.
Texas now has the 2-1 series lead and four days off to practice and heal up. Game 4 is Monday in St. John's.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Robinson, Labrie, Guptill, Troock, Hulak, Vause, Wrenn, Byström, Desrosiers, Peters (scratched)
Klingberg, Petersen (injury)
Today's attendance was 6,287.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. St. John's - June 11 2014