Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Rookies Power Texas Stars Past Top Ranked OKC in Huge Win

Hulak, Smith and Root score in 5-2 victory in Oklahoma City

The Barons got the first one, but Texas finished the fight. Three rookies collected goals to drive the Stars to a 5-2 victory over the hot Oklahoma City Barons. Coming into the game, OKC was riding a seven-game win streak. The Stars chased Laurent Brossoit after their fourth goal, handing him just his second loss since mid-November.

The win helped Texas finish off their three game road trip with a 2-1 record and pushed them back into the playoff picture. The Stars' 38 points are good enough for eighth place in the West, at least for the night. Ninth place Milwaukee plays on Thursday and could jump Texas with a win.

An Oklahoma City rookie got the scoring started in the contest as Kellen Jones scored his second AHL goal off the assist from his twin brother, Connor. Less than a minute later, Travis Morin, fresh off his reassignment from Dallas, got his 11th of the year. Morin forced a turnover by Brad Hunt off a bad bounce and scored on the first Stars' shot of the game.

Gemel Smith scored his fifth goal of the year, all coming since Christmas, as he collected the rebound on a shot from Maxime Fortunus. Texas took a 2-1 lead to the break.

The second period was even better than the first for Texas. Another rookie, Derek Hulak this time, scored his seventh of the year, again off the assist of Fortunus. It was a cram play at the net where the puck only just trickled over the line.

Jesse Root, yet another rookie, got his second of the season just over a minute later and it was a 4-1 total score. That would end Laurent Brossoit's night and put former Texas Star Richard Bachman in the net.

Five minutes later, the Barons had their best chance of the period when Steve Pinizzotto missed an empty net. He would get a chance to make it up to start the third and made good. He finished off a Jordan Oesterle cross-ice pass to cut the lead to 4-2.

As the period wore on, Texas regained their three gain lead on a curious play at the net. Derek Hulak, Gemel Smith and Scott Glennie broke in 3-on-1 against David Musil. It looked like there would be no goal on the play as the goal light never came on and the referees never signaled the goal. After a conclave, it was announced as a goal by Hulak.

The Barons would pull Bachman to get the extra man but to no avail. Texas escaped with a huge two points. They will return home for a Friday/Saturday set against Iowa and Toronto.

Tonight's lines:
Hulak-Morin-Rallo
Ranford-Smith-Glennie
Henderson-Root-Stransky
Troock-Peters-Dalhuisen

Gaunce-Fortunus
Mangene-Valentine
Honka-Jokipakka

Rynnas

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ritchie (call up)
Faksa, Wrenn, McKenzie, Meech (scratch)
Dowling (injury)

The Stars lost Branden Troock to injury in the game.

Tonight's attendance was 2,900.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Oklahoma City - January 6 2015

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