Friday, May 4, 2018

Stars Even Series Against Roadrunners With 4-1 Road Win

(credit: Tucson Roadrunners)
The Texas Stars will head back to Cedar Park with home ice advantage after dispatching the Tucson Roadrunners 4-1. Mike McKenna stopped 32 of 33 shots to continue his strong postseason and help the Stars tie the series at one. A far more competitive game than the final score indicated, Brian Flynn scored two empty net goals to bring his playoff goal total to four. Sheldon Dries and Curtis McKenzie also scored for the Stars.

Besides a relentless forecheck from the Stars, the first sixteen minutes of play was relatively quiet. The puck pursuit by Texas paid off when they retrieved in the zone, and Jason Dickinson set up Remi Elie in the slot. Elie's shot was tipped by Dries for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Stars seized further control of the game with McKenzie's first tally of the postseason. Gavin Bayreuther served up a shot from the point that McKenzie redirected into the net with under a minute left of first period play, deflating the Roadrunners heading into the first intermission.

The game was there for the taking in the second period when the Roadrunners committed four consecutive penalties, the first three of the high sticking variety. The Stars benefitted from two instances of 5-on-3 but weren't able to make Tucson pay for their infractions. With a frenzied home crowd growing restless, the game turned chippy with seven minutes left in the middle frame.

A huge fracas broke out behind McKenna's net that saw multiple players trading blows. Somehow, the Stars came out of the chaos with another power play but malfunctioned on the man advantage once again.

After McKenna bailed his team out several times as the Roadrunners outshot the Stars 19-5 in the third period. He only couldn't keep Lane Pederson from cutting into the Texas lead. Eight and a half minutes in, the Tucson forward notched his third goal of the playoffs making the Stars sweat out the final half period of play.

Though the Roadrunners made their push, Flynn sent the fans to the exits with his two empty net tallies with less than a minute left in the game.

The Stars will play game three against the Roadrunners on Monday in Cedar Park.

Tonight's lines:
Elie-Dickinson-Dries
Flynn-Hintz-Gurianov
Morin-Dowling-McKenzie
Mangene-Markison-L’Esperance

Heatherington-Regner
Bodnarchuk-Nyberg
Bayreuther-Scarlett

McKenna

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
O'Brien, Payne, Laberge, Calderone, Kelleher, Rallo, Hansson, Paliotta, Gillam, Robertson (scratch)
Fyten (injury)


Tonight's attendance was 4,905.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Tucson - May 4 2018

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