|Curtis McKenzie congratulates Travis Morin on his milestone|
(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The Stars were offensively dominant in the first period, outshooting the Rampage to the tune of 14-7 but went into first intermission without anything to show for it. Former Texas Star Brandon Ranford created a 2-on-1 rush with Dominic Toninato, and Ranford's shot gerneated a rebound for Toninato to put it past Bow. To make matters more challenging for the Stars, Brian Flynn, currently on a goal scoring hot streak, took a hard fall to the ice after being checked into the boards. He went to the locker room and did not return for the rest of the game.
The power play unit for the Stars continued to make strides towards greatness as the Stars have picked up 21 power play goals in the last 21 games and are currently ranked 8th in the AHL. Morin helped the cause with his two assists to McKenzie's two power play goals. The first goal came in the first minute of the second period on a wraparound. The second was in the third period to pull the Stars within one.
Things took an unfortunate turn for the Stars when they were called for multiple infractions in the period after a clean first period with the Rampage earning 33 seconds of a 5-on-3. Nicholas Miloche gave the Rampage the lead again with a one timer after the first penalty expired. Ranford and Toninato both tallied another point as they picked up the assists. With less than a minute left in the middle frame, Rocco Grimaldi gave the Rampage a two goal lead with a wraparound goal on another power play.
The Stars didn't have much time to bask in Morin's milestone in the third period. They turned it over behind their blue line, and Alex Belzile gathered the puck and beat Bow to push their lead back to two. Determined to give Morin their all, the Stars turned it up in the final three minutes of play scoring back-to-back goals to tie the game. Gavin Bayreuther scored first from the point, and McKenzie had the equalizer to complete the hat trick.
McKenzie almost sealed the game with a breakaway on the first shift, but Martin stopped him cold. Sheldon Dries took a high stick that went uncalled, and Grimaldi scored his second goal of the night to put a damper on Morin's historic night.
The Texas Stars square off against the San Antonio Rampage again on Friday, December 29th in San Antonio. The puck drops at 7:30 CST.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Hintz, Fyten (scratch)
Rallo, Regner (injury)
Elie, Honka (call-up)
Tonight's attendance was 5,289.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - December 27 2017