|(credit: Texas Stars)|
Mike McKenna stopped 32 of 34 shots and had an assist on a coast to coast goal from defenseman Andrew O'Brien that tied the game in the second period. It was McKenna's first assist in a Stars uniform. O'Brien, who had been a regular scratch recently, notched his third goal as a Star.
Jason Dickinson squared off against his younger brother Josh, who has played a few games for the Rampage on an ATO, for the first time both their careers. Josh Dickinson had an assist on A.J. Greer's greasy power play goal in the first period that put the Rampage up by one, the only lead they possessed in the game. Jason Dickinson was assessed a game misconduct penalty in the third period period due to instigating a scuffle after he endured a dangerous hit.
The Stars penalty kill received a major test in the game--perhaps a good thing with the unit being a glaring weakness headed into the playoffs. Early results were not good, with Greer getting his goal on the first power play for the Rampage. Afterward, the Stars killed five consecutive penalties and found pay dirt with a shorthanded goal from Colin Markison five minutes into the third period. Joel L'Esperance had an impressive assist on the play.
The three unanswered goals from the Stars from O'Brien, Gurianov, and Markison over the second and third periods gave the Stars a 3-1 lead. Center Felix Girard quickly answered Markison's shorthanded tally, but the Rampage never threatened further, aside from their questionable hits.
Such extra-cirrucular activity sparked outrage from Dillon Heatherington and Sheldon Dries.
With Gurianov's second goal seven minutes into the third period sealing the deal, the Stars can move up in the playoff picture as high as the second seed. As of this writing, the Stockton Heat have opened up a 4-0 lead on the Ontario Reign. The Stars will still need to handle their business in tomorrow's game to get the highest seed possible.
They will ice their likely playoff lineup in tomorrow's final regular season home game against the Rampage. The puck is set to drop at 7:00 PM CDT.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Bodnarchuk, Bayreuther, McKenzie, Flynn, Morin, Dowling, Mangene (scratch)
Today's attendance was 9,235.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - April 13 2018