|(Credit: Tucson Roadrunners)|
Winning the first game is a big deal in any series. The Stars are 7-1 all-time when winning the first game of the series. They are 2-4 when losing it.
The Stars had chances in the regulation with one of the best of the contest coming off the stick of Colin Markison in the first period. His shot hit the post and was the closest Texas would come to until the final four minutes of the third.
The Stars found themselves in the penalty box more often than they probably would have liked. Tucson got their regulation marker on the man advantage. Mike Sislo generated the initial shot on a second period power play. The puck went five hole on McKenna and rolled into the blue paint where Bunting tapped it home.
Jason Dickinson had a good chance at a homerun pass from Brent Regner as time grew short in the third period. The pass just missed and went for icing.
With time dwindling, the always overtime-ready Stars found a way to make it to their 31st overtime game of the year. On the power play, Travis Morin sent the puck to the net where Brian Flynn tipped it past Hill to tie the game with 3:35 left in regulation. Texas had two more excellent chances in the remaining time, including one with just a few seconds left, but it would take more than sixty to decide this one.
After letting up several 2-on-1s in the third but seeing Mike McKenna bail them out, Texas finally ran out of luck in overtime. With 11:07 left in the OT period, Bunting potted the winner on a 2-on-1, beating McKenna with Tucson's 36th shot of the night.
Texas has a chance to even then series on Friday still in Tucson.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
O'Brien, Payne, Calderone, Kelleher, Rallo, Hansson, Paliotta, Nyberg, Gillam (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 3,233.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Tucson - May 2 2018