Friday, February 22, 2019

Former Star Derek Hulak Downs Texas in the Shootout, 4-3

(Credit: Grand Rapids Griffins)
It was former Texas Star Derek Hulak with the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout tonight as the Griffins knocked off the Stars 4-3 in Grand Rapids. Texas earned a point in the effort, scoring twice in the second period to come back from a 3-1 deficit. The power play was a key element for both clubs tonight as three power play goals were scored on seven combined opportunities.

Landon Bow returned to the net for Texas, stopping 28 of 31 in the shootout loss.

Texas opened the scoring early in the first period. Michael Mersch was rebuffed on a wrap around attempt but dished to an open Denis Gurianov to make it 1-0. Grand Rapids would have its way with Texas for the rest of the period. Givani Smith, brother of former Star Gemel Smith, tied the game lofting one past Landon Bow six minute later.

In the 13th minute, Libor Sulak just waltzed in from the blue line, ripping one in for the 2-1 lead. Finally, the Grand Rapids power play activated for a literal last second goal in the period. Turner Elson flicked the puck in with less than a second remaining on the clock for the 3-1 lead.

The Stars battled back in the second period thanks to their own power plays. Niklas Hansson made a big but legal hit early in the frame and started the Griffins down a road of bad behavior. Chris Terry's unsportsmanlike coming off the hit, as he sought to fight an unwilling Hansson, triggered the game's first goal. Justin Dowling, from down low, cut the lead to 3-2 Grand Rapids.

Hansson himself would get in on the scoring, also on the power play, flinging the puck in from the point for the 3-3 tie at the end of forty minutes.

A quiet third period on the scoresheet gave way to overtime. Nicholas Caamano had the most notable moment of the frame as he tussled with Turner Elson.

Justin Dowling and Brad McClure each had fantastic chances in the OT period. Dowling broke in alone but ran out of room in front of Rybar. McClure couldn't beat Rybar off a slick pass from Travis Morin.

Travis Morin and Joel Hanley were the Stars' goal scorers in the shootout. It was Hanley's first career shootout attempt. The game winner came as Derek Hulak bored a hole through Landon Bow. It appeared Bow had the save until it trickled out from between his legs and into the net, an inglorious way to go down after a solid effort.

Texas heads to Chicago for an afternoon game against the Wolves on Sunday.

Tonight's lines:
Mersch-Dowling-Gurianov
McClure-Morin-Mascherin
Caamano-Hargrove-Condra
Naas-Payne-Calderone

Heatherington-Hansson
Bayreuther-Gleason
Hanley-Nyberg

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Markison (lower body)
Laberge (upper body)
Hanna, Phelan, Point (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 10,489.

Joel Hanley took a big hit in the third period and went down the tunnel with the trainer. He would return.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Grand Rapids - February 22 2019

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