Texas Gets Second Consecutive Shootout Win Behind Bow's Strong Play, Beat Grand Rapids 4-3

The Texas Stars earned their second win of the season in yet another shootout as they held off the Grand Rapids Griffins in a 4-3 contest. That makes their third straight shootout as the Stars split the previous two.

Landon Bow saw a lot of rubber in the contest from the talented Griffins forward group and ended up blanking all three shooters in the shootout period. For context, the Griffins ice seven first round picks in their lineup and are feasting on the power play this year to the tune of 33%.

(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)

“[Grand Rapids has] some creative firepower over there, and I thought [Bow] stood his ground very well in the shootout,” said head coach Derek Laxdal. “[He’s] been a strength of our club. He had an outstanding training camp for Dallas. With the young group that we have we’re going to need big nights in the net.”

Bow was peppered with 39 pucks in regulation and overtime and came away with 36 saves. To his credit, Bow knew what to expect against a talented opponent.
“We knew how good they were gonna be coming in, and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy for us,” he said. “That’s a really good AHL lineup. They came out with a hot push, and we knew we had to push back if we wanted a chance tonight.”

Penalties were a problem for the Stars in the contest as they ended up taking seven and ceded two goals. The first came in the opening frame when Matt Puempel found the net over Bow’s shoulder from the left circle halfway through the period. The Stars were outshot 13-5 in the first period but would flip the script in the second.

“We just talked about some of the things we could do better,” said Laxdal. “You have to be able to grind a game out when you’re down one. Give our guys credit.”

Conner Bleackley found the net once again, giving him three goals in three games for Texas. This one came on the rush seven minutes into the second period. The Stars then took advantage of Grand Rapids’ struggling penalty kill as Brad McClure blistered a one timer from the right circle, giving the Stars their first lead.

“We got a couple of good looks in the second period to get up 2-1, scored a nice power play goal, had a couple other good looks. Give the guys credit for making the changes to have better execution on the power play.”

The Stars pushed the lead to two when Reece Scarlett’s wrister from the blue line found the top shelf two minutes into the third period. It was a welcome sight for the veteran rearguard who spent all of last season recovering from an ACL injury.

“It was a long time coming,” he said of the goal. “It feels good just to be playing hockey again. To be able to contribute and help the team win, that’s huge too.”

The Stars gave up another power play goal in the third as Givani Smith beat bow through a screen five minutes into the frame. The next goal could’ve been a back breaker as the Griffins both tied the game and forced Bow into a mistake. After muffing the glove save, the Griffins cleaned up the loose puck in the slot. “I really regret the third goal, but the guys helped me out after that and really gave a strong push the rest of the third,” said Bow.

As stated earlier, Bow completely atoned for it during both overtime and the shootout. The Stars managed to draw a penalty during overtime, but couldn’t come away with the game winner. Taner Kero scored for the Stars during the shootout, and it was all they would need as Bow finished the final round with a strong poke check to seal the victory.

“I had no idea why, but I was thinking poke check the entire way. He had gotten really close in there, so I didn’t have to get my stick out too far. I gave it a little push, and I’m happy I didn’t miss.”

He concluded, “Today was a really good team win. Right now we’re starting to click together as a team after a couple of team builders before the last two games and a hard week of practice. We deserved it.”

The Stars play Grand Rapids once again tomorrow night at 7 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Caamano, Vala, Calderone, Melnick, Cecconi (scratch)
Gardner, Hanley, Gurianov (callup)

Tonight’s attendance was 4,925.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Grand Rapids - October 18 2019