Grand Rapids Blanks Texas 1-0 in Heated Goalie Duel

(Credit: Nicolas Carrillo / Grand Rapids Griffins)

In the end, Grand Rapids netminder Sebastian Cossa was one save better than Texas' Remi Poirier with the visiting Stars falling by a 1-0 score to the host Griffins tonight in Michigan. The lone goal of the evening was scored on the first shift, and no one pierced either goalie for 59:35 thereafter. It was Texas' first shutout loss since April 10, 2022.

The game, and the road trip generally, was an important one for Texas. The Griffins seemed mired in the battle at the bottom of the Central Division at Christmas with Texas clearly in control of the division. Since then, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee have both gone on impressive tears while Texas has slumped. Milwaukee's 17-game winning streak is well-documented, but GRG has not lost a game in regulation since January 12th and is 14-2-2-2 since these two teams last tangled before the holidays.

Meanwhile, Texas is 8-11-1-1 in the same span. As a result, the two clubs have flipped in the standings with Grand Rapids now holding second place and Texas just behind by a point after tonight's result. The rest of the division sits below .500, so it appears this will be a race between Grand Rapids and Texas for home ice in the first round of the playoffs, which are only two months away.

Detroit's status as a playoff team or not will also potentially affect who is lacing them up for the Griffins, so that is something to watch with more interest than usual for Texas fans this year.

The only goal of the evening in this contest was, as mentioned, on the first shift. Albert Johansson ripped a one-timer past Remi Poirier on what was the first shot of the game for either side. From there, both goalies shut the door. Poirier stopped 32 shots while Cossa earned his first AHL shutout with 28 stops.

These teams battle again on Saturday night, but first, the Stars will make a trip to Rockford on Friday night.

Tonight's lines



Injuries, scratches and notes
Pouliot (callup)
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Berard, Reedy, Caamano (out - upper body)
McKenzie (injury, lower body out until late March/early April)

Even with all the turmoil in Dallas from the last few days, Texas rolled the same 12 forwards and 6 defenders as Saturday night. Logan Stankoven returned as did Alex Petrovic.

With Curtis McKenzie out of the lineup, the Stars added a third "A" to their roster: Oskar Bäck.

Tonight's attendance was 5,120.