Sceviour, Morin Both Register Two-Point Games in Game 4 Loss
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Texas Stars led 3-2 heading into the third period, but allowed five goals to the Oklahoma City Barons and lost 7-3 Wednesday night at Cox Convention Center in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Barons now lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and Game 5 will be played on Thursday, May 16th at 7:00 p.m. at Cox Convention Center.
Early in the first period Cristopher Nilstorp came up with a big save on Barons forward, and fellow Swede, Toni Rajala, who had a one-on-one chance. At the other end Yann Danis stopped a close range chance from Cameron Gaunce and watch Gaunce backhand the rebound wide of the gaping net.
The offense erupted for both teams in the second period. C.J. Stretch opened the scoring by tipping in a shot from Brandon Davidson at 1:27 to give Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead. Texas responded five minutes later as Reilly Smith made a deft pass to the far post to Brett Ritchie and the Stars rookie slammed the puck into the open net at 6:49 to tie the game. The goal was Ritchie’s second of the playoffs and first since his overtime-winner in Game 1 of the first round series with Milwaukee. After killing off three-straight Barons power plays to open the game, Texas was finally given one of their own, a four-on-three man-advantage. Colton Sceviour cashed in with a power play goal, his first of the post-season, poking a loose puck from a Jordie Benn shot through the pads of Danis and into the net at 13:13. Benn and Travis Morin both assisted on the goal.
The 2-1 Texas lead lasted just 1:20 before the Barons tied it at two. Mark Arcobello’s penalty for roughing expired and he stepped out of the penalty box right to a long pass from Philippe Cornet and raced off on a breakaway. Arcobello, the Barons’ leading goal-scorer of the playoffs, snapped a shot through the legs of Nilstorp at 14:33 for his seventh goal of the playoffs and fourth of the series. The Stars had the last response of the second period when they capitalized on a delayed-penalty to Oklahoma City. Nilstorp quickly skated to the bench for an extra-attacker and Morin made an incredible diagonal cross-ice pass to find Joe Morrow wide open at the bottom on the left circle. Morrow ripped the puck into the open net before Danis could get across to cover to give Texas a 3-2 lead at 18:15. The goal was Morrow’s second of the playoffs and was assisted by Morin and Sceviour.
The tides shifted dramatically as Oklahoma City scored five times in the third period. Antti Tyrvainen got the comeback started when he poked in a rebound off the left pad of Nilstorp to tie the game 3-3 at 6:52. Taylor Fedun put the Barons in front for good with a shot from the right point stemming from a blocked shot in the slot that snuck inside the near post at 14:24. Texas turned desperate and took more chances and risks offensively, which exposed them to counter attacks. That’s exactly what Oklahoma City did as Arcobello finished off a two-on-one rush with two minutes left in regulation, his second goal of the game, to put the hosts ahead by two goals. The Stars pulled Nilstorp as they scrambled to recover, only for Tyrvainen to score on the empty net from deep in his own zone 36 seconds later and make it 6-3. The Barons received another power play with 1:10 left in regulation and Garrett Stafford scored with 15 seconds remaining to cap off the scoring at 7-3.
Yann Danis earned his sixth win of the playoffs by stopping 26-of-29 shots in goal for Oklahoma City. Cristopher Nilstorp made 39 saves on 45 shots in goal for Texas, suffering his first back-to-back losses of the post-season. The Barons out-shot the Stars 46-29 and went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Texas was 1-for-3 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars face a must-win situation in Game 5 on Thursday, May 16th at 7:00 p.m. at Cox Convention Center as they trail the Oklahoma City Barons 3-2 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals. If the Stars win Game 5 Thursday night, Game 6 will be played at Cedar Park Center on Monday, May 20th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all Stars home games in the series are on sale now via Ticketmaster or the Cedar Park Center Box Office. Ticket packages for all remaining Texas Stars 2013 home playoff games are also on sale and may be purchased by calling 512-GO-STARS.
2013-14 Season Tickets are now on sale. Put your deposit for 2013-14 season tickets and receive priority for both Texas Stars 2013 Calder Cup playoff tickets and 2013-14 season seat selection. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
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Photo: Steve Christy/OKC Barons