Dowling Posts Game-High Three Points, Morrow Two Assists in Stars Debut
HOUSTON, TX – Alex Chiasson scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Texas Stars reclaimed first place overall in the American Hockey League with a wild 7-6 win over the Houston Aeros Tuesday night at Toyota Center.
Jason Zucker gave Houston an early lead as his centering pass went off the heel of Stars captain Maxime Fortunus’ skate and into the net for a power play goal at 5:49 of the first period. Texas responded three minutes later as Justin Dowling redirected a William Wrenn shot from the point, tipping the puck down to the ice and bouncing it over the right shoulder of goaltender Matt Hackett at 8:32. Rookie defenseman Joe Morrow, making his Texas Stars debut, recorded the second assist on the goal. With their first power play of the night the Stars capitalized to grab their first lead. Travis Morin made a beautiful cross-ice pass to Matt Fraser for a one-timer into the far post at 11:34, just six seconds after the power play began. The goal was Fraser’s AHL-leading 16th power play and tied him for the league lead with 32 goals on the year.
Fortunus gave Texas a 3-1 lead at the 12-minute mark of the second period as his shot deflected off a Houston defender and went into the net. Steven Kampfer pass hit off Tyler Sloan went in to make it 3-2 at 14:21, however, Texas responded 26 seconds later. Reilly Smith, sent down from Dallas earlier in the day, scored his 12th AHL goal of the year, assisted by Scott Glennie and Taylor Vause, the second assist of the game for both forwards.
Houston rallied early in the third period with three goals to erased the Stars lead. The Aeros first struck at 3:28 when Justin Fontaine’s shot went off the leg of Sloan and into the net for the third “own goal” of the night. Less than two minutes later Brett Bulmer was awarded a penalty shot and he beat goalie Jack Campbell Campbell through the legs at 5:14 to tie the game at four. Bulmer’s goal with the first penalty shot goal allowed by Texas in the team’s four-year history. David McIntyre completed the comeback by one-timing a rebound from a Fontaine shot at 11:11 to give the Aeros a 5-4 lead. The Stars gave Houston a taste of its own medicine by tying the game with an Aeros’ own goal. Dowling fired a cross-crease pass that hit off Kampfer and went in at 13:05 for his second goal of the night, assisted by Alex Chiasson and Morrow, who tallied his second assist of the game. A mere 55 seconds later Tyler Sloan one-timed a dazzling pass from Smith past the glove of Hacket to give Texas a 6-5 lead. The Aeros pulled their goaltender and were able to tie the game in the final minute as Mikael Granlund scored at 19:08 to force overtime.
The Stars recorded all the shots on goal in the extra session and at 3:17 Chiasson and Dowling executed a scintillating give-and-go that ended with Dowling threading a pass across the crease for a back-door goal from Chiasson to win the game in overtime.
Jack Campbell stopped 23-of-29 shots to record his 15th win of the season in goal for Texas. Matt Hackett made 24 saves on 31 shots and was tagged with the loss in goal for Houston. The Stars out-shot the Aeros 31-29 in the game and both teams went 1-for-2 on the power play. Texas improved to 4-1-1-0 in six games at Toyota Center this season and 6-2-2-1 overall against Houston with one game remaining in the 2012-13 season series. Rookie Reilly Smith finished with two points (1 goal, 1 assist) and set a Stars season-high with a +4 plus-minus rating.
The Stars return home on Saturday March 30th for a 7:00 p.m. showdown against the Grand Rapids Griffins at Cedar Park Center. Saturday’s game is another Family Four Pack Night and the Stars Magnet Photo Frame Giveaway Night. 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.