Hulak Scores in Debut, Ranford Has Three Assists as Stars Earn Point
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Derek Hulak scored on his very first shot of his AHL career and Brendan Ranford had three assists, but the Texas Stars squandered a 3-0 lead and fell to the San Antonio Rampage 5-4 in a shootout Thursday night at AT&T Center. By earning a point in the game, Texas improve to an AHL-best 93 points on the season.
The game resumed with 12:01 remaining in the first period and a 2-0 Texas lead, with goals scoring on March 1st by Scott Glennie at 0:57 and Curtis McKenzie at 3:06. When play got back underway there were 13 players missing from the original lineups, with the Stars missing five and the Rampage missing eight. Left wing Derek Hulak, who was making his AHL debut, got things going at 13:46 when he scored on his first career AHL shot, taking a beautiful cross-ice pass from rookie Brendan Ranford and beating goalie Scott Clemmensen for a 3-0 lead. San Antonio got on the board at 16:11 when Wade Megan tipped a Mike Mottau shot from the blue line down and through the legs of Jack Campbell for a power play goal.
The Rampage crept closer in the second period. John McFarland stole the puck away from Matej Stransky and skated in all along on Campbell. The Stars’ goaltender made the initial save with his left pad, but with no defenders to clear out, McFarland had an unimpeded second effort and tucked his shot around Campbell at 6:09.
San Antonio tied the game at three just 4:09 into the third period when Jed Ortmeyer tipped and John Lee slap shot passed Campbell for the home team’s third straight goal. With just under seven minutes left in regulation, defenseman Derek Meech took a pass from Ranford and had all kinds of space in front of him. Meech walked the puck into the slot and crushed a slap shot into the top left corner of the net, beating Clemmensen for his second goal of the season at 13:02, putting Texas ahead 4-3. Ranford notched his third assist of the game on that goal, while Taylor Vause picked up the second assist. The lead would last just 70 seconds as Megan slammed in a rebound at 14:12 for his second power play goal of the night, tying the game at four.
The Stars were whistled for too-many men early in overtime, giving San Antonio a four-on-three power play. Texas killed off the infraction, but still need a sensational glove save by Campbell as time expired in the extra session to reach the shootout. Matej Stransky gave the Stars the lead with a goal in the first round of the shootout, but Anthony Luciani tied things in the third round and Jared Gomes scored in the fifth round to win the game for the Rampage 5-4.
Scott Clemmensen (3-5-0) stopped 23-of-25 shots in the game and 4-of-5 in the shootout to record his third win of the season in goal for San Antonio. Jacob Markstrom, who started the game on March 1st, but was traded to Vancouver on March 5th, allowed two goals on four shots in the first 7:59 of action. Jack Campbell (10-1-1) suffered his first shootout loss in goal for Texas this year, finishing with 20 saves on 24 shots and stopped 3-of-5 in the shootout. The Stars out-shot the Rampage 29-25 in the game and did not have a power play for the first time this season; San Antonio was 2-for-4 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars will return to Cedar Park Center on Saturday March 29th as they host the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s game is First Responders Night presented by Capital EMS with a Texas Stars Car Windshield Sun Shade giveaway; it is also a Coke Zero Family Four Pack night and a Texas Lottery Lucky Row night. Pro-rated full and partial 2013-14 Texas Stars Season Tickets are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
Photo credit: Kevin Schaefer/Texas Stars