Mueller Scores Game-Winning Goal Adds Two Assists for Texas
HAMILTON, ON – Chris Mueller scored the game-winning goal in overtime and also had two assists to lead the Texas Stars to a 3-2 comeback win over the Hamilton Bulldogs Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre.
Texas created some early pressure on AHL All-Star goaltender Dustin Tokarski, but the Hamilton net-minder would not yield. Four minutes into the game Nick Tarnasky intercepted a Scott Glennie cross-ice pass in the neutral zone, raced over the Stars blue line and blasted a slap shot that squirted through the pads of Texas goalie Cristopher Nilstorp and dribbled over the line. The game was intense, emphasized by two fights in the period, as Francis Wathier got the better of Hamilton’s Stefan Fournier and AHL-leading goal scorer Colton Sceviour squared off with Bulldogs defenseman Greg Pateryn. Late in the period another Stars giveaway near their own blue line led the second Hamilton goal. This time Martin St. Pierre accepted the turnover, led a three-on-two rush into the offensive zone and then slid a pass to the trailing forward Louis Leblanc, who fired his shot into the top right corner of the net for a 2-0 lead at 16:32.
Texas then used its lethal power play to get back in the game. Just 13 seconds into the second period, Travis Morin’s one-timer blazed into the net to put the Stars on the scoreboard. It was Morin’s 28th goal of the season, a five-on-three power play goal, and was assisted by Chris Mueller and Curtis McKenzie. Texas scored another power play goal at 8:21 to tie the game, this time it was McKenzie who one-timed the puck into the net on an inch-perfect pass from Mueller. Colton Sceviour also assisted on the goal, his 54th point of the season, giving the Original Texas Star is a new career high.
Nilstorp was called to make several key saves in the third period and answered everything that was asked of him to keep the score tied. Then just 93 seconds into overtime, Glennie sent a pass from behind the net that found Chris Mueller at the top of the crease and Mueller tucked his shot short side over the glove of Tokarski to win the game 3-2. Glennie and defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who returned to action after missing the last 24 games due to injury, assisted on Mueller’s 22nd goal of the season.
Cristopher Nilstorp turned in another fantastic performance in goal for Texas, stopping 25-of-27 shots to record his 17th win of the season. Dustin Tokarski finished with 44 saves on 47 shots in goal for Hamilton and was tagged with his 12th defeat of the year. The Stars out-shot the Bulldogs 47-27 and went 2-for-5 on the power play. Hamilton was 0-for-5 with the man-advantage.
Texas continues its five-game road stretch on Sunday, February 16th with a 2:05 p.m. CT faceoff with the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena in Upstate New York. The Stars will return to Cedar Park Center on Friday, February 21st as they host the Charlotte Checkers at 7:30 p.m. The February 21st home game kicks off Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center and is a $3 Beer and $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine 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: Brandon Taylor/Hamilton Bulldogs