Stars Extend Road Point Streak to Three Games; Travel to Hamilton Tuesday
TORONTO, ON – Justin Dowling and Maxime Fortunus each scored goals for the Texas Stars, but the Toronto Marlies twice rallied from a one-goal deficit to sneak away with a 3-2 shootout victory on Sunday night at Ricoh Coliseum.
The Stars got off to a fast start and grabbed the lead just 2:21 into the game. Center Justin Dowling ripped a shot from the slot that beat Marlies goaltender Drew MacIntyre’s glove side and went off the inside of the fart post and in for his first goal of the season, assisted by Jyrki Jokipakka and Cameron Gaunce. Toronto fought back to tie the game at 10:47 when Brad Staubitz stole a breakout pass on the right wing of the Stars zone, skated in on Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp and quickly slid a pass to the top of the crease to find Jamie Devane for a one-timer into the far side of the net. The Marlies got into penalty trouble late in the period, taking back-to-back minors, followed by an infraction by Texas, to give the Stars a four-on-three man-advantage. Captain Maxime Fortunus, who missed the last two games due to injury, returned to the lineup with a bang, sending a scorching shot from the high slot into the top right corner of the net for a power play goal at 19:03 and a 2-1 Stars lead. Chris Mueller had the lone assist on Fortunus’ second goal of the season.
Just like Toronto in the first period, Texas caught the penalty bug in the middle frame. The Marlies failed to score on three power play opportunities in the frame, but did score just seven seconds after a man-advantage expired. Defenseman Korbinian Holzer started the rush up the ice and then finished off the play by picking up a rebound and shooting under the blocker of Nilstorp at 13:48 to level the game at two.
The Marlies hit the post twice in the third period and both goaltenders came up with some strong saves to send the game into overtime. Early in the extra session Nilstorp made a crucial post-to-post save to deny a shot by Petter Granberg and keep the game going. Texas received a power play with just over two minutes left in overtime, giving the team a four-on-three advantage. However, the Stars failed to score and the game went to a shootout.
It was the first shootout this season for both Texas and Toronto. Spencer Abbott scored on the very first shot, but then in the fifth round, with the game on the line, rookie Brett Ritchie tied the game with a lethal shot on MacIntyre. John-Michael Liles scored in the seventh round for the Marlies, but once again a Stars rookie came through in the clutch when Brendan Ranford scored to force an eighth round. Scott Glennie nearly won the shootout in the ninth round, but hit the left post with his backhand, that even forced a video review by the referees just to make sure they got the call right. Then in the tenth round Sam Carrick beat Nilstorp and Toby Petersen was denied by MacIntyre as Toronto won the shootout, and the game, 3-2.
Drew MacIntyre finished with 19 saves on 21 shots in regulation and overtime and then denied 8-of-10 shootout attempts to record his eighth win of the year in goal for Toronto. Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp turned in another excellent performance, stopping 28-of-30 shots in 65 minutes of action and turning aside 7-of-10 shootout attempts to give the Stars points in three-straight road games. The Marlies out-shot Texas 30-21 in the game and went 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Stars were 1-for-6 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars will complete their current road trip on Tuesday, November 19th as they face the Hamilton Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. CT at Copps Coliseum. Texas’ next home game is on Friday, November 22nd against the San Antonio Rampage at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center. The game against San Antonio is a $3 Beer & $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Night and is the Stars Fleece Ear Warmer giveaway. 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: TSGphoto.com