Griffins Close Texas Series with 3-2 Win
CEDAR PARK, Texas - With help from Dominik Shine's goal at 15:53 of the third period, the Grand Rapids Griffins notched a 3-2 win over the Texas Stars at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on Saturday.
The win was backed by a 23-save effort from Harri Sateri, who now has seven points in his last eight appearances. The victory marked the goaltender's 21st win this season, the first time he has hit that mark in his AHL career. Carter Camper also reached a league milestone, scoring a goal while skating in his 500th AHL game.
Grand Rapids (36-19-6-4) now sits alone at second in Central Division standings with 82 points, two above the Iowa Wild and two behind the Chicago Wolves. The Griffins will travel to Iowa on Tuesday to finish off their six-game road trip, but first will close out their season series with the the San Antonio Rampage tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT.
The Stars (32-29-4-3) poured on shots quickly, recording eight before Texas goaltender Landon Bow had to turn away Vili Saarijarvi's attempt around the halfway point of first period. Two chances on the power play pushed the total to 10-3 in favor of the Stars after 20 minutes, but Sateri collected saves on all of them to keep the teams scoreless heading into the second period.
At 5:24 of the middle frame, Texas managed to jump on the board first off a goal from Joel Hanley. A battle along the boards landed the puck in the hands of Texas forward Adam Mascherin, who then skated it to the left-wing circle in the Griffins' zone. There, Mascherin passed the puck across the ice to Hanley, who buried it from the right-wing circle for a one-goal lead.
Later in the period, just a few minutes after a shot from Chris Terry rang off the post of Bow's net, Dominic Turgeon tied the game with his sixth goal of the year. After Saarijarvi ripped off a shot from the right point, Turgeon deflected the puck into the net from the doorstep at 12:11 to put the score at 1-1.
A scrum after the second period left Texas with its third power play of the game to start the final frame, but a goal wasn't scored until four seconds after the chance expired. After Sateri turned away a shot from Stars defenseman Dillon Heatherington, Nicholas Caamano put away the rebound to put Texas back in the lead.
At 11:23 of the third, the Griffins found their first power play of the night and didn't let the opportunity go to waste. Less than a minute in, Terry collected the puck at the left point and slid it across the ice to Camper below the right-wing circle. From there, Camper lobbed the puck over Bow's left shoulder, tying the game at 2-2.
With his sixth goal of the year, Shine gave the Griffins their first lead of the night late in regulation. Givani Smith gained control of the puck after it was knocked away from Texas near its blue line and fired it towards Shine near the slot. After dragging the puck out of reach from Stars defenseman Gavin Bayreuther, Shine pitched it past Bow for a 3-2 lead.
Around the 18-minute mark, Texas pulled Bow for an extra attacker. A hooking penalty 1:27 later left the Griffins battling a 6-on-4 disadvantage and defending their one-goal lead for the remainder of the game.
For the fourth time that night, though, the Stars' chances on the power play would be completely blanked. In the final five seconds of regulation, a shot from forward Travis Morin was blocked and Sateri registered a kick-save on a one-timer from Bayreuther, solidifying the 3-2 victory over Texas.
Notes: Chase Pearson, a three-year letterwinner and two-time captain for the University of Maine's hockey team, made his pro debut with the Griffins...Grand Rapids was without Matt Puempel (12-11-23), one of the Griffins' two leading scorers on the road. Puempel was recalled by the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.
Three Stars: 1. GR Shine (game-winning goal); 2. GR Sateri (W, 23 saves); 3. TEX Caamano (goal)
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