Sellout Crowd Sees Stars End Regular Season with 4-3 Overtime Win
CEDAR PARK, Texas - In the final game of the regular season for both teams, the rival Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage needed overtime on Saturday night to determine the outcome with Brendan Ranford scoring the game-winner for the Stars in front of a sold out crowd of 6,863 at Cedar Park Center.
Patrik Nemeth setup Ranford at 4:49 of the extra period on an odd-man rush as the forward scored his 18th of the season. The game-winning goal for Ranford offered a bit of redemption, after he snapped a wrist shot earlier in the overtime period from the right circle that deflected off both goal posts, but never fully crossed the line, and needed video review before determine that play would continue. The win was the 250th in franchise history for the Stars, who will face the Rockford IceHogs in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Game 1 is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center.
The game took a swing for both sides as the Stars (40-22-13-1) scored all three of their goals in period one, and the Rampage (45-23-7-1) added their offense in period two, before both clubs needed overtime. Jack Campbell earned his 11th win his past 14 games, stopping 30 shots. Michael Houser suffered the loss, stopping 24 of 27.
Julius Honka slipped in a wrist shot from the right point at 7:01 of the first to put Texas in front on his eighth of the season. Matej Stransky then scored a pair of goals with the first coming at 13:15 on a wrap-around effort, and the second at 18:13 deflecting a Brandon Troock wrist shot to give him seven on the season.
San Antonio responded in the second off a goal by Connor Brickley at 5:18 to give the rookie forward 22 this year. Wade Megan forced a turnover at center ice to create his own shorthanded breakaway goal at 13:22, and Vincent Trochek stuffed in a loose puck at the right side of the crease with just over a minute left in the period to equalize things.
A scoreless third period set up the overtime drama between the two division rivals, and the heroics of Ranford.
The Stars closed out their regular season on a four-game winning streak, and split their season series with the Rampage as both teams won six of the 12 games played. The Stars won the final five meetings, including all three this week. Texas rookie Jason Dickinson notched an assist in the game to give him two points in his first two career AHL games. Mattias Backman also made his Texas Stars debut on defense.
Each team finished 0-for-1 on the power play.
The Texas Stars entered the 2014-15 season as the AHL's defending Calder Cup Champions. Single-game tickets for the remainder of the 2014-15 season are on sale now, and fans can now place season ticket package deposits for the 2015-16 campaign. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStarsHockey.com.
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