Stars Force Overtime with Late Comeback, Fall 4-3
CEDAR PARK, Texas - The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, forced overtime tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals to gain a standings point but were unable to add a second in the decision. Third period goals by Niklas Hansson and Joel L'Esperance tied the game and earned the Stars three of a possible four points on opening weekend.
The Stars began the scoring in the first period, notching a goal just before the halfway mark of the period. After serving his time in the penalty box, Dillon Heatherington broke down the ice and wrapped around the net. The shot tucked just inside the pads of goaltender Troy Grosenick for Heatherington's first goal of the season. The Admirals bounced back and tied the score before the break on a breakaway goal from Anthony Richard.
In the second, Milwaukee put Texas behind for the first time this season. Colin Blackwell connected on a one-timer to score a power play goal and push the Admirals to a 2-1 advantage. The teams combined for 23 shots in the period but netminders Colton Point and Grosenick were equally up for the task. Point's pro debut ended with 21 saves while Grosenick took the win with the same save total.
Nicholas Baptiste gave the Admirals a two goal cushion in the third period and netting his first of the campaign. The Stars would bounce back and take the momentum. With less than 12 minutes to play Justin Dowling came around the net and pushed a pass out to the right circle for Hansson. The defenseman tucked the shot just under the crossbar to dilute the deficit to a one-goal game.
With Point on the bench and an extra skater out on the ice, the Stars would tie it. Travis Morin held the puck on the left side of the ice and walked into the circle for a shot. Michael Mersch, who assisted on Hansson's goal in the third, deflected the puck over to L'Esperance on the left side of the crease. The center then jammed the puck into the yawning net to tie the contest with less than 40 seconds.
The goal forced overtime for the Stars and gave the team a point in the standings. Texas then entered overtime with a chance to take the game. Despite a couple of chances for the Stars, the 3-on-3 extra period came to a close with a breakaway goal from Rocco Grimaldi, giving the Admirals the extra point.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, and are back at the H-E-B Center on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for their next game against the Iowa Wild. Full-season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2018-19 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
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Texas Stars LW Michael Mersch vs. the Milwaukee Admirals
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