Stars Offense Blows out Flames in 7-4 Win
CEDAR PARK, Texas - Three consecutive second period goals propelled the Texas Stars to a 7-4 win over the Adirondack Flames in a chippy contest that saw a combined 84 penalty minutes at Cedar Park Center on Wednesday night in front of 4,731.
Scott Valentine, Greg Rallo, and Justin Dowling each scored in the middle frame as Texas (33-21-13-1) turned a one-goal first-period deficit into a 4-3 advantage heading into the last 20 minutes of play. Dowling (two goals, one assist) and Valeri Nichushkin (three assists) led the Stars offense with three-point games. Jack Campbell earned the win, stopping 23 shots. Brad Thiessen took the loss for Adirondack (32-27-6-2), and was pulled after the Stars tallied their sixth goal of the night early in the third.
Valentine, appearing in his 250th professional game, registered a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" with a goal, an assist and a fight in the contest.
Texas remains sixth in the AHL's Western Conference standings, two points ahead of Milwaukee, and setting up an important game on Friday when the Stars and Admirals meet at 7 p.m. in Milwaukee.
The Flames opened the scoring in the contest with first-period goals from Bill Arnold and Max Reinhart at 8:57 and 18:05. Stars leading scorer Travis Morin netted his 36th of the year off of a crossing feed from Jamie Oleksiak at 11:01 of the frame to cut the Adirondack lead to 2-1 at the first intermission break.
The Stars tallied three straight second-period goals to take the upper hand in the contest. Valentine hammered home Nichushkin's drop pass from the top of the left circle at 12:12 to draw Texas even. Twenty seconds later, a Brendan Ranford backhand shot caught the skate of Greg Rallo and bounced in to pull the Stars ahead. Justin Dowling added the Stars only power play goal of the evening at 15:24 to extend the Texas lead to 4-2, but Garnet Hathaway slipped one past Campbell just 47 seconds later to draw the Flames to within one.
In the third, Brett Ritchie made it 5-3 for Texas at 1:22 of the third on a tow-dragging wrist shot from the slot in his return to the Stars after being reassigned by Dallas earlier in the week. Scott Glennie added a breakaway goal at 6:23 for his 14th of the year. Emile Poirier scored late for Adirondack, but Dowling's empty-net goal with 18 seconds left to play sealed the game for Texas.
The Stars were 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Flames finished 0-for-2. Doug Carr came on in relief of Thiessen, stopping all three shots he faced in just under 12 minutes of 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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Texas Stars vs. Adirondack Flames
(Christina Shaprio/Texas Stars)
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