Stars Open 10th Anniversary Season with 3-1 Win
CEDAR PARK, Texas - The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, began their 2018-19 campaign with a 3-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park tonight. Texas never trailed in the game and the win pushes the Stars to a perfect 10-0-0-0 in Home Openers in franchise history.
The 10th anniversary season began with the hoisting of the 2018 Western Conference Championship banner, exciting the Stars right off the opening faceoff. The Stars were put on the penalty kill in the first three minutes but made the best of a bad situation. Joel L'Esperance stole a puck at center ice from the Griffins and forced the play into the offensive zone. Griffins goaltender Harri Sateri came out to play the puck away from L'Esperance but sent it right to Colton Hargrove. The Dallas, Texas native scored the goal to open the scoring at 3:03 of the first period.
The Stars were put in penalty trouble later in the period resulting in a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Griffins. Matthew Ford scored the goal on the power play as the Griffins tied the game. Grand Rapids finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play.
Texas goaltender Landon Bow shut down the Griffins from there. The netminder made 24 saves in the game and was sensational to earn his first win of the year. His work helped lead the Stars into the first intermission and made way for L'Esperance to advance the score.
The rookie forward broke into the offensive zone during the second period after Hargrove and Erik Condra broke the play up at center ice. Condra tossed the puck to the right side and L'Esperance sped past the Grand Rapids defenseman in the right circle. His wrist shot tucked just inside the post and eventually became the game winning goal at 14:13 of the second period.
After a hard fought third period, the Griffins required an extra skater in the final two minutes to attempt a comeback. The Stars answered with an empty net goal. Justin Dowling put the final goal on the board on an empty net to ice the game and earn a Texas win.
The Stars return to the H-E-B Center tomorrow night to face the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, and will begin their 10th anniversary season at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park this Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. 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.
Images from this story
Iowa Stars celebrate a Joel L'Esperance goal against the Grand Rapids Griffins
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