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Stars Tie Game Late, Upend Griffins in Shootout

December 12, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

Mich. - The Texas Stars scored the game-tying goal with six seconds remaining in regulation and went on to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins, 5-4, in a shootout at Van Andel Arena.

With Mike McKenna off for the extra attacker, Jason Dickinson potted the tying tally to erase Texas' two-goal deficit in the third period. Roope Hintz was the lone scorer in the skills competition, helping the Stars (13-8-0-1) run their winning streak to five.

The Griffins (8-10-0-3) received goals from four different scorers but see their winless streak reach five games (0-3-0-2). Grand Rapids took the lead 42 seconds into the game, scoring on its first shot on goal. Skating up the left circle, Robbie Russo made a backhanded pass across the slot to an in-stride Matt Puempel, who chipped the puck inside the right post.

Texas capitalized on its first power play of the evening to tie the game at the 12:24 mark. After Denis Gurianov's shot from between the circles was blocked by Tom McCollum, Mark McNeill collected the rebound just outside the blue paint and sent a diving backhand shot behind the netminder. The tie would last just 1:24 as Turner Elson scored his team-leading eighth goal of the campaign with 6:12 remaining in the opening period. Following the Griffins holding in a Stars' clearing attempt at the left point, Matt Lorito let go a sharp-angle shot from below the left circle that was saved by Mike McKenna, only to have Elson jam the puck over the goal line.

Grand Rapids took a two-goal lead into the first intermission after Tyler Bertuzzi scored his fifth goal of the season with 40 seconds remaining in the frame. Skating 4-on-4, Elson corralled a loose puck and angling toward the left goal line delivered a feed to Bertuzzi, who was all alone on the doorstep to blast it in. Texas cut its deficit to one with 13:44 to go in the middle period. A centering effort by Samuel Laberge from the left half-wall hit Justin Dowling in front of the net and he redirected it past McCollum.

The Griffins restored their two-goal edge with 11:13 remaining in the frame. Corey Elkins intercepted a Texas pass at the right half-wall and made a cross-ice delivery to captain Matt Ford in the slot who sniped a shot past McKenna's blocker and inside the right post. Texas trimmed Grand Rapids' lead to 4-3 just 4:27 into the third period. With Evgeny Svechnikov off for a high-stick, Hintz slipped the puck by McCollum's right skate after being the beneficiary of a right-to-left centering pass from Matt Mangene in the right circle. After pulling McKenna for the additional skater with 1:35 remaining, Texas took a timeout with 30 seconds left. The Stars' last-ditch efforts were rewarded as Dickinson, among three Griffins defenders, was able to get a stick on Dowling's shot from the right circle and redirect it, sending the game to overtime.

Grand Rapids outshot Texas, 5-2, in the 3-on-3 extra session. Hintz delivered the deciding goal in the second round of the shootout, the only player on either team to score. McKenna, in his first season with the Stars organization, picked up the win behind 27 saves while making his first start at Van Andel Arena since Game 6 of the 2017 Calder Cup Finals. McCollum countered with 33 saves. The Stars finished 2-for-5 on the power play while the Griffins were 0-for-3.

Notes: The Griffins donned special Red Kettle jerseys as tonight was the third annual Red Kettle Game presented by The Salvation Army. Three Stars: 1) TEX Dowling (goal, assist); 2) TEX Hintz (goal, two assists); 3) GR Elson (goal, assist).

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