CEDAR PARK, TX – Cody Eakin scored two goals and Jordie Benn tallied the shootout-winning goal as the Texas Stars beat the Charlotte Checkers 4-3 in a nine round shootout Sunday night at Cedar Park Center. The Stars are now 4-0 in franchise history in their home openers.
After a scoreless first period, the Checkers broke the deadlock at 13:23 of the middle frame. Zach Boychuk intercepted a clearing pass, raced in on goal and, after being denied by Stars goaltender Jack Campbell, poked in his own rebound for an unassisted goal and a 1-0 lead. Texas tied the game late in the period as Reilly Smith and Tomas Vincour combined setup Cody Eakin in the slot for a one-timer that beat Charlotte goalie Dan Ellis to even the score at one goal apiece at 17:50.
The Checkers regained the lead early in the third period with a pair of power plays goals. Riley Nash snuck a shot between Campbell and the near post at 1:43 and Bobby Sanguinetti snapped a wrist shot under the crossbar at 3:37 to open up a 3-1 Charlotte advantage. Texas battled back with a power play goal at the 7:28 mark of the third period when blueliner Cam Barker took a feed from Vincour and blasted a slap shot past Ellis to bring the score to 3-2; Reilly Smith also assisted on the goal. With time winding down in regulation Eakin would once again light the lamp. He ignited the home crowd with an electrifying shorthanded goal at 15:18, assisted by Antoine Roussel and Jamie Oleksiak, that tied the game and forced overtime.
Five minutes of overtime failed to produce a winner, so the game went to a shootout. Matt Fraser’s second round goal was nullified by Jerome Samson’s third round strike and then the goaltenders put on a clinic. Campbell and Ellis combined to stop the next ten shooters, until Jordie Benn faked out the Charlotte goalie and slotted home in the nine round to put Texas ahead 2-1 in the shooutou. Campbell then sealed the victory by stopping Sanguinetti, the Checker’s ninth shooter.
In the Texas net Jack Campbell made 27 saves on 30 shots in regulation and overtime and stopped 8-of-9 shootout attempts to earn the win in his first start of the season. Dan Ellis finished with 38 saves on 41 shots and 7-of-9 shootout attempts in the losing effort for Charlotte. The Stars out-shot the Checkers 42-30 and went 1-for-7 on the power play; the visitors were 2-for-6 with the man advantage.
Next up for the Stars is a road trip to Houston on Friday, October 19th for a 7:05 pm faceoff with the Aeros at Toyota Center. Texas will then return home on Saturday, October 20th as they will again do battle with Houston, this time at Cedar Park Center at 7:00 pm. The first 2,500 fans entering the building on Saturday Pro-rated 2012-13 season seat packages are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
FINAL BOX SCORE
Charlotte Checkers 3 at Texas Stars 4 (SO) – Status: Final SO
Sunday, October 14, 2012 – Cedar Park Center
Charlotte 0 1 2 0 – 3
Texas 0 1 2 0 – 4
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Dillon Tex (checking to the head), 11:07; Wallace Cha (tripping), 14:09; Rissanen Cha (cross-checking), 16:02.
2nd Period-1, Charlotte, Boychuk 1 13:23. 2, Texas, Eakin 1 (Vincour, Smith), 17:50. Penalties-Boychuk Cha (tripping), 8:48; Wallace Cha (diving), 13:54; Barker Tex (interference), 13:54; Eakin Tex (hooking), 14:27; Morin Tex (high-sticking), 19:49.
3rd Period-3, Charlotte, Nash 1 (Wallace, Boychuk), 1:43 (PP). 4, Charlotte, Sanguinetti 1 (Boychuk, Terry), 3:37 (PP). 5, Texas, Barker 1 (Vincour), 7:28 (PP). 6, Texas, Eakin 2 (Roussel, Oleksiak), 15:18 (SH). Penalties-Barker Tex (elbowing), 2:17; Fraser Tex (slashing), 4:28; Sanguinetti Cha (tripping), 5:29; Rissanen Cha (cross-checking, unsportsmanlike conduct, cross-checking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:19; Eakin Tex (unsportsmanlike conduct, unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:19; Sanguinetti Cha (boarding), 9:31; Benn Tex (cross-checking), 14:32.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Charlotte 1 (Bowman NG, Terry NG, Samson G, Dalpe NG, Nash NG, Boychuk NG, Krueger NG, Welsh NG, Sanguinetti NG), Texas 2 (Eakin NG, Fraser G, Vincour NG, Hedden NG, Smith NG, Wathier NG, Vause NG, Morin NG, Benn G).
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 7-11-8-4-0-30. Texas 12-13-17-0-1-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 / 6; Texas 1 / 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Ellis 0-0-1 (42 shots-39 saves). Texas, Campbell 1-0-0 (30 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Ian Croft (87), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Carl Sasyn (12), Paul Wilkinson (73).