GRAND GRAPIDS, MI – Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Texas Stars scored three unanswered goals and took down the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-1 Friday night at Van Andel Arena to record their third straight win and fourth consecutive road victory.
Mike Hedden nearly got the Stars off to a great start early in the first period when he skated down the left wing and beat Griffins goalie Tom McCollum, but his shot clanged harmlessly off the left post. Texas more than doubled Grand Rapids in shots on goal in the opening frame and looked to be getting closer to getting on the scoreboard. However, Jeff Hoggan sent a long pass to Landon Ferraro who skated down the left wing and fired a shot into the roof of the net over the right shoulder of Cristopher Nilstorp at 17:18. In the final seconds Alex Chiasson stole the puck deep in the Griffins zone, but the horn sounded before he could get a shot off.
In the second period the shots were much more even and the goaltenders were the main attraction until the final minute. Rookie Reilly Smith, who scored his first pro goal on Tuesday at Rockford, picked up a rebound on the left side of the crease and beat McCollum to tie the game at 19:21.
The Stars then employed the quick-strike method again early in the third period to take the lead. Jordie Benn scored his third goal of the year and he smashed in a power play goal on a brilliant pass from Colton Sceviour at 3:29. A mere 43 seconds later Texas had an insurance goal. Alex Chiasson tipped in Brendon Dillon’s shot from the point at 4:12 to give the Stars a 3-1 lead. Patrik Nemeth also assisted on Chiasson’s goal, giving the rookie defenseman a three-game assist streak. The high powered Griffin’s power play had one more chance to fight back as Travis Morin took a high-sticking penalty at 17:09, but Nilstorp and the defenders clamped down to preserve the 3-1 victory.
Texas starter Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 22-of-23 shots to record his fifth win of the season, while Tom McCollum took his third loss of the year and had 29 saves on 32 shots. The Stars out-shot the Griffins 32-23 in the game and went 1-for-4 on the power play. Texas’ penalty killers held the AHL’s third ranked power play 0-for-2 on the night.
The Texas Stars continue their six-game road trip on Saturday, December 1st as they again face the Grand Rapids Griffins at 6:00 p.m. CST at Van Andel Arena. The Stars next home game is scheduled for Friday, December 7th as they host the Houston Aeros for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff. Come to Cedar Park Center for the beginning of Sing For Santa weekend and for Jack Campbell Mini Bobblehead giveaway night presented by Time Warner Cable. Pro-rated full and partial 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
Texas Stars 3 at Grand Rapids Griffins 1 – Status: Final
Friday, November 30, 2012 – Van Andel Arena
Texas 0 1 2 – 3
Grand Rapids 1 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Ferraro 6 (Hoggan, Paetsch), 17:18. Penalties-McCollum Gr (delay of game), 7:11.
2nd Period-2, Texas, Smith 2 (Barker, Chiasson), 19:21. Penalties-Nemeth Tex (holding), 11:59; Jurco Gr (hooking), 15:40.
3rd Period-3, Texas, Benn 3 (Sceviour, Morin), 3:29 (PP). 4, Texas, Chiasson 3 (Dillon, Nemeth), 4:12. Penalties-Grant Gr (charging), 1:46; Hoggan Gr (tripping), 14:28; Morin Tex (roughing), 17:09.
Shots on Goal-Texas 13-7-12-32. Grand Rapids 6-7-10-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Texas 1 / 4; Grand Rapids 0 / 2.
Goalies-Texas, Nilstorp 5-6-0 (23 shots-22 saves). Grand Rapids, McCollum 4-3-1 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47).
Linesmen-Bob Marcis (65), Jim Scarpace (75).