GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Texas Stars 5
March 26, 2011
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars picked up where they left off Friday night, scoring five unanswered goals for the second consecutive night en route to defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-1 on Saturday night at the Cedar Park Center.
The Griffins (34-29-2-8) now find themselves on the outside looking in at the North Division playoff picture. With Toronto and Hamilton each picking up points in shootout losses, the Griffins currently sit fifth in the ever-tightening North Division race, just one point out of the final guaranteed playoff spot. After a busy stretch that saw them play ten games in 16 days, the Griffins will now have five days off before the first of must-win back-to-back games in Abbotsford on Friday at 10 p.m.
The Stars withstood an inspired Griffins' powerplay before striking for the game's opening goal on their first shot of the night. Doug Janik was the victim of an unlucky break in front of his own net, as a cross-ice feed popped over his stick and was batted past Jordan Pearce and into the net by Greg Rallo at the 3:37 mark.
Texas tallied once more before the period concluded. At 15:33, Ondrej Roman extended the the lead by jamming home a centering pass from Francis Wathier at the edge of the crease. Pearce finished out the first period but was replaced by David Brown in between the pipes the start the second period. Both goaltenders were busy, as the Stars fired 47 shots the Griffins' way.
The Griffins had several strong scoring chances in the second period, but goaltender Richard Bachman stood tall in the Stars' net, making 29 saves on the night. The second period remained scoreless until Colton Sceviour notched a powerplay goal at 16:36.
Any hopes of the Griffins mirroring the Stars comeback last night were cut short when Sceviour struck again at 3:38 of the third period, just seconds after the Griffins killed a lengthy five-on-three. It was Sceviour's fourth goal in two nights against the Griffins and 15th on the season. Sceviour found himself wide open in the slot and picked the top corner of the net after collecting a Raymond Sawada pass from behind the net. Sawada added a goal of his own to make it 5-0 at 8:30.
Gustav Nyquist finally got the Griffins on the board the 11:49 mark of the third period. Nyquist took a centering feed from Jamie Tardif and spoiled Bachman's shutout bid by placing a shot in between the glove and the far post. In just his second professional game, Nyquist recorded his first point after signing an amateur tryout contract just yesterday afternoon.
Notes: The Griffins played a man down for most of the game after losing Logan Pyett to an injury early in the first period. Pyett was hit awkwardly into the boards by Stars' forward Travis Morin and laid motionless for several minutes before being helped into the locker room. No penalty was called on the play... Jamie Johnson returned to the Griffins' lineup after serving a two-game suspension.
Three Stars: 1. TEX Bachman (29 saves); 2. TEX Sceviour (two goals, assist); 3. TEX Rallo (goal, assist)