Texas Stars 6 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4
Jan. 13, 2012
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Texas Stars overcame an early two-goal deficit to post a 6-4 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday at Van Andel Arena, snapping the Griffins’ seven-game point streak while extending their own point run to five games.
NHL veteran netminder Andrew Raycroft allowed four goals to the Griffins on just eight shots as the Stars fell behind 4-2 during a fast and furious first period, but he settled down to stop all 23 shots he faced over the final 40 minutes and enable Texas to rally.
The Griffins (15-14-4-3) will now turn their attention southward as they’ll travel to Charlotte for Sunday and Tuesday matchups with the Midwest Division-leading Checkers, in the team’s first-ever visit to North Carolina. Game time Sunday is at 3 p.m.
Willie Coetzee sparked the first-period deluge when his innocent-looking wrist shot from the top of the right circle snuck inside the far post 2:23 into the game. At the 5:15 mark, Greg Amadio delivered a devastating hit at the Grand Rapids blue line to Texas’ Colton Sceviour, drawing both an interference major and a game misconduct and setting up a wild five-minute power play for the Stars.
Texas (17-16-1-2) took advantage to tie the game when Ryan Garbutt’s redirection eluded Tom McCollum at 6:29, but the Griffins answered with a shorthanded tally at 8:41, as Joakim Andersson finished a break by potting Gustav Nyquist’s centering pass. The Stars responded with their second power play goal just 13 seconds later off the stick of Scott Glennie.
Undeterred by their guests’ perseverance, the Griffins continued to apply pressure and were rewarded with two more goals in the final minutes of the frame. Chris Conner converted Coetzee’s pass at the right hashmarks during a 4-on-2 break at 17:30, and Grand Rapids had several whacks at the puck from close range before Nyquist slammed it home from just outside the right post at 18:43.
Each Griffins goal scorer also earned an assist for a two-point opening period.
Just 2:59 into the middle stanza, though, the Stars cashed a Griffins turnover into a Matt Fraser shorthanded tally, cutting the visitors’ deficit in half before Texas forged its third deadlock of the night on Francis Wathier’s one-timer from the left circle at 7:05.
The final 12:55 of the period passed without any scoring, a short-lived drought that was snapped in the opening minute of the third. Glennie notched his second of the game just 21 seconds in to put Texas ahead for the first time at 5-4, and a shot by Travis Morin was ruled to have crossed the line into an empty net a split-second before the final horn, accounting for the 6-4 margin.
McCollum made 31 saves but saw his career-high five-game winning streak come to an end.
Three Stars: 1. TEX Glennie (two goals, assist); 2. TEX Sceviour (three assists); 3. GR Nyquist (goal, assist)