The Texas Stars split a weekend set against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday and Saturday at HEB Center at Cedar Park, winning the first contest 2-1 in overtime and falling in the second 5-1. The Stars' overall season record now sits a 7-7-0-1, good for 4th in the Pacific Division.
"Once we settled in, I thought we played a pretty strong game," Texas Stars forward Sheldon Dries said after the win on Friday. "We got the win and that's the most important thing."
In Friday night's game, the Stars took their second consecutive game in a 2-1 win against the Griffins, riding Landon Bow's 33 saves to knock off the reigning winners of the Calder Cup (league championship trophy).
First-year Star Colin Markison scored his third goal of the season, followed by a shorthanded tally from rookie Dries to score the win. The goal on the Stars' penalty kill was their first of the season, and the third for Dries, who signed an AHL contract with Texas in May.
Bow, the game's second star, picked up his second win of the year in the victorious effort. Tyler Bertuzzi, last season's Jack A. Butterfield Trophy winner for postseason MVP, scored the lone goal for Grand Rapids -- the minor league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings -- in the Griffins loss.
"We leaned on Bow and he answered there," Dries continued. "Every faceoff is even more important and we executed."
Saturday's game didn't go the same way for Texas, as Grand Rapids generated chance after chance on their way to a 5-1 win. Stars fan-favorite Travis Morin netted his third goal of the season, giving him 17 points on the season, ranking 5th in the American Hockey League.
Texas opened the scoring with Morin's third goal of the season, assisted by Curtis McKenzie and Niklas Hansson. McKenzie, who was assigned to the Texas Stars from Dallas on Saturday morning, fed Morin from behind the opposing net, guarded by Jared Coreau.
"I feel like it was a closer game than 5 to 1," Stars alternate captain Morin said after Saturday's loss. "You've gotta give credit to them, they're a good team and their goalie [Coreau] played well tonight."
Grand Rapids answered quickly with two first period goals, one from former NHL first-round pick Matt Puempel and one via Axel Holmstrom's snipe on an odd-man-rush. Grand Rapids continued to pour on the pressure in the second frame and took a hold of the game.
Puempel scored his second goal of the night on a turnover from Texas defenseman Brett Regner, while Matthew Ford tallied a goal right off of a faceoff with just 11 seconds remaining in the second frame.
"We generated enough shots today, we just didn't capitalize on them," Stars head coach Derek Laxdal said after the win. "It's kind of a reversal of fortunes tonight, but they're a very good hockey club."
Landon Bow, the game's back up goaltender for Texas, came in in relief of starter Mike McKenna in the third period, surrendering a goal to Eric Tangradi. Bow stopped 11 of the 12 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes.
The Texas Stars next face off against their in-state rivals, the San Antonio Rampage, on Wednesday, November 15th at 7:30pm at HEB Center at Cedar Park. The Stars are 2-0-1-0 against San Antonio this season in Interstate 35 rivalry play.