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Tarnasky powers Hamilton Bulldogs past Texas Stars 5-1 with two goal performance

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 10:25 PM The Canadian Press

HAMILTON - Nick Tarnasky scored twice as the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Texas Stars 5-1 in American Hockey League play Tuesday.

Steve Quailer and Stephen MacAulay each had a goal and an assist and Erik Nystrom also scored for the Bulldogs (7-7-3). Dustin Tokarski made 30 saves for the win.

Colton Sceviour was the lone scorer for Texas (9-6-3). Allen York made seven saves on eight shots in relief of starter Cristopher Nilstorp. Nilstorp stopped 21 of 25 in 31:56 of work.

Hamilton pieced together the game's first scoring chance seven minutes into the opening period, when Justin Courtnall snuffed out a Texas breakout at the blue-line and sent his teammates in on a two-on-one break.

Gabriel Dumont threaded a centring pass to Mike Blunden, but Nilstorp slid to deny the winger's close-range effort at his far post.

Having narrowly missed out on their first opportunity in front of goal, the Bulldogs were sent to the power play mere seconds later, as William Wrenn was whistled for tripping at 7:19 of the first period.

Hamilton made immediate use of its man advantage, as Tarnasky opened the scoring at 7:30. Christian Thomas found the winger just outside of Nilstorp's crease, and Tarnasky took multiple stabs at the loose puck before it trickled past the Texas goaltender.

The Stars were pressuring for a tying goal and penning the Bulldogs in their defensive zone with eight minutes to play in the first. Their clearest chance to score came when Sceviour poached the puck from a Hamilton defender at the bottom of the left circle.

He turned and released a quick, rising wrist shot that Tokarski alertly snapped out of the air to stop play.

Hamilton found some offensive flair to extend its lead early in the second period.

With early pressure to open the period, Quailer shifted the puck to MacAulay and moved to the net. The winger wound up and released a slap shot that Nilstrop saved, but Quailer latched onto the rebound, kicked it to his stick and slotted the puck in at 2:49 of the period.

That same line struck again at 6:17, bypassing Texas' out-manned defenders with a well-worked series of passes.

Quailer knocked the puck ahead to Louis Leblanc, who found MacAulay with a short centring pass before the winger powered a short-range shot past Nilstrop for his first professional goal at 6:17 of the second period.

The lead stretched to four goals when Tarnasky found himself in a familiar position in front of Nilstrop's net, and pounced on a rebound from a Jarred Tinordi slap shot to score his second goal of the game at 11:56 of the second period.

Nilstrop was replaced by Allen York after allowing four goals on 25 shots.

The Stars put an end to Tokarski's shutout bid at 6:59 of the third period, when Travis Morin found a streaking Sceviour with a drop pass, and the forward snapped a heavy wrist shot past the screened goaltender.

Nystrom became the second Bulldog to score his first professional goal Tuesday, as Hamilton retook a four-goal lead at 7:49.

The rookie forward stole the puck from Texas defender Cameron Gaunce and walked in alone on York before lifting a wrist shot over his shoulder and into the far corner of the net.

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