TORONTO - Mike Hedden scored the winner early in the third period Sunday to lift the Texas Stars over the Toronto Marlies 3-2 in the American Hockey League.
Hedden redirected a point shot past Marlies goalie Mark Owuya at 1:08 of the third and the Stars held for a hard-fought victory.
Alex Chiasson and Justin Dowling also scored for Texas as the league-leading Stars halted a two-game slide and improved to 28-13-7. Chiasson had two assists for a three-point game, while Hedden also chipped in with an assist.
Ryan Hamilton, with his team-leading 20th goal of the season, and Greg McKegg replied for the Marlies in front of 4,556 fans at Ricoh Coliseum. Spencer Abbott collected two assists as Toronto fell to 25-16-4 on the season. The Marlies have lost five of their past seven outings.
Texas netminder Cristopher Nilstorp made 23 saves, while Toronto goalie Mark Owuya stopped 30 shots in a losing effort.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and the Stars led 2-1 through 40 minutes.
The Marlies opened the scoring at 1:18 of the first period when Abbott forced a turnover in the offensive zone and passed the puck to Hamilton, who wired a wrist shot from the slot over Nilstorp's blocker. Chiasson tied the game when he whacked a rebound past Owuya at 15:51 of the first.
Dowling gave Dallas the lead late in the second period when he rushed down the right wing and lifted a backhander over Owuya's right shoulder at 17:42.
Hedden spotted the Stars a two-goal advantage early in the third period when he redirected Jordie Benn's point shot past Owuya at 1:08. McKegg pulled Toronto within one when he scored on a goalmouth scramble at 9:02 of the third.
Texas went 0-for-3 on the power play and Toronto was 0-for-7.
The Marlies visit the Hamilton Bulldogs on Tuesday, while the Stars host the Houston Aeros.