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Grand Rapids Tops Texas Stars to Even Series at 2-2

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Western Conference Semifinal series between the Texas Stars and Grand Rapids Griffins is now a best-of-three. The Griffins defeated the Stars, 3-2, in Grand Rapids Wednesday night to even the series at 2-2.

Game 5 is Friday night in Grand Rapids.

The Stars grabbed a 1-0 lead in the game, but Grand Rapids scored the next three, including one that was originally called a no-goal and then ruled a goal. Goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped 33 of 35 shots on the night for the Griffins, who have tied the series with two straight wins at home.

Dustin Jeffrey and Derek Meech scored for Texas. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal and stopped 22 of 25 shots.

Jeffrey staked the Stars to a 1-0 lead 13 seconds into the second period, taking a pass from Travis Morin, splitting the Grand Rapids defense and then putting the puck past Mrazek from close range with Texas on the power play.

But Grand Rapids would score three goals over the next 10 minutes to build a 3-1 lead. Jeff Hoggan tipped in a Cory Emmerton pass with Grand Rapids on the power play to tie the game 1-1 at 3:46 of the second.

David McIntyre, a 2006 Dallas Stars draft pick, put the Griffins ahead 2-1 at the 9:24 mark of the second, batting a puck out of midair past Nilstorp. The goal was initially waved off due to the referee ruling that McIntyre put it in with a high stick, but the officials got together and overturned the initial ruling and awarded Grand Rapids the goal.

A little more than three minutes later Andrej Nestrasil scored off the rebound of his own shot to give Grand Rapids a 3-1 lead.

Meech got the Stars back within a goal, tallying on a wrap-around with 44 seconds left in the second. But that was as close as the Stars would get.

The loss guaranteed that the series will return to Cedar Park for a Game 6 on Sunday.


*Texas outshot Grand Rapids 35-25 in the game.

*Texas center Travis Morin extended his playoff points streak to six games. He has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) during the streak.

*Morin ranks second in the AHL in playoff scoring.

*Texas forward Brendan Ranford had his goal scoring streak snapped at five games.

*Ranford is tied for the playoff lead in goal scoring with six.

*Texas was 1-3 on the power play. Grand Rapids was 1-3 on the power play.

*Grand Rapids forward Tomas Jurco left the game due to an undisclosed injury. He played the first period but did not return for the second. There was no update on his status after the game.

*Texas recalled goaltender Josh Robinson from Idaho of the ECHL Wednesday to serve as the team’s third goaltender. Dallas goaltending prospect Philippe Desrosiers was released from his amateur tryout contract. Desrosiers, who had spent some time with the Stars, is expected to play junior hockey again next season.

Texas lineup

Curtis McKenzieTravis Morin – Brendan Ranford
Dustin JeffreyChris MuellerScott Glennie
Mike Hedden – Justin Dowling – Kevin Henderson
Toby PetersenRadek FaksaMatej Stransky

Jyrki JokipakkaPatrik Nemeth
Jamie Oleksiak – Derek Meech
Hubert LabrieMaxime Fortunus

Cristopher Nilstorp
Jack Campbell

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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