12/10/2010 9:40 PM
Dec. 10, 2010 – Texas Stars 4 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 3
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Rookie Tyler Beskorowany’s 44 saves earned him his first AHL victory and enabled Texas to withstand Grand Rapids’ furious rally and near 2-to-1 shot advantage, as the Stars held on for a 4-3 win over the Griffins on Friday at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins dug deep after digging themselves a 4-0 hole, firing a season-high 47 shots and eventually pulling within one on Ilari Filppula’s power play goal in the final minute, but Beskorowany rebounded strongly just two nights after allowing seven goals on 37 shots in an 8-5 loss at Rockford.
Grand Rapids (11-11-1-4) will travel to Peoria for an 8:05 p.m. EST start on Saturday before returning home for a rematch with Texas (15-9-1-1) on Sunday at 4 p.m.
The Griffins caught an early break when Travis Morin hit the right post on a penalty shot just 5:14 into the contest, but the Stars took enough momentum from the near-miss to score three goals against Joey MacDonald in the opening period. Sean Backman potted a rebound from the slot at 6:16, Mathieu Tousignant drove home Morin’s pass from the same spot at 15:23, and Morin put an innocent-looking redirection on net from the high slot that slipped inside the left post with just 1:03 remaining in the frame.
Greg Rallo extended the visitors’ advantage to four at the 4:09 mark of the second, somehow tucking a sharp-angle shot over MacDonald’s right shoulder from along the left goal line.
The Griffins finally got on the board at 12:33 with their fourth shorthanded goal in the last six games, as Brendan Smith collected the puck at the Texas blueline, got a step on his defender and whipped a wrist shot past Beskorowany as he was hauled to the ice. Grand Rapids, which scored eight shorthanded goals all last season, is now tied for the AHL lead with seven.
Jamie Johnson made it 4-2 with a power play goal at 18:38, his first lamp-lighter since opening night on Oct. 8. Taking a pass from Filppula, he sped down the right side and unleashed a shot from the circle that deflected off Beskorowany before trickling across the line.
The Griffins applied pressure throughout the third period and cut their deficit to one on Filppula’s goal from the right side with just 48 seconds left. But Grand Rapids – which outshot Texas 18-5 in the third, 31-12 over the final 40 minutes and 47-24 for the game – was unable to net the equalizer before time expired.
MacDonald finished the night with 20 saves for Griffins, who have now suffered nine of their 12 losses at home this season by a single goal.
Three Stars: 1. TEX Beskorowany (W, 44 saves); 2. TEX Morin (goal, assist); 3. GR Smith (shorthanded goal, assist)