GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4 at Texas Stars 3
Oct. 30, 2022
CEDAR PARK, Texas - After trailing 2-1 midway through the initial period, the Grand Rapids Griffins rallied to take down the Texas Stars 4-3 at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on Sunday.
Grand Rapids had 11 different players record a point in the contest, with Simon Edvinsson (0-2–2) leading the way. Jussi Olkinuora was stout between the pipes, saving 27 of 30 shots on goal and securing his second consecutive win of the season. Dominik Shine lit the lamp for the third straight contest and Austin Czarnik upped his team-leading point total to nine (5-4—9) in seven games with a goal.
The two franchises traded special-team goals to kick things off, starting with a power-play tally by Curtis McKenzie at 5:41. On a man-advantage, Edvinsson from the left circle passed to Shine in front of the net. The forward got the Griffins on the board when he fired the puck between the pads of Anton Khudobin at 10:04. Shorthanded, the Stars retook the lead on a breakaway opportunity from Rhett Gardner with 7:52 to go in the opening frame.
At even strength, Eemil Viro notched his first goal in North America by coming up with the puck in a scrum at the right circle and sending it into the top shelf to tie it at two at the 18:14 mark of the first period.
Thirty-seven seconds into the middle frame, Joel L’Esperance extended his stick to retain possession of the puck and passed it to Jonatan Berggren for a right-slot shot into the barn for their first lead of the weekend series.
While on a power play, Czarnik continued his strong start to the season at 5:34 when he made it 4-2 with a wrist shot into the cage from just inside the blue line for the eventual game-winner.
Texas made a change at goal at 6:24, subbing in Matthew Murray for Khudobin after allowing four goals on 11 shots. The Stars caught a break at 11:50 when an attempt from Thomas Harley at the right end of the boards deflected off Jared McIsaac’s skate and through the five hole of Olkinuora to make it 4-3.
The Griffins’ penalty kill was spectacular in the closing minutes of the second frame and the early moments of the third, fending off the Stars’ two chances with a man-advantage to hold onto a 4-3 lead. Grand Rapids’ defense held strong despite being peppered with 12 shots compared to its own five in the third. With 38 seconds remaining in the contest and Texas’ netminder pulled, a shot from Riley Barber bounced off the inside of the right post and forced the referees to review, but it was called a no goal and the Griffins prevailed in the Lonestar State.
- Donovan Sebrango, 20, played in his 100th game as a Griffin, recording an assist in the process.
- With the win, Grand Rapids is tied for third in the Central Division and moved within a point of the Texas Stars in second place.
- With an assist on Czarnik’s goal, Taro Hirose has recorded an apple in three consecutive contests and has had an assist in all but two games this season. The former Spartan has seven helpers in total, which is tied for seventh in the AHL.
Grand Rapids 2 2 0 - 4
Texas 2 1 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Texas, McKenzie 3 (Kero, Blumel), 5:41 (PP). 2, Grand Rapids, Shine 3 (Hanas, Edvinsson), 10:04 (PP). 3, Texas, Gardner 1 (Tufte), 12:08 (SH). 4, Grand Rapids, Viro 1 (Sebrango, Lacroix), 18:14. Penalties-Czarnik Gr (slashing), 5:31; Cecconi Tex (tripping), 8:17; Barber Tex (slashing), 10:35; Kampfer Gr (tripping), 13:47.
2nd Period-5, Grand Rapids, Berggren 1 (L’Esperance, Edvinsson), 0:37. 6, Grand Rapids, Czarnik 5 (McIsaac, Hirose), 5:34 (PP). 7, Texas, Karlstrom 3 (Back, Harley), 11:50. Penalties-Cecconi Tex (tripping), 5:04; L’Esperance Gr (slashing), 14:52; Hanas Gr (holding), 18:27.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Peterson Tex (tripping), 6:14.
Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 6-10-5-21. Texas 14-4-12-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 2 / 4; Texas 1 / 4.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Olkinuora 2-2-0 (30 shots-27 saves). Texas, Khudobin 2-1-1 (11 shots-7 saves); Murray 2-2-0 (10 shots-10 saves).
1. GR Edvinsson (two assists); 2. GR Czarnik (game-winning goal); 3. TEX Gardner (goal).
Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 4-3-0-0 (8 pts.) / Thurs., Nov. 3 at Iowa 11:30 a.m. EDT
Texas: 4-3-0-1 (9 pts.) / Fri., Nov. 4 at Manitoba 7 p.m. CDT
Photo by the Texas Stars