CEDAR PARK, Texas – Justin Dowling and Travis Morin each scored twice as the Texas Stars rallied from 2-0 down to beat the Oklahoma City Barons 5-3 on Saturday night in front of 6,439 fans at Cedar Park Center, completing the sweep of Military Appreciation Weekend.
Both goaltenders were tested early in the first period. Texas starter Jack Campbell stoned Ben Eager on a breakaway and Oklahoma City netminder Laurent Brossoit stopped Curtis McKenzie on a shorthanded chance with a split-pad save. It was the Barons that got on the scoreboard first at 11:20 of the period. Campbell made the save on Curtis Hamilton’s initial wrist-shot, but Travis Ewanyk slammed home the rebound for a 1-0 lead. Penalties to Brett Ritchie and Taylor Peters gave Oklahoma City a five-on-three advantage with 1:34 left in the period. Matthew Ford doubled the Barons’ lead when he put in a rebound from an Andrew Miller shot.
The Stars rallied in the second period to level the score. Just 2:44 into the frame, Justin Dowling found Patrik Nemeth at the top of the left circle and Nemeth blasted a slap-shot under Brossoit’s glove for his second goal of the season. The AHL’s leading scorer, Travis Morin, tied the game at 12:13 when he won a faceoff at the right circle and scorched a wrist-shot past Brossoit’s blocker to tie the game at two. Morin’s unassisted goal was his 30th of the year, making him the third player in franchise history to reach the 30-goal single-season milestone.
A mere 1:55 into the final period, Justin Dowling collected a pass from Brett Ritchie, sped his way down the left side, toe-dragged the puck around Brossoit and slid it into the open net to give the Stars a 3-2 lead. The Barons responded at 4:31 with a goal from Miller that knotted the game at three. With 6:46 left in regulation, Dowling fired a seemingly harmless wrist shot on net from the right wing boards that eluded Brossoit and slipped through his pads to become the eventual game-winner. The goal was Dowling’s second of the period, assisted by Kevin Henderson and Brett Ritchie, and it gave the Stars a 4-3 lead. Morin then tacked on an empty net goal from the red line with 49.8 seconds left, his second goal of the evening, securing a 5-3 Texas victory.
Jack Campbell (10-1-0) stopped 31-of-34 shots faced and earned his 10th win of the season in between the pipes for Texas. Oklahoma City goalie Laurent Brossoit (2-6-0) made 38 saves on 42 shots and took his sixth loss of the season. The Stars outshot the Barons 43-34 and went 0-for-7 with the man-advantage, while Oklahoma City was 1-for-4 on the power play.