The Texas Stars will be moving on to the West Conference Final in their first season as a franchise. Game 7 was an epic back-and-forth battle that needed extra time to be decided.
Texas gave up two early goals just a minute apart. Matt Climie got the start with Brent Krahn injured from Sunday's Game 6. The Stars came back and scored two of their own in the 53 seconds following. Travis Morin and Scott McCulloch had the tallies to tie the game. Texas gave up a shorthanded goal to Spencer Machacek to close the period.
Chicago scored again to open the first, a pretty play by Tim Stapleton to make it 4-2. A breakaway goal by Aaron Gagnon made it 4-3 to close the 2nd. Texas had only one win all year when trailing coming out of the second intermission.
Maxime Fortunus made it 4-4, trailing Colton Sceviour and Jamie Benn on a beautiful one-timer from the point. Jason Krog, of the Wolves, put Chicago up 5-4 on a backhander but Texas battled back again to tie it at 5. Andrew Hutchinson took advantage of an offensive zone icing faceoff and a tired group of Chicago defenders to tie it.
Texas took it to overtime for the 3rd time in the series. It was Jamie Benn on a do-it-yourself, unassisted play just 4:57 into the overtime period. Texas advances to the West Conference final against the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens). The series starts on Friday. Full game recap on Hundred Degree Hockey.
(Photo credit: Chris Jerina)