The Texas Stars got an OT win of the stick of Ethan Graham to cut their series deficit to 2-1 in the West Conference Finals against the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens). Graham, who has only played five playoff games for the Stars, scored his first career Calder Cup playoff goal to seal a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the series.
Hamilton opened the scoring but Texas roared back with three straight power play goals from Perttu Lindgren, Jamie Benn, and Aaron Gagnon. Hamilton scored the next two, even strength and power play, respectively, to tie it at 3 all. With five minutes remaining, Texas's Warren Peters put one in from just a few feet away on a cram type play to make it 4-3. Aaron Gagnon took a tripping minor with two minutes left in the game and Hamilton tied it on the ensuing power play.
In the OT period, Andrew Hutchinson, who had three assists in the game, slid the puck over to Ethan Graham who just laid into it from the blue line and beat Curtis Sanford through traffic. Traffic was the name of the game (ironic for a team based in Austin, but I digress). Texas scored 3 of their 5 goals within a few feet of the net with the aid of a lot of traffic. "It was a gutsy win," said Jamie Benn, who had two points in the game, "the gritty goals are the ones we need." Matt Climie stopped 31 of 35 shots in the win. Texas's netminder Brent Krahn could return for Game 4 this Friday.
Full recap at Hundred Degree Hockey, as always. Additionally, Dallas Stars play-by-play announcer, Ralph Strangis, joined Texas Stars play-by-play guy Josh Fisher in the press box for the game. Strangis provided color commentary, which he used to do before Razor showed up on the scene. Game 4 is on Friday in Cedar Park at 7:30 PM.
(Photo credit: Brian Hackert)