Really, Stars winger Francis Wathier said it best postgame tonight, "We knew coming into the series that nothing was going to be easy." And certainly this game was anything but easy. The Stars jumped out to an early lead but capitulated to allow five unanswered goals through the last 40 minutes and see their series lead cut in half to 2-1.
Texas opened the scoring for the second straight game on Andrew Hutchinson's PP tally. Kyle Wilson evened it up for the Bears on a failed clear by Maxime Fortunus. The rest of the first was all Texas. Francis Wathier had a beautiful play on a Michal Neuvirth mishandle of the puck to tally a shirthanded marker and make it 2-1. Raymond Sawada had a great completion on a 2-on-1 opportunity with Scott McCulloch. After that, it really wasn't anything to write home about.
"The last 30 minutes we got outworked," commented Coach Gulutzan. Gulutzan pinned the turning point of the game at the Greg Amadio minor penalty that the Stars did not convert on early in the second. With a 4-1 lead, the game would have mostly been salted away. The kill gave the Bears momentum, which they used to strike back. The Bears got goals from Wilson, Mathieu Perreault (2) and Andrew Gordon (2) to win it 6-3.
Matt Climie had 23 saves on 29 Hershey shots. Texas won the shots battle 30-29. Full recap on Hundred Degree Hockey, including more player quotes. The game was witnessed by a Cedar Park Center record 7,014 fans, mostly decked out in white due to free t-shirts. Game 4 is on Wednesday and Game 5 will be on Friday, both at 7:30 PM.
(Photo credit: James Mitchell)