Calling Card all season for the Texas Stars has been a strong defense where the Stars have given up just 2 and a half goals per game during the regular season. In Friday Night's Game 1 of the AHL Calder Cup West Division Semifinals against the Rockford Icehogs, that trend continued with Jamie Benn and Raymond Sawada both scored late in the 1st & 2nd periods to go up 2-0 going into the 2nd intermission.
The 3rd period saw Brent Krahn step up his game to keep the Icehogs from coming back to attempt to win the opening game of the series. Only a Rob Klinkhammer goal 7 and a half minutes into the 3rd period was the only thing to get past Krahn where he stopped 27 of 28 shots in Game 1 to win the team's first ever playoff game.
The Texas Stars have shown they have the defense to get the job done to make a long run in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Big question is do they have a strong enough offense with players like Jamie Benn, Aaron Gagon and Perttu Lindgren to keep up in high scoring games, should they have to play teams like the Chicago Wolves & Hamilton Bulldogs in the later rounds of the playoffs should they get past the Rockford Icehogs in the opening round.
From the Texas Stars Website: www.texasstarshockey.com
From Austin, Texas: The Texas Stars defeated the Rockford Icehogs 2-1 on Friday Night in front of a crowd of 5862 fans at Cedar Park Center. The Stars now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. Texas Wingers Jamie Benn and Raymond Sawada each scored as the Stars won Game 1 of the West Division Semifinals. Stars goalie Brent Krahn stopped 27 of 28 shots Rockford Shots in the victory. Icehogs goalie Corey Crawford made 21 saves in the loss. Texas Hosts Game 2 of the series against the Icehogs on Saturday Night at 7:00 PM.
Texas took a 1-0 lead of the first period. Winger Jamie Benn finished off a backhander through the legs of Rockford Goalie Corey Crawford after bringing the puck through center in the Rockford Zone. Center Travis Morin set up Benn for the first goal of the playoffs.
Stars Winger Raymond Sawada increased the Texas lead to 2-0 with just nine seconds remaining in the 2nd period. Sawada found a rebound in the crease and fired a shot past Crawford on the stick side. The Power-Play Goal was assisted by defenseman Garrett Stafford.
The Icehogs cut the Stars lead in half at 7:56 of the 3rd period. Left Wing Rob Klinkhammer picked up a rebound in front of the Texas Net and sent a shot past Stars Goalie Brent Krahn. Pete Macarthur and Danny Richmond tallied assists on Klinkhammer's first goal of the playoffs.
Here's a look at the Best-of-7 series between the Texas Stars & Rockford Icehogs.
Game 1: 4/16 @ Rockford 1 Texas 2
Game 2: 4/17: @ Texas 7:00 PM
Game 3: 4/21: @ Rockford 7:05 PM
Game 4: 4/23: @ Rockford 7:05 PM
Game 5: 4/24: @ Rockford 7:05 PM
Game 6: 4/26: @ Texas 7:30 PM
Game 7: 4/27: @ Texas 7:30 PM
The Stars will host Game 2 of the West Division Semifinal on Saturday, April 17 at 7:00 PM. The Series shifts to Rockford for Games 3 and 4, as well as Game 5 if necessary. The Series would returns to Cedar Park for Games 6 & 7.
All Games can be heard on the Stars Flagship station ESPN Austin 104.9 FM "The Horn" or ESPN Austin 1530 AM.
To Purchase a Calder Cup Playoff Package, which offer fans the same seat for all 16 possible home games, fans may call 512-GO-Stars. To rent a suite for a home playoff game or book a group, those interested may call 512-GO-Stars. Individual tickets for playoff games at Cedar Park Center also can be purchased by calling Ticket Master at 1-800-745-3000, visiting any TicketMaster Outlet, the Cedar Park Box Office, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Texas Stars Lead Series 1-0
Rockford Icehogs 1 Texas Stars 2 (0-1, 0-1, 1-0)
0-1 TEX: Jamie Benn (Morin) 17:41 1st
0-2 TEX: Raymond Sawada (PP) (Stafford) 19:51 2nd
1-2 RFD: Rob Klinkhammer (Macarthur, Richmond) 7:56 3rd
SOG: RFD 28 TEX 23
PP: RFD 0/3 TEX 1/5
PIM: 27 Minutes on 8 Penalties TEX 10 Minutes on 5 Penalties
Goalies: RFD Corey Crawford 21 SVS on 23 Shots TEX Brent Krahn 27 SVS on 28 Shots
3rd Star: Raymond Sawada (TEX)
2nd Star: Jamie Benn (TEX)
1st Star: Brent Krahn (TEX)
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