Every team needs a player that's a stay at home defensemen to strictly help protect the blue-line. For the Texas Stars, Ethan Martin has been a jouneyman this season as he scored just 2 goals all year as he spent time with the Milwaukee Admirals, Norfolk Admirals and the Texas Stars this season.
Last night, he scored the OT Winner on a great slap shot one-timer from follow defensemen Andrew Hutchinson to give the Stars a 5-4 win and cut the Western Conference Finals Gap to 2-1.
With the win, the Texas Stars have gotten back into this series after taking their first lead of the series with Jamie Benn's 11th goal of the playoffs and were able to go up 3-1. Then after going up 4-3 with about 5 minutes left, a costly penalty by Aaron Gagon with just 2 minutes left allowed Bulldogs forward Ryan Russell to tie the game at 4-4 with just a minute and a half.
Then it was Martin's goal that got the Cedar Park Center going wild to win the game and force at-least a game 5 on Saturday Night.
From The Texas Stars Website: www.texasstarshockey.com
From Austin, Texas: The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-4 in OT on Wednesday Night in front of 4535 fans at Cedar Park Center for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Hamilton leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Forward Jamie Benn and Perttu Lindgren each had a goal and assists, as Texas improved to 5-1 at Cedar Park Center in the playoffs. Stars defensemen Adnrew Hutchinson dished out three assists, the two teams combined for five power-play goals on the night. Center Warren Peters and Aaron Gagon also scored in the Texas Victory. Texas Goalie Matt Climie made 31 saves in his second win of the playoffs. The Stars host Game 4 on Friday, May 21.
Hamilton opened the scoring at 4:44 of the first period when forward Ryan White picked up a rebound in front of the net and fired a shot past Stars goalie Matt Climie. White's fourth goal of the postseason put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0. Texas countered at 10:23 with a power play goal, tying the game at 1-1. Center Perttu Lindgren found a rebound in front of the net and chipped a shot over of Hamilton Goalie Curtis Sanford. Lindgren's fifth goal of the playoffs was assisted by defensemen Garrett Stafford and forward Jamie Benn.
The game remained tied at 1-1 until 12:46 of the middle frame when Benn scored on a power play. Benn stickhandled from the right-wing pads into the Hamilton's crease, forcing the puck past Sanford for the go-ahead goal. Lindgren and Andrew Hutchinson notched assists on Benn's team leading 11th goal of the playoffs.
The goal marked the first lead of the series for Texas. The Stars increased their lead 3-1 with 2:42 remaining in the middle frame. Center Aaron Gagon picked up a rebound at the left wing circle and fired a shot past Sanford. Winger Francis Wathier and Center Greg Rallo tallied assists on Gagon's fifth goal of the playoffs. Hamilton cut the Texas lead to 3-2 after winger Mike Glumac fired a one-timer from the high slot past Climie on the stickside. Glumac's team leading tenth goal came at 18:20 of the period.
At 7:39 of the third period, Hamilton tied the game 3-3 with a power play goal by Brock Trotter scored from the corner off a one-timer. The Stars went ahead 4-3 at 15:01 when Forward Warren Peters found a rebound in the Hamilton crease. Peters fourth goal of the postseason was assisted by Raymond Sawada and Andrew Hutchinson. With just 1:33 remaining in the third period, Hamilton tied the game 4-4. Center Ryan Russell scored his sixth goal of the playoffs, a power play goal that sent the game to overtime.
In the extra session, the Stars struck early, getting the game winner just 2:13 into overtime. Defensemen Andrew Hutchinson and Ethan Graham worked the puck along the blueline. Graham blasted a one-timer from the point, as the puck banged off a Bulldogs defender and into the Hamilton net for his first goal of the playoffs and a 5-4 Texas Win.
Western Conference Finals Update:
Game 1: Texas Stars 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (OT)
Game 2: Texas Stars 1 Hamilton Bulldogs 3
Game 3: Hamilton Bulldogs 4 Texas Stars 5 (OT) (Hamilton leads Series 2-1)
Game 4, 5/21: Hamilton Bulldogs VS. Texas Stars 7:30 PM
Game 5, 5/22: Hamilton Bulldogs VS. Texas Stars 7:00 PM
Game 6: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 6:30 PM*
Game 7: Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 6:30 PM*
Hamilton Bulldogs 4 Texas Stars 5 (OT) (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 0-1)
1-0 HAM: Ryan White (Conboy, St. Denis) 4:44 1st
1-1 TEX: Perttu Lindgren (PP) (Stafford, Benn) 10:23 2nd
1-2 TEX: Jamie Benn (PP) (Lindgren, Hutchinson) 12:46 2nd
1-3 TEX: Aaron Gagon (PP) (Wathier, Rallo) 17:18 2nd
2-3 HAM: Mike Glumac (Russell) 18:20 2nd
3-3 HAM: Brock Trotter (PP) (Desharnais, Benoit) 7:39 3rd
3-4 TEX: Warrenn Peters (Sawada, Hutchinson) 15:01 3rd
4-4 HAM: Ryan Russell (PP) (Trotter, Benoit) 18:27 3rd
4-5 TEX: Ethan Graham (Hutchinson, Mcculloch) 2:13 OT
SOG: HAM 35 TEX 34
PP: HAM 2/5 TEX 3/4
PIM: HAM 10 Minutes on 5 Penalties TEX 12 Minutes on 6 Penalties
Goalies: HAM Cedridk Deshardins 29 SVS on 34 Shots TEX Matt Climie 31 SVS on 35 Shots
3rd Star: Brock Trotter (HAM)
2nd Star: Jamie Benn (TEX)
1st Star: Ethan Graham (TEX)
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