The Oklahoma City Barons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but were unable to hold on as the Texas Stars fought back to win 5-3 Saturday evening at the Cedar Park Center. Oklahoma City fell to 29-27-2-7, while the Texas Stars moved to 41-17-3-5.
Oklahoma City got out to a 2-0 lead after the first period, as the Stars led 19-13 in shots. The Barons got scoring chances early as Ben Eager broke away on a pass from Brad Hunt, but Stars goaltender Jack Campbell made the right pad save. Hunt then got a scoring chance of his own on Oklahoma City's first power play of the night, but Campbell made the glove save.
The Barons turned to recent call-up Laurent Brossoit in net, and Brossoit was tested early by the Stars. His split save on Curtis McKenzie and a later save on Brendan Randford set the tone early for the 19 saves he made in the first.
Travis Ewanyk finally broke through at the 11:20 mark of the period, burying a rebound off a Steve Pinizzotto shot to put the Barons in front 1-0. The Barons got a two-man advantage late in the period and capitalized on the chance as Matt Ford was able to put the puck behind Campbell while being knocked down in front of the net. Ford's goal came off a rebound after Jack Combs fed Andrew Miller a centering pass and Campbell turned Miller away.
The second period belonged to the Stars, as Texas rallied to even the score at 2-2 after 40 minutes. Patrik Nemeth cut the lead in half just 2:44 into the period as he beat Brossoit on the glove side to make it 2-1. The Stars got several chances on an early power play but came away without a goal.
Oklahoma City had a quality chance midway through the period as Campbell made a save on Ford with his helmet after the Barons had a 2-on-1 develop. Alex Lavoie then had a rebound chance but shoveled the puck just past the goal.
Travis Morin tied the game at 2-2 at the 12:13 mark of the period as he broke to the middle right off the faceoff and snapped a wrister past Brossoit. The Stars had several chances late on the power play as Dustin Jeffrey and Cameron Gaunce each had shots saved. The Stars ended the period with a shot that went just past Brossoit's glove side at the horn while the teams played four-on-four.
Texas added to the shots advantage in the second period. Despite Oklahoma City out-shooting the Stars 14-13 in the period, Texas held a 32-27 lead overall.Justin Dowling gave Texas its first regulation lead in the two-game set as he made a move around the Barons defender and went from the forehand to backhand on Brossoit to give the Stars a 3-2 lead at 1:55. Oklahoma City answered with the equalizer at 4:31 as Miller buried it past Campbell off an Austin Fyten centering pass.
Dowling got his second of the game at 13:14 to give Texas a 4-3 lead. Dowling's goal came just as the Barons killed off almost six minutes worth of penalties. Fyten had a scoring chance blocked by Campbell's pads late, but Morin added an empty net goal in the final minute to secure the 5-3 win.