Game 1 came down to extra time to decide who took the 1-0 series lead in Cedar Park, Texas, and Anton Lander scored the game-winner for the Oklahoma City Barons. Yann Danis made 34 saves in the win, while Cristopher Nilstorp turned aside 24 shots in the loss for the Texas Stars.
It took 4:41 for the first stoppage of play in the first period, featuring fast paced action and big saves by the goaltenders, including a blast of a shot by Reilly Smith that was stopped by Yann Danis. The fast pace kept up as Antti Tyrvainen and Darcy Hordichuk authored big hits in the Texas. A power-play chance for the Barons was stymied by the Stars, but the Barons were the ones to break open the scoring.
A bounce off a Maxime Fortunus clearing attempt kept the puck in the Stars zone. Philippe Cornet picked up the puck and curled around the endboards, finding Mark Arcobello streaking to the slot. A windup and shot by Arco found twine, and the Barons took the 1-0 lead at 15:08.
The Barons penalty kill proved just as effective as Texas' as they killed off a penalty by CJ Stretch, and the Barons held the 1-0 lead into the intermission as the Stars held an 11-5 advantage in shots.
The second period began with a flurry by the Barons, jumping out to a 6-2 edge in shots in the first five minutes. A penalty by Brandon Davidson at the 6:00 mark slowed things down for Oklahoma City, but they were able to kill that off. The Stars began to work their way back into the game, outshooting the Barons 13-2 through the final 15 minutes of the period.
Texas thought they tied the game up after poking the puck past Danis through his legs, but the referee had already whistled the play dead and immediately waived off the goal. The Stars made it a sure thing on the next play as Francis Wathier received a pass from Jordie Benn and whipped the puck off the post and in to make it a 1-1 game at 16:30. After 40 minutes, the Stars were doubled Oklahoma City's shot total 26-13.
The third period started with the Barons short handed, but they killed off the remainder of the penalty from the second period. The rest of the period was hard-fought as both teams looked for the go-ahead goal. Big chances and big saves by both teams led to no goals scored. No penalties were called for the remainder of the game, as the Barons outshot the Stars 11-9 in the period, for a total tally of 35-24 in favor of Texas after 60 minutes.
It only took 88 seconds into the extra period for Anton Lander to deflect a centering pass from Toni Rajala into the net to give the Barons the 2-1 win and the 1-0 series lead.
Oklahoma City went 0-for-1 on the power play in the game, while going a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Game 2 of the series takes place on Saturday night from the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Faceoff is at 7:30pm.