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NEWS & STATS

Roadrunners resilient, but edged in overtime to see Stars take series lead

By: Alex Kinkopf
 
 
After fighting to overcome a two-goal deficit in the third period Monday night, the Roadrunners fell short in overtime, losing to the Texas Stars by a 5-4 score in Game 3 of the teams’ Pacific Division Finals series at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
 
Texas' Sheldon Dries ended the game at the 13:36 mark of the extra frame, giving the Stars a 2-1 series lead.
 
“I thought we were pretty good after the first again, so you know, keep your head up,” said Head Coach Mike Van Ryn. “We had looks there that could’ve won the game but we just didn’t bury, our PP has to find a way to do the job for us. The biggest thing is to keep working, we played the way we were supposed to, we played well, I think we just tested the water a little too much in the first and we weren’t playing as five.”
 
Texas took a 1-0 lead during a rather discombobulated first period from the Roadrunners, Adin Hill turning away a handful of odd-man rushes to keep Tucson to within a goal early.
 
Less than a minute into the second, Dakota Mermis capitalized on Hill’s strong opening frame, tying the game 1-1 when he beat Mike McKenna with a high backhand shot after following an offensive zone entry to skate into a Lawson Crouse pass.
 
 
The Stars responded with a pair of goals to take a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.
 
Carter Camper got the Roadrunners back to within a goal when he jammed a Conor Garland pass past McKenna to net his first of the playoffs with 6:49 left in the second.
 
 
Texas responded once again, taking a 4-2 lead into the third period.
 
Just over three minutes into the third, Trevor Murphy pinched in from the left point and snapped a Conor Garland feed past McKenna far-side, burying his first goal of the playoffs to once again get the Roadrunners to within one.
 
 
With 5:36 left in regulation, Dakota Mermis walked into Texas territory, skated horizontally to the left to shift defensive coverage, where he then waited out a vulnerable McKenna to score his second goal of the night, tying the game 4-4.
 
 
In overtime, the second of such this series between these two teams, the Roadrunners came out flying, controlling the pace and the puck early, but were unable to find a fifth goal with numerous high-quality opportunities.
 
After Adin Hill reacted quickly to deny a dangerous bounce off of a stanchion on a Texas dump-in 13 minutes into the extra frame, the Roadrunners turned over possession as play continued, the puck ending up on the stick of Sheldon Dries, who beat Hill to end the game.
 
“There’s no sense getting down, we've got smart guys, we’ve done our work all year,” Van Ryn added. “We know when we’ve messed up, we know when we’ve been good, and you just stay confident in the process and confident in what’s got us here and what’s won you games all year. There’s no panic.”
 
Lawson Crouse finished the night with three assists; he was one of five Roadrunners players to finish the night with multiple points, the others Conor Garland (2A), Trevor Murphy (1G, 1A), Carter Camper (1G, 2A), and Dakota Mermis (2G).
 
Adin Hill stopped 27 of the 32 shots he faced.
 
The teams will meet for Game 4 on Wednesday night at the H-E-B Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 5:00 PM PST.