Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Flames fell to the Texas Stars on Wednesday evening by a final score of 7-4 at the Cedar Park Center.
The Flames were led offensively by Emile Poirier, who turned in a goal and an assist in the game, while Garnet Hathaway, Max Reinhart, and Bill Arnold also netted goals of their own. Brad Thiessen and Doug Carr combined for 29 saves on the evening, however, a two goal performance from Justin Dowling and three assists for Valeri Nichushkin of Texas were too much for Adirondack to handle as the Stars were able to earn a big two points over the Flames.
After getting outshot 7-0 to start the contest, Arnold put the Flames ahead 1-0 on Adirondack’s first shot of the game. After Kenny Agostino entered the Texas zone, he dropped the puck off to Poirier at the top of the left circle. Poirier then found a cutting Arnold between circles as he finished off the play to net his 12th goal of the season. Agostino and Poirier were credited with the assists on the goal, which came at 8:57 of the opening period.
Texas knotted the score at one just 2:04 after Arnold’s opening goal as Stars leading scorer Travis Morin registered his 19th goal of the season. Morin was the recipient of a pretty passing play on the part of Texas, as Jamie Oleksiak sent the puck across the ice to Valeri Nichushkin, who then found Morin back across with a wide open net beckoning. Morin made no mistake and finished off the play to tie the score 1-1. Oleksiak and Nichushkin both earned the assists on the tally, which came at 11:01 of the first period.
The Flames regained the 2-1 lead at 18:05 of the first when Reinhart potted his first shorthanded goal of the season. Following a defensive zone faceoff, Reinhart intercepted the puck in the Flames own zone, skated up the left wing, and blasted a powerful slap shot, which beat Texas netminder Jack Campbell short side and high. The goal for Reinhart, which was his 13th of the year, was unassisted.
The Stars again evened the score at two 12:12 into the middle stanza when Scott Valentine put home his third goal of the campaign. Texas put together another fancy passing play thanks to Nichushkin and Bystrom, and the end result was Valentine winding up for a one-timer which beat Thiessen up high. Nichushkin and Bystrom earned the assists on the tying tally.
It only took 20 seconds following the Valentine goal before the Stars earned their first lead of the evening, as Brendan Ranford took advantage of a wonky bounce in front of the Adirondack net to score his 16th goal of the season. Due to the lack of puck possession prior to the goal, Ranford, who appeared to be the only one of get his stick on it, was given credit for the goal, which was unassisted at 12:32 of the second period.
Texas doubled its lead less than three minutes later when Justin Dowling registered his 18th goal of the year. While skating on the power play, the Stars cycled around the Flames zone, and after Thiessen made the initial save on a Nichushkin shot, Dowling was there to put home the rebound to put his team up 4-2. Dowling’s goal, which came at 15:24 of the second, was assisted by Honka and Nichushkin.
The Flames clawed back within one in the waning minutes of the middle period when Hathaway got the Flames’ third goal of the game. With the puck down low, defenseman Kenney Morrison threw the puck on net where Hathaway was stationed to poke the puck past Campbell and into the net. The goal for Hathaway, which was his 17th of the season, came at 16:11 of the period and was assisted by Wolf and Morrison.
Texas regained the two goal lead just 82 seconds into the final period when Brett Ritchie collected his 12th goal of the season. The goal, which came at 1:22 of the third, put the Stars up 5-3 and was assisted by Dowling. Just over 5:01 after Ritchie’s tally, Scott Glennie added another goal for the Stars to extend their lead to three. The goal for Glennie was his 14th of season, as Valentine earned the lone assist.
Adirondack wouldn’t go down quietly, however, as Poirier took a shot from the high slot which eluded Campbell and pulled the Flames back within two. The goal for Poirier, which was his 16th of the year, came at 15:02 of the final frame and was assisted by Cundari and Acolatse.
Dowling sealed the deal for the Stars with the empty net goal with 18 seconds to play in regulation. The Stars skated away with the 7-4 victory.
The Flames head to San Antonio tomorrow, Thursday, as they will continue their busy week with an 8:00 p.m. tilt against the Rampage. The Flames don’t return home until Saturday, April 11th when they will faceoff against the Lake Erie Monsters. That Saturday will be Hockey Night in Glens Falls, presented by Bud Light. Pre-game specials will be available at Fitzgerald's in South Glens Falls from 5-6 p.m. and will also feature the American Hockey League Bubble Hockey Finals, sponsored by Labatt Blue. Tickets are still available for that game, and all remaining Flames home games. Visit the Flames box office, call 518-480-3355, or order online at glensfallscc.com.
Adirondack Flames Hockey • Fired Up