Benn there, done that: West Finals all square

Full Playoffs Schedule

Rookie Jamie Benn tied the game in the third period and then notched his fourth game-winning goal of the playoffs 5:52 into overtime, lifting Texas to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Hamilton on Friday before 6,215 fans at the Cedar Park Center.

The Stars squared the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece and will host Game 5 of the series on Saturday night. The home team has won each of the first four contests, three of which have required overtime to decide.

Texas and Hamilton played scoreless for nearly a period and a half before Bulldogs forward David Desharnais put his club on the board with a power play marker at 8:56 of the second frame.

Ryan Russell and Brock Trotter earned assists on the Desharnais’ goal, which marked his team-leading 19th point of the postseason (8-11-19) and extended his scoring streak to six games (4-5-9).

Benn scored the first of his two goals on the night only 24 seconds into the third period to tie the contest at 1-1. Rookie forward Colton Sceviour joined veteran defenseman Andrew Hutchinson in posting assists on the play.

Hutchinson, the AHL’s Eddie Shore Award winner as outstanding defenseman in 2007-08, went scoreless in Game 1 of this series but has recorded five assists in three outings since.

Benn’s second overtime tally of the 2010 postseason was assisted by Mathieu Beaudoin and Warren Peters. Beaudoin got on the scoresheet for the first time this round, while Peters is now riding a three-game scoring streak (2-1-3).

A 20-year-old who spent the entire regular season in the NHL with Dallas, Benn now leads all AHL postseason scorers with 13 goals and ranks second with 21 points in 15 games this postseason, and Friday marked his fourth multiple-goal effort of these playoffs.

Stars goaltender Matt Climie (3-2) stopped 26 of 27 shots in the winning effort, while Bulldogs counterpart Curtis Sanford (4-2) took the loss despite making 30 stops.

Texas improved to 6-1 at Cedar Park Center during the playoffs, and Hamilton fell to 3-5 on the road.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., May 14 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., May 16 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 19 – TEXAS 5, Hamilton 4 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., May 21 – TEXAS 2, Hamilton 1 (OT)
Game 5 – Sat., May 22 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:00
Game 6 – Mon., May 24 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30