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Barons' Season Ends With Loss To Stars

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The Oklahoma City Barons climbed from a 2-0 deficit to tie the score 2-2 in the third period, but Justin Dowling scored the go-ahead goal 11:21 into the third period on a two-man advantage to send the Texas Stars to a 4-2 win on Wednesday at Cedar Park Center. The Stars' win gives them a three-game sweep of the best-of-five, first-round playoff series.

The Stars, the AHL's top team in the regular season with 106 points, are the first club to advance in this season's Calder Cup playoffs. They needed 3-2 overtime wins in each of the first two games in Oklahoma City in addition to Wednesday's victory.

The Stars scored first, and tallied in the first period, for the first time in the series. They led the AHL in those departments during the regular season.

Brendan Ranford, who had Texas' winner on Saturday, drove to the net and converted a Travis Morin centering pass at 7:32 for the only goal of the opening period. The shots were even 9-9.

Texas took a 2-0 lead, their first multiple-goal lead of the series, at 1:55 of the second. Toby Petersen fed Chris Mueller, just sent down by the Dallas Stars, and Mueller split the defense and beat Richard Bachman on a partial breakaway.

The Barons cut the deficit in half at 8:54 to 2-1. Anton Lander received a pass from Austin Fyten during a delayed penalty against Texas and beat Cristopher Nilstorp with a wrist shot for a short-handed goal, as Curtis Hamilton was in the penalty box for Oklahoma City. Second period shots were 14-9 Texas as they out-shot the Barons for the game 34-23.

Brad Hunt tied the score 2-2 on a blast from the point off a faceoff win by C.J. Stretch and a pass from Brandon Davidson 3:24 into the third. Oklahoma City, which went 0-for-9 in the series on the power play and 0-for-2 Wednesday, faced 10 Texas power plays and killed off nine of them.

The Stars added an empty-net goal by Scott Glennie with one minute remaining to conclude the scoring.

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