HERSHEY, Pa. – Rookie Scott McCulloch scored in the third period as the Texas Stars opened the American Hockey League final with a 2-1 win over the Hershey Bears on Thursday.
McCulloch sped down the left wing, cut toward the middle, and faked around the Hershey defence before sliding a backhand shot from the slot between the legs of Bears goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
It was McCulloch’s third goal of the playoffs.
Greg Rallo also scored for the Stars, while Matt Climie made 26 saves, including 12 in the third period, to give the Stars a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Francois Bouchard scored the only goal for Hershey, which now trails in a series for the first time this post-season. Michal Neuvirth stopped 24 shots.
Game 2 is Saturday in Hershey. The Bears were the AHL regular-season champions with 60 wins and 123 points.