John Curry stifles Texas Stars in Maxime Fortunus’ return to lineup

John Curry turned away 34 shots in the victory for Iowa. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

John Curry turned away 34 shots in the victory for Iowa. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

CEDAR PARK — The Texas Stars aren’t expected to make any moves before Monday’s American Hockey League trade deadline, but the team made a big reacquisition before a 2-1 overtime loss against the Iowa Wild.

Captain Maxime Fortunus made his return to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 8, a stretch of nine games during which the defenseman was battling an upper-body injury.

“Getting him back is like a trade-deadline acquisition,” Texas Stars general manager Scott White said before the game. “He’s missed so long that it feels like we’re getting another quality defenseman for nothing in exchange.”

The Stars also picked up a point in the standings, as Fortunus helped force overtime when he assisted on Derek Hulak’s game-tying goal with 4:15 remaining.

Unfortunately for Texas, it was the only shot to beat Iowa goalie John Curry. Iowa scored the winning goal 16 seconds into overtime when Tyler Graovac beat Jussi Rynnas on a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.

Texas is now an AHL-worst 2-13 in overtime.

Texas outshot Iowa 35-16 in the loss and controlled possession for most of the night, but Curry stole the victory.

Of his 34 stops, many made the highlight reel.

In the second period, Curry held his ground on a pair of Texas power plays, stifling a trio of chances from point-blank range. Later in the second period, he made a sprawling stop on Jesse Root.

He was even better in the third period, even if Hulak broke his shutout bid.

Curry turned away 14 shots in final frame. He left Greg Rallo looking skyward after a stellar stop on a one-time. He then got a piece of Justin Dowling’s chance with 45 seconds remaining to preserve the tie.

Curry was injured on the Dowling stop, but stayed in the game. Backup goalie Johan Gustafsson was ready to enter the game, but Curry waived him off.

He only faced one more shot and he was rightfully mobbed by his teammates after Graovac’s winning goal.

Much earlier Olivier Archambault gave Iowa a 1-0 lead with 3:07 remaining in the first period.

This story was originally published in the Austin American-Statesman.

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