Stars Move Back into a Playoff Spot in a 6-4 Win Over Lake ErieMar 11, 2015
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- A balanced attack throughout the night and a lockdown effort in the closing minutes propelled the Texas Stars to a 6-4 win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center.
Six different players scored for Texas (26-18-13-1) and Jussi Rynnas finished with 36 saves to earn his 100th career win as a pro. With the win, Texas takes over sole possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL's Western Conference, and moves to within one point of seventh-place Hamilton with three games in hand.
The Monsters (26-24-5-3) made a late push, scoring twice in the third period to close the Texas gap to 5-4, but Travis Morin's empty-net goal in the closing seconds put the game on ice for the Stars. Texas finished with a pair of goals in each period of play, and also scored twice on the power play against a Lake Erie squad that ranked fourth in road penalty-killing entering the contest.
The Stars continue their homestand on Saturday against the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m.
Scott Glennie opened up the scoring for Texas, deflecting Justin Dowling's shot at 6:56 of the first for his ninth of the season. The Stars made it a 2-0 lead with a power play goal by Julius Honka less than four minutes later. The rookie defenseman snapped home a wrist shot from the left circle to beat Lake Erie netminder Sami Aittokallio, who suffered the loss stopping 23 of 28 shots in net.
Carrying power play time into the start of the second, the Monsters struck back with a goal from Ben Youds, 30 seconds in, to cut into the Texas lead. However, Derek Meech came right back for the Stars at 1:08 to bury a slap shot from the slot for his ninth of the season and regain the two-goal lead for the Stars. The offensive rush continued with a Lake Erie goal by Sam Henley at 2:52 to make it a 3-2 game, favoring Texas. The offense cooled off between the two clubs until Kevin Henderson one-timed his third of the year from the right circle off a crossing feed by Honka with 1:16 to play in the middle frame.
Derek Hulak added the other power play goal for the Stars, stuffing in a puck from the right side of the net at 9:43 of the third to open up a 5-2 lead for Texas. Lake Erie wired a pair of goals from Ben Street on the power play at 11:33 and Reid Petryk at 15:47 to make it a one-goal game once again and set up the frantic finish.
Morin was awarded an empty-net goal when a Lake Erie stick was thrown in his direction while skating through center ice.
The Stars finished 2-for-5 on the power play. Lake Erie finished 2-for-3.
Honka (one goal, one assist), Dowling (two assists), Glennie (one goal, one assist), and Morin (one goal, one assist) all finished with multi-point games for the Stars in the win. Signed to an amateur tryout agreement on Tuesday, Devin Shore made his professional debut in the contest for the Stars and registered a shot on goal. Shore was drafted in the second round (61st overall) by the Dallas Stars in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and just completed a three-year run at the University of Maine.
Photo Credit: Christin Shapiro/Texas Stars
1. Julius Honka (TEX)
2. Justin Dowling (TEX)
3. Scott Glennie (TEX)
Stars - 29
Monsters - 40