Stars Open Season with a Bang in 6-2 WinOct 13, 2016
DeFazio Paces Offense with Three Points in Texas Debut
CEDAR PARK, Texas – Brandon DeFazio led the way with three points and the Texas Stars offense scored three goals in the final three minutes of the first period to open up a 6-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Opening Night of the 2016-17 regular season at H-E-B Center.
DeFazio tallied a goal and two assists in the win. Justin Dowling scored the first goal of the season, and Maxime Lagace turned in a 34-save performance to earn his first win in net.
Texas (1-0-0-0) and Charlotte (0-1-0-0) face off again Saturday at 7 p.m. CST to close out the weekend.
Dowling began up the scoring at 6:52 of the first on an odd-man rush with DeFazio to tally the 250th point of his pro career. Things stayed quiet until late in the period when the Stars offense erupted for three goals in the closing minutes. Nick Ebert tapped home a rebound goal with 2:11 to play. Cole Ully added his first of the year 51 seconds later, and with less than a second remaining on the clock, Mattias Backman snapped home a wrist shot from the slot to make it 4-0, Texas.
Michael Leighton came on in relief to start the second for Charlotte after starter Alex Nedelijkovic gave up the first period tallies. Derek Ryan tipped home a power play goal to put the Checkers on the board at 9:09 of the second, but the offensive show continued for the Stars. Stransky found his way on the scoresheet with a power play goal at 16:16 from touch-passing by Travis Morin and Brendan Ranford down low.
DeFazio then put an exclamation point on his Texas debut with a breakaway goal by swatting a deflected puck out of the air and off the back of Leighton with just over a minute to play in the second.
Charlotte’s Andrew Poturalski scored late in the third to make it a 6-2 final.
Backman (goal, assist) and Ludwig Bystrom (two assists) also finished with a multi-point game for Texas.
Texas went 1-for-3 on the power play. Charlotte finished 1-for-4. Leighton ended the game 14 of 16 in net for the Checkers.
Weekday home games (Monday-Thursday) are H-E-B night with the Texas Stars where fans can donate a non-perishable item at the box office and save five dollars on their ticket purchase. Every Saturday is a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night where the first Stars player to score wins free scratch-off tickets for a lucky row of seats at H-E-B Center. Fans can also enjoy Coke Zero Family Four-Packs every Saturday with four tickets, four hot dogs and four soft drinks starting at just $16 per person.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and will begin their eighth season at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park in October. Full season, 24-game, 12-game and six-game ticket packages for the 2016-17 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
1. DeFazio (TEX)
2. Dowling (TEX)
3. Lagace (TEX)
W - Lagace
L - Nedelijkovic
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars