Stars Top Defending Champs, 4-2Jan 6, 2017
Nemeth's Multi-Point Night Leads Texas Offense
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- The Texas Stars found their offense as they snapped a three-game skid in a 4-2 victory against the defending Calder Cup Champion Cleveland Monsters on Friday night in Cedar Park.
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who made his season debut with the Stars after being loaned from Dallas on a conditioning assignment earlier in the day, earned two points (1-1=2) and the game’s first star honors.
“Just to come down here and play with these guys and then kind of work on stuff in the game and get some confidence, that’s huge,” said Nemeth
Forward Ethan Werek and defenseman Mattias Backman also made their return to the Stars’ (16-13-1-1) lineup after missing time due to injury. Werek was credited with the primary assist on the team’s first goal of the game, which was scored by forward Remi Elie just three minutes into the opening frame.
Cleveland forward Sonny Milano tied things up with 7:26 left in the first period before defenseman John Ramage gave the visiting Monsters (16-13-1-2) their first, and only, lead of the game when he moved the puck past Stars netminder Maxime Lagace.
“It was a solid game,” said Texas Stars Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “We battled back from 2-1 with a short-handed goal, and I thought we managed the third period very well. We got the lead. We took a couple of penalties and did a great job penalty killing, and for us it was a big two points moving forward.”
The home team’s penalty kill earned their AHL-leading ninth short-handed goal of the season when Nemeth buried his first of the year on a rebound in front of the Monsters’ net to tie the game. Eight of the team’s nine short-handed goals this season have come from different players.
Forward Jason Dickinson then gave Texas their second lead of the night over Cleveland off of a shot from the corner that ricocheted past Monsters goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to make the score 3-2.
The Stars would extend their lead by one more goal with 5:10 remaining in the game after Morin’s diving pass in the offensive zone set up forward Matej Stransky who scored top shelf.
Lagace made 23 of 25 saves to earn the win while Korpisalo stopped 30 of 34 in the loss.
1. Nemeth (TEX)
2. Stransky (TEX)
3. Elie (TEX)
W - Lagace
L - Korpisalo
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars