Stars Offense Erupts in 8-4 Drubbing of RockfordDec 9, 2016
Landon Bow Stops 35 of 36 Shots in Relief in AHL Debut
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Brandon DeFazio tallied three points, Brendan Ranford scored twice and Landon Bow made his American Hockey League debut in net as the Texas Stars topped the Rockford IceHogs by an 8-4 final on Friday night in front of 4,572 fans in attendance at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
Bow stopped 35 of 36 shots after coming on in relief midway through the second period. Gemel Smith also scored the Stars’ seventh shorthanded goal of the season to lead the AHL, and Justin Dowling added two points (goal, assist) to pull himself with one of tying Greg Rallo for third all-time in franchise history with 191 points.
The Stars (12-8-1-1) and the IceHogs (7-13-2-2) face off again Saturday night at 7 p.m. CST at H-E-B Center.
The Stars took early control of the game off first period turnovers by the IceHogs. Mike McMurtry scored from the slot at 5:33 for his fifth of the season off a Rockford turnover in the middle of the zone. Ranford tapped in his first of the game at 12:07 from Travis Morin’s centering pass, and Smith’s shorthanded tally came with nine seconds left in the period after Rockford rookie Nick Schmaltz turned the puck over at the Texas blue line.
The IceHogs came charging back in the opening eight minutes of period two with three straight goals from Cameron Schilling on the power play, and Luke Johnson and Robin Norell each scoring their first career AHL goals, but after that the rest of the night belonged to the Texas offense. Ranford made it a 4-3 Stars lead on another IceHog turnover at 8:25 for his second of the game and third of the season. Morin set up Matt Mangene with a back-door pass for a power play goal at 9:55 to extend the defenseman’s point streak to five games.
DeFazio, who finished with a goal and two assists, smacked home his ninth of the season just 21 seconds into the third after sliding on his belly at the side of the net and whacking a loose puck to make it 6-3. Remi Elie and Dowling of the Stars scored late in the game, along with Rockford’s Kyle Baun, for the 8-4 final.
Maxime Lagace made his 13th consecutive appearance in net for Texas, but was pulled after Rockford’s third goal for the rookie Bow to make his AHL debut. Lagace finished eight of 11 on the night. Rockford starter Jake Hildebrand finished 11 of 16 and exited the game for Mac Carruth after Mangene’s power play strike. Carruth went six of nine and the IceHogs outshot Texas in the game, 47-25.
Texas went 1-for-3 on the power play. The IceHogs went 1-for-5. The Stars improved their record to 7-0 in game one of a back-to-back set against an opponent this season.
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 are currently playing their eighth season at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. 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. Ranford (TEX)
2. DeFazio (TEX)
3. Morin (TEX)
W - Bow
L - Hildebrand
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars