Stars Hold On for 4-3 Win over RampageApr 12, 2017
Stars - 29
Rampage - 27
Laxdal Picks Up 599th Career Head Coaching Win
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- In his first game back since being called up to the NHL’s Dallas Stars, Denis Gurianov tallied the game-winning goal as the Texas Stars held off a late push from their in-state rival to lock up a 4-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s victory was the Stars’ eighth win over the Rampage in 12 meetings this season, and the 599th win in the head coaching career of the Stars’ Derek Laxdal.
“Those kids played well tonight, and did a great job of generating that goal,” said Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “[They] should’ve had one in the first period, I think Dickinson hit the cross bar with it. Again, it’s good to have those guys back in the lineup. If you had seen our lineup in Charlotte on Saturday and Sunday, tonight was a real treat.”
Rocco Grimaldi opened up the scoring four minutes into the game when the rebound off his one-timer in the slot bounced off a Texas player and in the net for his 30th of the season and a 1-0 San Antonio lead. It looked like San Antonio would take the one-goal lead into the break, but Gemel Smith, who also returned from Dallas, deflected home his 12th of the year with five seconds left on the clock to put Texas on the board.
The middle frame saw Smith set up Matt Mangene as he was driving down the slot for a power-play tally at 11:52 to give Texas the lead. Chris Bigras cashed then in a two-man advantage for the Rampage four minutes later with a blast from the point to knot the score again. Cole Ully put Texas back in front with 3:48 left in the second, tipping Mark McNeill’s centering pass past Cannata for his 13th of the year and a 3-2 Texas lead entering the third.
Gurianov’s 11th goal of the season came on a third-chance play after San Antonio’s Joe Cannata denied Ludwig Bystrom’s point shot and Remi Elie’s rebound effort. The Stars’ rookie tapped home the loose puck for his 11th of the season to give Texas a 4-2 advantage. Reid Petryk responded just over a minute later to pull the Rampage back within one, and Texas shut the door from there.
“Gurianov was [in Dallas] for one game, but that’s something he’s got now in the back for his head where he can say ‘Hey, I did it. I can play at that level. I can translate it to here now,’” said Dickinson. “It’s the same for [Elie] and I. We played a few more games, but we got the same thing. We all got some more confidence because of that.”
Cannata stopped 25 of 29 in the losing effort for the Rampage.
Both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
The Stars (33-36-1-4) and Rampage (26-41-5-2) face off again Friday at 7:30 p.m. at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
1. Gemel Smith (TEX)
2. Denis Gurianov (TEX)
3. Ludwig Bystrom (TEX)
W - Justin Peters (TEX)
L - Joe Cannata (SA)
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars