Stars Blank Rampage for 300th Franchise Win, 3-0Nov 26, 2016
Lagace Stops 28 Shots to Earn the Shutout
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Stephen Johns stayed hot, the Texas Stars’ penalty kill unit scored another shorthanded goal and Maxime Lagace turned aside 28 shots in net to cap off a 3-0 shutout win over the rival San Antonio Rampage on Saturday night in front of 6,158 in attendance at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
The win was the 300th all-time regular season win in franchise history for the Stars (10-6-1-1). Johns tallied his third goal in two games, and Brandon DeFazio’s second-period goal put Texas at the top of the American Hockey League with six shorthanded goals this season. With the win, Texas swept their home-and-home series with the Rampage (8-10-1-0) over the weekend.
The Stars begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday when they visit the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. CST.
All the offense Lagace would need for his second career shutout would come at 5:29 of the opening period when Justin Dowling fed Johns for a one-time blast on the power play at the top of the slot.
"I don’t think I expected to score three goals," said Johns of his two games over the weekend. "I just wanted to come down here, be comfortable skating, playing with the puck again and making smart decisions. I think that a couple times, I got a little over confident with the puck, but it was a lot of fun. We’ve got a great group of guys in this locker room, and it was a lot of fun."
DeFazio extended his point streak to four games at 6:49 of the second after cutting across the San Antonio zone and snapping his seventh of the season past Kent Simpson to make it a 2-0 Texas lead. DeFazio’s tally was the fifth shorthanded goal for Texas in the last five games. With just under three minutes to play in the second, Cole Ully stuffed home a loose puck in the crease to make it a three-goal Texas lead.
"We worked on a lot this week with being a little more confident and having more of a pressure penalty kill," said DeFazio after the game. "I think something we’ve been trying to do all year, is getting up ice. Sometimes you get a chance but more or less just put a lot of pressure because sometimes you force them to turn back and get breakouts. I think the extra attention on the [penalty kill] helped us."
Lagace took over in the third to lead the Stars to their eighth win in the last 11 contests.
Fourteen of the goaltender’s 28 saves came in the final period. The most frantic came late in the game when the Rampage earned an extended power play on a Texas slashing minor, including 1:13 of that opportunity on a two-man advantage. The Texas defense held ground when needed, and Lagace improved to 3-0-1 in his last four games with the effort.
"I thought the team played really well in front of me," added Lagace. "They kept most of the shots to the outside so when I had to come up with a pretty good save, it made it easy. I was confident out there, and obviously getting your first shutout of the season is always good. It’s always good."
Simpson finished 28 of 31 in the loss for San Antonio.
Texas finished 1-for-5 on the power play. The Rampage went 0-for-4.
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. Lagace (TEX)
2. Johns (TEX)
3. DeFazio (TEX)
W - Lagace
L - Simpson
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars