Third Period Surge Leads Stars to 3-2 Win Over TucsonFeb 9, 2017
Stars - 26
Roadrunners - 27
Travis Morin Tallies 300th Career Assist as a Star
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Matt Mangene and Brandon DeFazio scored 26 seconds apart in the third period to turn a tie hockey game into a 3-2 win for the Texas Stars on Friday night over the Tucson Roadrunners to open up a two-game set this weekend between the two clubs.
Andrew Bodnarchuk also scored for Texas. Travis Morin recorded his 300th career assist as a Star on DeFazio’s goal. Justin Peters stopped 25 of 27 shots against his former club to earn his second win as a Star and his seventh overall this year. The veteran netminder has given up just six goals in his last three games since joining Texas (22-20-1-2).
“For us, it was good to get a win and build on last weekend’s win with a chance to get two more points tomorrow night,” said Texas Stars Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “Obviously, we look at the overall game, and Justin was solid in net.”
Tied 1-1 entering the third, Bodnarchuk set up Mangene’s goal on a counterattack rush at 5:25 with a backdoor feed for an easy tap-in goal. Morin then hit DeFazio in the slot at 5:51 to make it a 3-1 advantage on the forward’s 16th of the season, tying him for the Texas lead with Matej Stransky.
“We wanted to come out hard. I think we came out hard in the first period, calmed down a little in the second but came hard again in the third period,” said Stransky. “Obviously, pushing for a playoff spot, every game is a playoff game for us so that was our attitude going into the game. I think we showed up and played pretty good tonight.”
Christian Fischer added a goal for the Roadrunners (21-15-5-0) with the extra attacker on the ice in the final minute. Marek Langhamer finished with 23 saves in the loss in his first career appearance against the Stars.
After a scoreless first period, Bodnarchuk put Texas on the board with a power play goal at 8:58 of the second. Gemel Smith’s shot generated the rebound chance for Bodnarchuk in the left circle as the Stars defenseman snapped a 27-game goal drought with his fifth of the season.
Just over a minute later, former Star Chris Mueller buried a long pass at the right side of the goal crease for his 10th of the season to knot the score.
Texas finished 1-for-3 on the power play. Tucson went 0-for-4. Friday was the Stars’ ninth one-goal finish in their last 11 games.
“Part of the strategy tonight was to keep them off the power play,” said Laxdal. “We took some penalties, especially early in the first period, and did a good job of killing them. That took the momentum away from them.”
The Stars and Roadrunners close out their weekend set Saturday at 7 p.m. CST.
1. Bodnarchuk (TEX)
2. Peters (TEX)
3. Smith (TEX)
W - Peters
L - Langhamer
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars