CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, were handed a 5-1 loss by the Coachella Valley Firebirds for a split of a two-game weekend series on Saturday night.
The Stars skated in front of their seventh sellout crowd of the season as 6,778 fans packed into the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park for the series finale.
Max McCormick opened the scoring in favor of the Firebirds 1:38 into the contest when he snapped a shot past Matt Murray. Stars forward Riley Damiani tied the game 1-1 at 9:55 when he fired a shot into the top-right corner over the glove of Ales Stezka. Coachella Valley reclaimed a 2-1 lead with 11:09 elapsed when John Hayden slid a shot from the slot through Murray’s legs for a shorthanded goal.
McCormick struck again for his second goal of the night 1:02 into the second period by scoring off a pass from Kole Lind to put the Firebirds up 3-1.
The third period saw Hayden and Lind score for Coachella Valley with 8:46 and then 7:20 remaining in regulation to seal a 5-1 victory and a two-game series split against the Stars in Cedar Park.
Stezka improved to 10-5-1 on the season with the win after stopping 25 of the 26 shots sent his way. Murray came down with the loss and now owns a 9-8-1 record this season after making 24 saves on 29 shots.
The Stars resume their four-game homestand next weekend, hosting the Bakersfield Condors on Friday and Saturday with 7:00 p.m. face-offs scheduled for both nights at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
Photo Credit: Ross Bonander / Texas Stars