|(Credit: Tucson Roadrunners)
In any season, no matter the length, you have to find all sort of different ways to win. Tonight, Texas put their special teams on display to get the W. In doing so, Texas got their first back-to-back wins of the season.
Cole Schneider was the engine of the win, along with a stingy defense. The captain collected two goals and two assists on the night. The defense limited shots on Tomas Sholl, even though he still saw a lot of rubber. Sholl had a shutout bid going until halfway through the third, stopping 33 of 35.
Texas has quietly been compiling an impressive special teams record this season. After tonight's contest, the Stars hold a 25.3% on the PP and 79.7% on the PK. Most teams shoot for those two numbers to add up to 110. With a 105, Texas is riding along at an impressive clip.
Cole Schneider contributed to that number twice tonight. The first PPG came at 5:19 of the opening frame. It was a bizarre play where Schneider's deflection of Anthony Louis's shot rainbowed up over Ivan Prosvetov and bounced in. Thomas Harley had the second assist.
Schneider's second goal was textbook, as he drifted away from his defensive cover and got open for an easy tap-in goal on the backdoor. Melnick's tally to make it 3-0 was on the penalty kill. Schneider jumped a pass from Prosvetov in neutral ice and dished to Melnick.
In the final frame, the other newly-named alternate captain for Texas put one past Prosvetov. Nick Baptiste scored on a pass from behind the net by Adam Mascherin. Tucson made a late, but unsuccessful push, to come back in the third period. Within 74 seconds, the Roadrunners scored twice and gave Texas a scare. Derek Barach put things out of reach with his second of the year to make it 5-2 with three minutes remaining.
The Stars play Tucson twice more this week, both Friday and Saturday.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stranges, Porco, Markison, Slaker, L. Martin, M. Martin, Jurusik (scratch)
Texas went with 11F-7D again tonight.