|(Credit: Tucson Roadrunners)|
Despite not opening the scoring, Texas roared back with a three-goal response in the first to earn all the offense they needed to beat Tucson tonight. Each of those goals came on the rush as Texas flexed its speed and youth on the Roadrunners. Texas won three in a row for the first time this season.
The Stars answered Tucson's opening goal within two minutes and added another 19 seconds later. Tomas Sholl got back to back starts for the first time on the season, winning his fourth straight with 40 saves. Nikita Scherbak scored a pair, and Anthony Louis had a goal and an assist. Cole Schneider continued his strong week with a pair of assists, putting him at ten points total on the year.
After Ryan McGregor opened the scoring six minutes in, it was a hustle play from Jake Slaker to earn the tie. Slaker, who has been in and out of the lineup, showed his skating skills by beating out an icing call. The Roadrunners had relaxed on the play and didn't catch Riley Tufte drifting into the slot for the pass from Slaker. It was Tufte's first of the year.
A bad luck bounce for Adin Hill and the Roadrunners gave Adam Mascherin the puck in the blue paint and no one around him for the 2-1 score just 19 seconds later.
Nikita Scherbak ended the period's scoring with a power play goal off the assist from Adam Mascherin. The cross-ice pass from Mascherin cut perfectly from left dot to right where Scherbak made no mistake to beat Hill.
The second period was filled with power play chances for Texas, four in total including a 62-second 5-on-3 segment. At one point, the Stars led Tucson on the shot count 10-0 in the period. Texas was unable to score on any of those power plays despite some dangerous chances. That could have sunk the Stars, but they remained resilient.
That resilience was rewarded in the third as Derek Barach fed Anthony Louis for the 4-1 lead early in the frame. After a long quiet period, and a few killed penalties for Texas, the Stars put it out of reach with a dagger from Nikita Scherbak, making it 5-1. Tucson would score late to make it 5-2, but it was of no consequence.
Texas held onto the win with an incredible 80 seconds of 6-on-3 to end the game, killing it off with barely any shots against. These clubs face off again to close the 'series' tomorrow night.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stranges, Porco, Markison, Barteaux, L. Martin, M. Martin, Jurusik (scratch)
Texas went back to 12F-6D with Dawson Barteaux leaving the lineup and Jake Slaker stepping in.