|(Credit: Tucson Roadrunners)
Texas ran the Roadrunners out of the building this week in all three games. Tonight it came via a four goal effort from the offense and a 40 save effort from Colton Point. It got close in the third, but Texas pulled it out with much thanks to some aggressive saves from Point. The W gave Texas its first four-game winning streak
Despite a significant shot differential in the Roadrunners' favor, 42-24, the Stars scored at the most opportune times to throw Tucson off balance and put them away. For example, in the second period up by just one, Texas killed back to back penalties and then waltzed down the ice in an odd-man rush to score just 17 seconds later.
It was a clear showing of the team's growing maturity. They didn't get nervy with a 1-0 lead despite multiple chances from the opposition to tie it up when it was 1-0. They held on to build a cushion in the second with a pair of goals coming just 2:55 apart. They didn't panic in the third even as Tucson got within one.
Adam Mascherin scored the first goal of the game late in the opening frame. Nikita Scherbak found him on a cross-ice pass that he quickly caught and released past Adin Hill.
In the second, the Stars had that aforementioned segment, blanking on two of their own power plays and then serving up two to the Roadrunners. After killing both, Nick Moutrey scored on the rush to make it a 2-0 game. More breathing room came three minutes later when Riley Damiani whipped one past Hill from the high slot off the pass from Tye Felhaber.
With about a minute left in the second, Tucson would get on the board with an excellent outlet pass from behind the net creating a bang-bang goal for Kevin McGregor. They rode that momentum through the break and scored again to open the third.
Point was very aggressive in net, charging out at shots. And there were a lot of shots tonight, especially in the third. Tucson went 6-on-5 with under two minutes left but could not break down the wall. Jake Slaker added an empty netter to set the final, assisted by Cole Schneider.
Texas returns home to play Colorado on Friday.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stranges, Porco, Markison, Baptiste, Barteaux, M. Martin, Sholl (scratch)
Luke Martin played his first game of the year tonight. Texas rolled 11F-7D.