Cole Schneider Leads Stars to 5-2 Win in Tucson
TUCSON, Arizona - The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, jumped out early against the Tucson Roadrunners and built a four-goal buffer before taking a 5-2 win in their first meeting with Tucson this season. Cole Schneider collected four points and scored the team's opening two goals in the game to help Texas take the first of three games in Arizona this week.
Schneider got the Stars power play back on track early, scoring both of his tallies on the man advantage. His first came less than six minutes into the night and took the Stars just 15 seconds on the man advantage to score. In front of the net, Schneider's shot from just outside the crease popped up and over Roadrunners goaltender Ivan Prosvetov before landed in the net.
The ninth-year veteran opened up the second period right where he left off in the first. The Stars entered the zone in transition before Nikita Scherbak found Adam Mascherin alone in the high slot between the Roadrunners' penalty kill. Mascherin faked a shot and slid the pass to Schneider on the left side of the crease for a tap in into a wide-open net. Schneider currently leads the Stars with five goals and three power play goals.
Late in the period, the Stars scored their first shorthanded goal of the season. Newly named Alternate Captain Josh Melnick was the recipient of a broken-up pass by Schneider and stepped into the Tucson zone on a 2-on-1. He ripped a wrist shot just under the cross bar from the right circle to give Texas a 3-0 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the period.
Adding to the score at the start of the third period was the team's other alternate captain, Nick Baptiste who collected his third goal of the year with help from Riley Damiani and Mascherin. The pair broke up the Roadrunners' clearing attempt before sending the puck over to Baptiste who beat Prosvetov in tight to the crease.
Stars goaltender Tomas Sholl had been perfect through 47 minutes of action and ended the night with an AHL career-high 35 saves. The Roadrunners tested the Stars defense and final broke through with a pair of goals only a minute and 14 seconds apart. Lane Pederson collected a rebound and tucked it into the net before Kevin Roy scored on the power play to cut Texas' lead in half.
Texas rallied defensively and would add another for good measure. Schneider helped cap off the evening as he centered a pass from behind the Tucson net right to Anthony Louis. His shot was stopped but the rebound came right to Derek Barach to slide his second goal of the year past Prosvetov and regain a three-goal advantage.
The special team's outburst produced a 2-for-3 result for the Stars, while the Roadrunners tallied one power play goal on four opportunities and surrendered a shorthanded goal. Prosvetov fell for just the second time this season after making 26 saves in the game and Sholl won his third straight outing.
Tucson will host Texas for two more games this weekend, meeting again on Friday, Mar. 5 at 8 p.m. (CT) at Tucson Convention Center Arena.
3 STARS OF THE GAME presented by Xerox Business Solutions Southwest
1. Cole Schneider (TEX) 2. Lane Pederson (TUC) 3. Tomas Sholl (TEX)
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
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Cole Schneider and the Texas Stars
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