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Laxdal Earns 500th Coaching Win in Stars 4-1 Triumph over Charlotte

January 3, 2015 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Texas Stars News Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Brendan Ranford scored twice and the Texas Stars opened up a four-goal third period to overtake the Charlotte Checkers and finish off a 4-1 win on Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Arena in front of 7,133 in attendance.

It was the 500th career coaching win for Texas head coach Derek Laxdal, who now holds a record of 500-259-74 in the middle of his 13th season as a coach. Gemel Smith also scored his fourth goal in as many games for the Stars. Jussi Rynnas earned his eighth win of the season, stopping 24-of-25 in net.

Texas (14-10-8-0) and Charlotte (11-18-3-1) close out their two-game weekend set on Sunday at 2 p.m. CST.

Charlotte carried a 1-0 lead into the third period with a breakaway goal by Justin Shugg at 15:05 of the second period for his 11th of the year, but it took less than two minutes into the third for Texas to open the flood gates offensively.

Derek Meech set up Ranford's first of night by stickhandling his way around a player and sending a crossing pass to the right circle for a one-timer goal at 1:41 of the frame. Smith then added his fourth of the season at 13:40 from the front of the net as Matej Stransky rolled a centering feed from behind the goal onto the rookie's stick to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. Less than two minutes later, Ranford took matters into his own hands for his second of the game, carrying the puck from the left circle and across the front of the goal before slipping a backhand shot past Checkers' goaltender John Muse for his seventh of the season. Meech and Derek Hulak were credited with the assists on the goal.

Radek Faksa hit an empty-net goal from the center ice circle with 1:55 left in regulation to finalize the 4-1 score.

Muse stopped 30-of-33 shots in the loss for the Checkers. Neither team tallied a power play goal as the Stars finished 0-for-1 and Charlotte, 0-for-2.

Meech finished with a two-assist game for the Stars. Rynnas continued his hot play in net for the Stars, now going 6-0-3 since his last regulation loss on Halloween. The Stars Matt Mangene appeared in his 150th professional game tonight.

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