Stars Drop Opener of Six-Game Road Trip in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC - The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, dropped the opener of a six-game road trip 8-3 to the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday at Bojangles' Coliseum.
Nick Caamano provided an early spark for Texas, scoring 40 seconds into the game in his first game back since December 18. That was the only time the Stars led, as Charlotte went on to score five first period goals and eight of the next nine. Serron Noel tied the game 1-1 with his first goal of an eventual first period hat trick. Kole Lind then deked out Adam Scheel on a breakaway, putting Charlotte in the lead 2-1.
Midway through the frame, Joel L'Esperance blasted the puck past Joey Daccord on Texas' lone power play, tying the score at 2-2. The Checkers, however, rattled off three straight to end the period up 5-2. Scott Wilson redirected a point shot to make it 3-2. Noel then scored back-to-back goals for his first professional hat trick, chasing Scheel from the net with 4:50 left in the opening frame. Matt Jurusik finished out the game and stopped 14 of 17 shots the rest of the way.
Charlotte padded its lead with two more goals in the second to go up 7-2 before the second break. Zac Dalpe fired a one-timer past Jurusik for the sixth Checkers goal and Chase Priskie provided the seventh on a shot from the high slot with 1:12 left in the frame.
Dalpe tipped in his second of the game to make it 8-2 with 6:38 to play, before Josh Melnick scored the final Texas goal in the last five minutes of regulation. Melnick dragged the puck between his own legs and shot it through Daccord's legs to complete the scoring. Daccord stopped 32 of 35 in the win, and Scheel was credited the loss in just over 15 minutes of work.
Texas and Charlotte face-off again Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET at Bojangles' Coliseum.
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