Stars Hold on for 4-3 Win over Rampage
CEDAR PARK, Texas - Denis Gurianov tallied the key goal and the Texas Stars held off a late push from their in-state rival to lock up a 4-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday night in front of 5,545 fans in attendance at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
Gurianov's rebound goal 5:09 into the third held up as the game-winner. Gemel Smith tallied a goal and an assist in his return from the NHL, and Justin Peters stopped 24 shots in net to earn the win. It was the Stars' eighth win over the Rampage in 12 meetings this season, and the 599th win in the head coaching career of the Stars' Derek Laxdal. Of those wins, 113 have come in the AHL.
The Stars (33-36-1-4) and Rampage (26-41-5-2) face off again Friday at 7:30 p.m. at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Gurianov's game-winner came on a third-chance play after San Antonio's Joe Cannata denied Ludwig Bystrom's point shot and Remi Elie's rebound effort with split-second saves. The Stars' rookie tapped home the loose puck for his 11th of the season to give Texas a 4-2 advantage. Reid Petryk responded just over a minute later to pull the Rampage back within one, but Texas shut the door from there.
Rocco Grimaldi opened up the scoring four minutes into the game when the rebound off his one-timer in the slot bounced off a Texas player and in the net for his 30th of the season and a 1-0 San Antonio lead. It looked like San Antonio would take the one-goal lead into the break, but Gemel Smith deflected home his 12th of the year with five seconds left to put Texas on the board.
In period two, Smith set up Matt Mangene driving down the slot for a power-play tally at 11:52 to give Texas the lead. Chris Bigras cashed in a two-man advantage for the Rampage four minutes later with a blast from the point to knot the score again. Cole Ully put Texas back in front with 3:48 left in the second, tipping Mark McNeill's centering pass past Cannata for his 13th of the year and a 3-2 Texas lead entering the third.
Cannata stopped 25 of 29 in the losing effort for the Rampage.
Both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
Weekday home games (Monday-Thursday) are H-E-B night with the Texas Stars where fans can donate a non-perishable item at the box office and save five dollars on their ticket purchase. Every Saturday is a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night where the first Stars player to score wins free scratch-off tickets for a lucky row of seats at H-E-B Center. Fans can also enjoy Coke Zero Family Four-Packs every Saturday with four tickets, four hot dogs and four soft drinks starting at just $16 per person.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, and are currently playing their eighth season at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. Full season, 24-game, 12-game and six-game ticket packages for the 2016-17 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
1. Gemel Smith (TEX) 2. Denis Gurianov (TEX) 3. Ludwig Bystrom (TEX)
Forward Jason Dickinson On tonight's game... "There were some moments where maybe our game wasn't exactly how we'd like it. We got a little scrambly and weren't playing very tight. But, all-in-all, I thought we put in a good effort, and I thought we deserved that win."
On having seven players in the NHL at one time... "I think it brings a little more confidence. [Gurianov] was there for one game, but that's something he's got, now, in the back for his head where he can say 'Hey, I did it. I can play at that level. I can translate it to here now.' It's the same for [Elie] and I. We played a few more games, but we got the same thing. We all got some more confidence because of that."
On what he brought back from playing in the NHL...
"It's the little things. The game is so tight up there. There's very little space to make plays. I think that's the big thing to try to translate down here is to make those little area plays that they make up there and that you're forced to try and work through."
Head Coach Derek Laxdal On the play of the Gurianov - Dickinson - Elie line tonight... "[Elie] had a really good chance up in the NHL. I think he played 18 games. [That's] over a month of playing time, so a great opportunity for him. He's deserved it this year. He's been one of our most consistent forwards. [Dickinson] went up for a couple games, and for [Denis Gurianov] to get his first game, it shows you the next wave of kids getting ready for Dallas: speed, big, and strong. I think that's only going to play into their hands very well here. Those kids played well tonight, and did a great job of generating that goal. [They] should've had one in the first period, I think Dickinson hit the cross bar with it. Again, it's good to have those guys back in the lineup. If you had seen our lineup in Charlotte on Saturday and Sunday, tonight was a real treat."
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