Gazdic Scores Game-Winner in Return from Injury, Texas Takes Over First Place Overall in AHL
CEDAR PARK, TX – Luke Gazdic scored the game-winning goal in his first game back from injury and Richard Bachman stopped 29-of-30 shots to lead the Texas Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Rochester Americans Friday night at Cedar Park Center.
Texas struck first at 3:24 on Scott Glennie’s third goal of the year. Francis Wathier threw a backhand shot into a crowd at the top of the crease that hit off Taylor Vause and Glennie managed to force it through the scrum and underneath Rochester goaltender David Leggio to put the Stars in front 1-0. With 5.6 seconds left in the period and Texas on the power play, Mark Mancari’s shorthanded one-timer leveled the score. Phil Varone skated behind the net and found Mancari in the slot, who then ripped the puck past the glove of Stars netminder Richard Bachman to tally a shorthanded goal.
Luke Gazdic and William Wrenn teamed up to reclaim the lead for Texas at 9:16 of the middle frame. Wrenn blasted a slap shot from the left point and Gazdic deftly redirected the puck in mid-air past Leggio to put the Stars back on top 2-1. The goal was Gazdic’s third of the year and came during his first game back after a nine-game injury absence. Bretton Cameron had the second assist on the goal to record his 100th career professional point. Texas had multiple chances with the man advantage to extend their lead, including a two-minute five-on-three opportunity, but the pipes were kind to Leggio as three Stars shots ricocheted off the posts. Texas unloaded 16 shots in the period to the Amerks’ nine and carried a 2-1 edge into the third despite going 0-for-4 on the power play.
The Stars clamped down on the Rochester comeback attempt in the final session. Texas killed off a late Maxime Fortunus penalty and Bachman was stellar in the crease, stopping all 12 Americans shots he faced in the frame. Bachman’s best effort came with just over two minutes remaining when he went post-to-post to deny Zemgus Girgensons’ one-on-one backhander with dazzling left pad save. The Stars dominated puck possession the rest of the way and closed out a 2-1 victory to pass the Syracuse Crunch for first place overall in the American Hockey League.
Texas starter Richard Bachman stopped 29-of-30 shots to pick up his fifth win of the season in six AHL starts. Rochester starter David Leggio turned away 39-of-41 Stars shots and was hit with the loss. Texas outshot the visitors 41-30 and was 0-for-7 on the power play; the Americans were 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
The Texas Stars conclude their three-game home stand on Saturday March 23 at 7:00 pm against the Charlotte Checkers. Saturday is the second and final night of Military Appreciation Weekend presented by Round Rock Auto Group. The first 2,500 fans at Cedar Park Center will receive a Stars Camo Hat and the Texas Stars Foundation is holding a silent auction for the game-worn Stars camouflage jerseys. 2013-14 Season Tickets are now on sale. Put your deposit for 2013-14 season tickets and receive priority for both Texas Stars 2013 Calder Cup playoff tickets and 2013-14 season seat selection. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.