Dallas Stars prospects opened with a win in Traverse City Friday. Cole Ully scored two goals, and Philippe Desrosiers stopped 22 shots as the Stars defeated Minnesota, 3-1, at the NHL Prospect Tournament. Free agent invitee Samuel Laberge's goal 2:17 into the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner for the Stars, who fell behind early but rallied for the victory.
"I thought we played a pretty solid game," said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal, who is coaching the Dallas prospects at the tournament. "There were some ebbs and flows, where we started well, and they had some push back. I thought our guys did a good job of staying composed and hanging in there."
Devin Shore, Niklas Hansson, and Ethan Syzpula registered assists for the Stars, who outshot Minnesota 33-23, including 14-6 in the third period when they outscored Minnesota 2-0.
"The first period was scrambly, the first game of the tournament is always like that," Ully said. "The second and third [periods] we kind of took it to them and capitalized."
Ully, who played on the Stars' top line with Devin Shore and Remi Elie, had several quality scoring chances and registered a game-high six shots on goal.
"Three years ago, Cole Ully wasn't even playing in these games, and you look at how much more confident he is," Laxdal said. "I thought he played very well tonight. He's a greasy little forward who's on the puck, and he scored a great goal on the first one and did a great job on the empty-net goal."
Desrosiers, who is expected to compete for playing time with the Texas Stars this season, was sharp in goal. He wasn't tested often but came up with some big saves at key times.
"Phil was solid," Laxdal said. "I thought Phil gave us a good game."
The Stars had a 12-6 shots advantage, and some 4-on-3 and 5-on-3 power play time in the first period but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes. Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson scored on a blast from the top of the left circle 10:23 into the game.
Ully tied the game 1-1, scoring from the slot at 6:20 of the second period. The Wild had several chances to take the lead later in the period. Desrosiers came up with a big stop on a power-play bid by Alex Petan, an Alex Tuch hit a post, and a Joel Eriksson Ek backhand shot rattled off the crossbar.
Laberge snapped the tie early in the third, scoring on a blast from near the left point to give the Stars a 2-1 lead at the 2:17 mark. Hansson almost made it a 3-1 game later in the period, but he had a shot ring off the crossbar. The Stars didn't allow a shot on goal until the 9:11 mark of the third, Desrosiers kept it a 2-1 game with a sharp save on Eriksson Ek and Ully sealed the win with a late empty-net goal to make it a 3-1 final.
The Stars take on the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Central Time.
Notes: Gurianov solid in first game
*Forward Denis Gurianov , Dallas' first-round pick (12th overall) in 2015, had a solid first game at the tournament. Gurianov, who is making the jump from Russia to North America this season, had three shots on goal, played on both sides of special teams and had a nice blocked shot in the game.
"It was a good game, a fast game, a lot of checking, a lot of speed," Gurianov said through translator Stan Tugolukov, Stars player relations coordinator.
"I thought Denis Gurianov played really well. He had great speed," said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal. "The thing about him is he is really coachable. On the bench, he is looking for coaching. I like his character. I like his persona. He is willing to learn."
*Cole Ully led the Stars with six shots on goal. Free agent invitee Ondrej Vala, a defenseman, was next on the Stars with five shots on goal.
*Stars forward Devin Shore was a team-high plus-two in the game.
*The Stars were 0-3 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill.
*Laxdal said Henri Kiviaho is expected to start in goal Saturday vs. the New York Rangers.
*Shore was the captain for the Dallas prospects Friday. Forward Remi Elie and defenseman Ludwig Bystrom were the alternate captains.
Remi Elie - Devin Shore - Cole Ully
Nick Caamano - Mike McMurtry - Denis Gurianov
Samuel Laberge - Ethan Syzpula - Austin Glover
Jordan Topping - Grayson Pawlenchuk - Connor Chatham
Ludwig Bystrom - Niklas Hansson
Chris Martenet - Brandon Anselmini
Ondrej Vala - Miro Karjalainen
Scratched: Landon Bow, Cordell James, Gordon Ballhorn
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.