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Stars' Mayorov emerges as bright spot in loss to Fargo

Stars' Mayorov emerges as bright spot in loss to Fargo

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Fred Hoiberg isn't the only sports mayor in town, as the Lincoln Stars' Nikolai Mayorov proved Sunday.

Mayorov has been a bright spot and a leader as of late during a five-game losing streak.

Mayorov, who tallied 24 goals with Cedar Rapids last season, scored for the second consecutive game in the Stars' 5-3 loss to Fargo in Sunday's matinee at the Ice Box. Mayorov now has three goals in his last eight games and five total on the season.

“He's moving his feet and he's playing with a lot of pace right now,” Stars head coach and general manager Chris Michael said. “It's like the puck is finding him, but he's creating that. (Mayorov) is finding open lanes and playing with some good offensive players that are getting him the puck.

“Good for him. He was kind of in a little bit of a slump there for a while. He's had a good week of practice starting on Monday and it was nice to see it carry over for him. He created a bunch of scoring chances here for three straight games and now we need to keep him going and bring the others along.”

The Stars' second line of Cross Hanas, Jack O'Leary and Mayorov played a pivotal role Sunday in keeping them within striking distance before Fargo regained a two-goal lead with an empty-net goal with 43 seconds left.

Mayorov added an assist on O'Leary's goal at the 13:39 mark in period three that brought the Stars to a 4-3 deficit. O'Leary and Hanas also assisted on Mayorov's game-tying goal early in the frame.

Hanas now has three assists in his last three games and just a lone goal on the year.

“It was a positive to see Cross generate three or four grade-A scoring chances for himself,” Michael said. “He made a big-time play to spring Mayorov on the breakaway. We need our big guns to be big guns right now.”

O'Leary's third-period tally was his sixth of the season as the Smithtown, New York, native was recently named an alternate captain and as the second line made its case to continue playing together.

“For me it's huge; for anybody it's huge,” Hanas said. “If you build chemistry you want to stick with them and not be changing it around, but I think we have been obviously trying to find who that line is. Kind of who that trio is, and tonight I think we proved this line has that capability to do that.”

Sunday's game was the Stars' third in as many days. They'll have an off day Monday before hosting the Omaha Lancers on Tuesday at the Ice Box.

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