Stars Weekly (Week 19) - Texas Takes Down Toronto in Battle of Division Leaders
Week 18 Recap:
The Texas Stars went 1-2-0-0 in Week 18, sandwiching two home losses to West Division opponents around a blowout victory over the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies on Saturday at Cedar Park Center.
The Stars lost back-to-back home games for the first time in the 2013-14 season when they were defeated 4-2 by San Antonio Wednesday night, in spite of out-shooting the Rampage 46-18. Coupled with a 4-1 loss the previous Saturday vs. Grand Rapids, it is the first time that Texas had lost back-to-back games since the end of November. Matt Gilroy snuck a shot by goaltender Josh Robinson in the first period, in which San Antonio had a tame 6-4 shot advantage. The Stars took over in the second period, out-shooting the Rampage 19-3, but were unable to beat San Antonio net-minder Michael Houser. The Rampage added to their lead just 23 seconds into the third period on a tip-in by Jed Ortmeyer and then made it 3-0 on another Ortmeyer redirection at 2:24, this time on a power play. AHL leading scorer Travis Morin got Texas into the game with a power play goal at 3:31, but the dagger in the Stars' hearts came on a Vincent Trocheck goal at 8:25. The Stars pulled Robinson with almost four minutes left in regulation and Scott Glennie tucked in a great pass from Brendan Ranford at 18:12 to make it 4-2, but time ran out on Texas. The loss ended the Stars' 20-game point streak (15-0-2-3, 35 pts.) against San Antonio; before Wednesday night, Texas had not lost in regulation to the Rampage since March 10, 2012.
On Saturday night, Texas ended a modest two-game losing skid with a dominate 6-0 shutout over the Toronto Marlies. Captain Maxime Fortunus and Chris Mueller each posted two goals and an assist in the contest, while goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp stopped all 19 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. It was Nilstorp's first game back in the net after being forced to leave mid-game on January 22nd vs. Iowa due to injury. The Stars' league-leading power play cashed in three times on a season-high 11 chances, including two second period power play goals from Fortunus and a third period tally from Mueller, which tied him for the AHL-lead with 12 power play goals this year. Travis Morin, Colton Sceviour and Derek Meech also posted two assists in the game as Texas became the second team in the Western Conference and the fifth team in the AHL to reach the 60-point mark in 2013-14. The Stars and Marlies combined for 94 penalty minutes in the game, which matched Texas' season high. The 6-0 win matched the team's season high for margin of victory and was the seventh time this year that Texas has won by a margin of five or more goals.
The Stars may have suffered from the quick turnaround as they were right back on the ice for a 1:00 p.m. start on Sunday and they fell short to the Oklahoma City Barons 7-4. The teams alternated scoring the game's first seven goals until the trend was broken by Will Acton, who made the score 5-3 Barons at 11:38 of the second period, which would turn out to be the game-winning goal. Oklahoma City would add another power play goal before the end of the period for a 6-3 lead. Rookie Curtis McKenzie scored four minutes into the final frame and looked to spark another exciting third period rally, only for notorious Star-killer Mark Arcobello to score an unassisted goal at 11:25 and end any Texas hopes of a comeback. Jyrki Jokipakka led the team with two assists, while Ryan Button, Brett Ritchie and Mike Hedden were the other goal scorers for the Stars, who have now lost three of their last four home games following a franchise record 12-game home winning streak that ended on January 25th vs. Grand Rapids. Texas out-shot Oklahoma City 45-32 in the game, marking the third straight game, and 20th time this season, that the team had 40 or more shots on goal. The Stars lead the AHL in total shots (1,777) and shots per game average (37.81).
Week 19 Preview:
Week 19 began with a bang as Texas Stars center Travis Morin was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for January. Morin, who posted 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 11 games during the month, also received the AHL's Player of the Month award for October, becoming just the second player (OKC's Jordan Eberle) to receive the honor twice in the same season over the last seven seasons since the tracking of the monthly award began.
This week the Stars complete the first of their two season-long seven-game homestands as they look for redemption against the Oklahoma City Barons on Tuesday, February 4th at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center. Texas then hits the road with its first of two scheduled trips to British Columbia to face the Abbotsford Heat. First place in the West Division will be on the line this weekend as the Stars and Heat square off on Saturday, February 8th at 9:00 p.m. CT and Sunday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m. CT at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. After Tuesday's game with the Barons, there will be 17 days between home games, when Texas returns to host the Charlotte Checkers on February 21st and 22nd for Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center.
C Travis Morin (26-39-65) leads the AHL in assists and points, ranks second in the league in goals, is on a three-game point streak and has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in his last six games. RW Colton Sceviour (27-23-50) leads the AHL in goals, shots (183) and game-winning goals (6), ranks third in points, is on a three-game assist streak and has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in his last six games. LW Mike Hedden (17-19-36) is tied for 13th in the league in goals, is tied for 19th in points and has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games. C Justin Dowling (5-16-21) is on a three-game assist streak with four assists and a +2 rating during that span. LW Curtis McKenzie (16-27-43) leads all AHL rookies and is tied for sixth overall in points and has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in his last eight games. C Chris Mueller (21-22-43) is tied for the AHL lead in power play goals (12), is tied for fourth in the league in goals, is tied for sixth in points and has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in his last six games.
Week 19 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE over the Internet at www.TexasStarsHockey.com and the free radio button on the schedule page of www.ahllive.com and can be viewed via internet pay-per-view video on www.ahllive.com. All times listed in Central Time)
Tuesday, February 4 - 7:30 p.m. - Cedar Park Center - Cedar Park, TX
vs. Oklahoma City Barons (18-22-1-5, 42 pts.)
Fourth Place, West Division
Team Notes: The Oklahoma City Barons won their second straight game on Sunday with a 7-4 victory over the Texas Stars. The Barons used a four-goal second period to turn a 2-2 tied into a 6-3 lead on their way to their first win of a season at Cedar Park Center. Oklahoma City's all-time leading scorer C Mark Arcobello had a goal and two assists in his season debut, after being with the Edmonton Oilers all season. In 26 career regular season games against Texas, Arcobello has 28 points (7 goals, 19 assists) and a +11 rating, both of which are Barons' team highs. Oklahoma City has the fifth rated road power-play (21.6%) and went 2-for-3 with the man-advantage on Sunday at Texas. However, the Barons rank 28th in the AHL in penalty kill percentage (77.8%). They are last in the league in shots allowed per game (34.02) and 29th in goals-against average (3.46). Oklahoma City is 5-5-0-0 (10 pts.) over its last 10 games and is six points below the eighth and final playoff spot.Leading Scorer: Anton Lander (C) - 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) and a +6 in 29 GP.Leading Goaltender: Richard Bachman (G) - 3.04 GAA, 0.909 save pct., 10-12-2 and 1 SO in 25 GP.Who's Hot: C Anton Lander (12-17-29) is tied for the team lead in points, ranks second in goals and assists and has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +3 rating in his last three games. D Brad Hunt (5-16-21) is second on the team in defensemen scoring and is currently on a three game point streak with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a +2 rating during that span. RW Tyler Pitlick (6-9-15) is on a two-game point streak and has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) and a +5 rating in his last seven games.
Saturday, February 8 - 9:00 p.m. - Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre - Abbotsford, BC
@ Abbotsford Heat (28-14-3-1, 60 pts.)
Second Place, West Division
Sunday, February 9 - 6:00 p.m. - Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre - Abbotsford, BC
@ Abbotsford Heat (28-14-3-1, 60 pts.)
Second Place, West Division
Team Notes: After losing their first four games in January, the Abbotsford Heat have secured points in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2-0, 12 pts.) and are currently on a five-game point streak (3-0-2-0, 8 pts.). The Heat are currently one point behind Texas for the top spot in the West Division and hold a game in hand over the Stars. Abbotsford will host the Charlotte Checkers for games on Tuesday and Wednesday, before welcoming Texas for a massive two-game weekend series at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. Abbotsford has the second best power-play in the league (23.1%), trailing behind only Texas (28.2%), but ranks 26th overall in penalty kill (78.6%). The Heat and Stars are the AHL's least penalized teams, averaging 12.26 and 12.98 penalty minutes per game, respectively. Rookies Markus Granlund (34) and Corban Knight (31) both rank in the top 10 in rookie points. Rookie goaltender Joni Ortio was recalled to Calgary on Monday; he is tied for second in the league in wins (19), ranks third in save percentage (0.930) and is tied for the third in goals-against average (2.08). Ortio has allowed two goals or less in 14 of his last 15 starts, posting a record of 10-4-0, with a 1.90 GAA and a 0.935 SV% during that span. Defensemen Chad Billins ranks fifth in defensemen scoring and fourth overall on the team with 32 points. On January 30th, Abbotsford signed 14-year veteran Trevor Gillies to an AHL contract. Gillies, who has 3,025 penalty minutes in 686 career professional games, including 261 penalty minutes in 57 NHL games, made his debut with the Heat on February 1st against Hamilton. Leading Scorer: Max Reinhart (C) - 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) and a -2 in 39 GP.Leading Goaltender: Joni Ortio (G) - 2.08 GAA, 0.930 save pct., 19-5-0, 2 SO in 15 GP.Who's Hot: C Markus Granlund (19-15-34) leads all AHL rookies in goals, is fifth in rookies in points and is currently on a three-game point streak, with six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and a +3 rating during that span. C Max Reinhart (10-25-35) leads the team in points and assists and has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +1 rating in his last three games. C Corban Knight (11-20-31) is fourth on the team in scoring, ranks sixth in rookie points and has three points (2 goals, 1 assist) and a +2 rating in his last two games.
Week 18 Game Results:
January 29, 2014 San Antonio 4 @ Texas 2
February 1, 2014 Toronto 0 @ Texas 6
February 2, 2014 Oklahoma City 7 @ Texas 4
Stars Player of the Week: (Week 18)
Maxime Fortunus - D - #18 3 GP, 3 points (2 G, 1 A), Even, 0 PIMs
Captain Maxime Fortunus is enjoying a career-year on the Texas Stars blue line. The La Prairie, Quebec native took home first star honors with one of his best offensive performances of the season on Saturday, scoring two power play goals and adding an assist in a 6-0 romp over the Toronto Marlies. Fortunus also managed to keep an even rating on Sunday against Oklahoma City, in spite of a 7-4 defeat. He has 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in 40 games for Texas this year, marking the fifth consecutive season he has recorded 20+ points for the Stars. Fortunus is currently on pace for 36 points, which would break his previous career-best of 34 points in the 2010-11 season.
Stars Quick Hits:
- HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES - RW Colton Sceviour leads the AHL in both goals (27) and shots on goal (183) this season. Sceviour is averaging 4.58 shots per game and with 29 games left in Texas' regular season schedule, he is on pace to reach 316 shots, which would shatter the Stars' single-season record of 254 shots, set by Greg Rallo during the 2010-11 campaign. (Matt Fraser had 253 during 2011-12)
- RECORD ON THE BRINK - C Travis Morin, who leads the AHL in points, is just one point away from equaling his own single-season franchise point record (66). Morin set the mark during the 2011-12 season and he has 65 points (26 goals, 39 assists) in 41 games this year. He is currently averaging 1.59 points per game, which would obliterate his team record of 0.87 set during 2011-12. If Morin maintains his current scoring pace, he would record 110 points this season, becoming the first AHL player to reach the 100-point mark since Keith Aucoin (106) and Alexandre Giroux (103) both did it while playing for the Hershey Bears in the 2009-10 campaign.
- CENTENNIAL - D Jamie Oleksiak played in his 100th career AHL game on Sunday against Oklahoma City. The Toronto, Ontario native has 44 points (9 goals, 35 assists) and 46 penalty minutes in his first 100 games in the AHL.
- A ROUND NUMBER - LW Mike Hedden scored his 100th career pro goal on Sunday against the Barons, which was also his 50th career AHL goal. The Dunnville, Ontario native has scored 191 points (100 goals, 91 assists) in 305 career pro games, including 107 points (50 goals, 57 assists) in 182 career AHL games - 176 of those games have been in a Texas Stars uniform.
- MILESTONE NIGHT - Three different Stars players reached personal milestones on Saturday night against the Toronto Marlies. D Derek Meech had two assists on the night, including his 100th career AHL assist; he has 133 points (31 goals, 102 assists) in 366 career AHL games. D Maxime Fortunus tallied his 200th career AHL point with an assist on Curtis McKenzie's second period goal, which was sandwiched by two Fortunus power play goals. The Texas captain has 201 points (54 goals, 147 assists) in 608 career AHL games. C Chris Mueller tallied his 250th pro point on his first of two goals in the third period. Mueller has 251 points (122 goals, 129 assists) in 414 career pro games, which includes 232 points in 368 career AHL games.
- SCEVIOUR TO 50 - RW Colton Sceviour became the third player in the AHL this season to reach the 50-point mark when he tallied an assist on Sunday against Oklahoma City. Sceviour has 27 goals and 23 assists in 40 games this year for Texas and is just three points shy of matching his career-best of 53 points set in 2011-12. He is currently on pace to record 86 points this season.
- DUELING SHUTOUTS - The Texas Stars have been the Dallas Stars' AHL affiliate since the onset of the 2009-10 season. During those five seasons from then to now, there have been exactly three times when both teams have secured shutout victories on the same day: February 6, 2010 - Texas beats Peoria 5-0, Matt Clime made 41 saves; Dallas beats Phoenix 4-0, Marty Turco made 34 saves. March 11, 2011 - Richard Bachman has a 25-save shutout in a 1-0 shootout loss at Syracuse; Kari Lehtonen records his first shutout as a Dallas Star, making 14 saves in a 4-0 win vs. Minnesota. February 1, 2014 - Cristopher Nilstorp stops all 19 shots he faces for his sixth career AHL shutout in a 6-0 rout of the Toronto Marlies; Dan Ellis makes 26 saves to lead Dallas to a 2-0 win at Anaheim.
- WHERE HE STANDS - Goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp is currently tied for ninth in the AHL in shutouts (2), while ranking 11th in saves (744), is tied for 12th in wins (15) and ranks 14th in the league in minutes played (1650:07).
- APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES - D Maxime Fortunus is 3 assists away from his 150th career AHL assist and 10 GP away from his 750th career pro game. C Toby Petersen is 3 GP shy of his 550th career AHL game and 5 GP shy of his 950th career pro game. LW Francis Wathier is 3 points shy of his 200th career pro point and 2 assists shy of his 100th career AHL assist. RW Colton Sceivour is 6 GP away from recording his 350th career pro game and 3 goals away from his 100th career pro goal. C Travis Morin is 2 points from his 450th career pro point and 7 assists from his 300th career pro assist. D Cameron Gaunce is 5 GP shy of his 250th career AHL game.
Stars Week 18 Transactions:
January 29 - DELETE - Dustin Jeffrey (C) - Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
January 29 - DELETE - Pat Nagle (G) - Returned on loan to Idaho (ECHL).
January 29 - DELETE - Russ Sinkewich (D) - Returned on loan to Toledo (ECHL).
Texas Stars Team Leaders:
Games Played: Mike Hedden & Curtis McKenzie (46)
Goals: Colton Sceviour (27)
Assists: Travis Morin (39)
Points: Travis Morin (65)
Plus/Minus: Travis Morin & Colton Sceviour (+10)
Penalty Minutes: Curtis McKenzie (62)
Power Play Goals: Chris Mueller (12)
Short Handed Goals: Six Tied (1)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (6)
Shots: Colton Sceviour (183)
Shooting Percentage: Mike Hedden (17.2%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (744)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (15)
GAA: Jack Campbell (1.40)
Save Percentage: Jack Campbell (0.947)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (2)
The Texas Stars will finish their current seven-game home stand by taking on the Oklahoma City Barons on Tuesday, February 4th for a 7:30 p.m. face off at Cedar Park Center. Tuesday's game is another HEB Night. Pro-rated full and partial 2013-14 Texas Stars Season Tickets are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com .
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American Hockey League Stories from February 3, 2014
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