Morin’s Hat Trick Gives Texas Ninth Straight Home VictoryJan 11, 2014
Travis Morin scored a natural hat trick and Colton Sceviour also tallied three points to lead the Texas Stars to a 5-3 win over the Utica Comets Saturday night in front of 6,028 fans at Cedar Park Center.
It was on Travis Morin Mini-Bobblehead night at Cedar Park Center and the “Star of Honor,” center Travis Morin, did not disappoint. Morin opened up the scoring early in the first frame with a goal assisted by right wing Colton Sceviour at 15:23. The forwards came into the zone two-on-one rush, exchanging passes before Sceviour gave Morin a beautiful return feed that he one-timed through the legs of Comets goalie Joe Cannata. Morin doubled the Stars lead just under four minutes later forcing a turnover and taking the puck to the slot where he fired a laser shot to the top left corner, over the blocker on Cannata.
At 4:53 of the second period Morin continued his personal rally with an unassisted, short-handed goal giving him a natural hat trick. The AHL’s points leader created his own turnover, raced up the ice and beat Cannata with a fierce wrist shot from the left faceoff circle lodging the puck in the top right corner of the net to give Texas a 3-0 lead. It was also the first shorthanded goal every allowed by Utica in their brief franchise history. Nearly ten minutes later Sceviour made it 4-0 with a goal of his own, picking up the puck in the slot on a turnover and beating Cannata from a sharp angle. Following the fourth Texas goal, Utica made a goaltender change replacing Cannata with backup Mathieu Corbeil, giving the young goalie his AHL debut. With 1:43 left in the middle frame the Comets got on the board when Cal O’Reilly knocked in a loose puck in the crease.
Utica cut the Stars lead to two at 8:03 of the third period as O’Reilly found Alexandre Grenier in the slot for a one-timer. Just under two minutes later, the Comets struck again, this time Brandon Defazio tapped in a rebound off a Yann Sauve shot from the point to trim the Texas lead to 4-3. The Stars dug in and held off the charging Utica comeback and with 45 seconds left in regulation Curtis McKenzie sealed the game with an empty net goal for a 5-3 Texas win.
Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 30-of-33 shots faced and got the win in goal for Texas, his 12th of the season. Joe Cannata started for Utica, playing the first 34:21 of the game and stopping 17-of-21 shots on goal, taking the loss. Backup Mathieu Corbeil logged 25:34 of action and finished with a perfect 17 saves on 17 shots in a no-decision. The Stars out-shot the Comets 39-33 in the game and went 0-for-2 on the power play; Utica was 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.
Notes: Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour find themselves tied as the top AHL goal scorers (23) and Morin continues to lead the AHL in points (50) and assists (27). The win tonight extended the Stars’ current franchise record home winning streak to nine games and equaled a club record for longest home point streak at ten games (9-0-0-1). The 2012-13 Texas Stars set the first ten-game home point streak by going 8-0-0-2 from December 29, 2012 to February 15, 2013.
The Stars will complete their three-game homestand on Wednesday, January 15th as they host the Rochester Americans at Cedar Park Center at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday’s game is a Winning Wednesday presented by H-E-B. 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.