Ritchie’s Record-Setting Night Leads Texas Past Lake Erie 5-1Apr 4, 2014
CEDAR PARK, Texas – Rookie Brett Ritchie set the franchise single-game record for goals and tied the club single-game record for points with four goals and one assist as the Texas Stars defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 5-1 Friday night in front of 5,819 fans at Cedar Park Center for their franchise record eight-straight win.
The Stars honored longtime Dallas Star and U.S. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mike Modano with a pre-game ceremony, including a video tribute and Modano performing the ceremonial puck drop. With all the pre-game build-up, it would be the rookie Ritchie, who stole the show. He got Texas on the board with a power play goal at 5:04 of the first period. Ritchie’s cross-crease pass was blocked by Lake Erie defenseman Stefan Elliott, but inadvertently redirected the puck right through the legs of Monsters’ goaltender Sami Aittokallio; Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden assisted on Ritchie’s 18th goal of the year. Lake Erie answered back at 12:19 as Andrew Agozzino picked up a turnover in the offensive zone and launched a shot that trickled through goalie Jack Campbell and knotted the game at one.
Ritchie broke the tie at 12:19 of the second period, streaking down the left wing and cutting across the front of the crease before sliding the puck around Aittokallio to put Texas ahead 2-1. Five minutes later, Ritchie was denied his hat trick by the Lake Erie goalie, only for Dowling to collect the rebound in the high slot and snap a shot off the crossbar and in for his 10th goal of the year, assisted by Ritchie and Hedden.
Just over five minutes into the third period, Ritchie did complete his hat trick on the power play with a beautiful move, driving across the middle of the zone and backhanding the puck over the blocker of Aittokallio to make it 4-1. The strike was Ritchie’s 20th goal of the year, assisted by Scott Glennie and captain Maxime Fortunus. The Stars’ rookie continued to pile up the goals when he accepted a pass from Mike Hedden on the right side and hammered it home for his fourth goal of the game, sealing a 5-1 Stars victory and setting a new team record for goals in one game.
Jack Campbell (11-1-1) stopped 29-of-30 shots faced and earned his 11th victory of the year in net for Texas. Lake Erie goalie Sami Aittokallio (13-13-3) had 27 saves on 32 shots and was saddled with his 13th loss of the season. The Stars outshot the Monsters 32-30 and went 2-for-2 on the power play; Lake Erie was 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.
Notes: Brett Ritchie set a single-game franchise record with four goals, as well as tying the team mark for points in a game with five (4 goals, 1 assist). Mike Hedden registered his 100th professional assist in the first period and finished with three assists in the game. Maxime Fortunus tallied his 150th AHL assist in the third period on Ritchie’s third goal. Ritchie extended his point streak to six games, with 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) during that span, and Justin Dowling extended his point streak to four games, with nine points (5 goals, 4 assists). The Stars extended their franchise record winning streak to eight games.
Texas will continue its home stand on Sunday, April 6th against the Lake Erie Monsters with a 5:00 p.m. face off at Cedar Park Center. 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.