Texas Beats Iowa, Splits with Grand Rapids in First Place Showdown

Jan 28, 2014

Division-Leading Stars Host Three Games This Week

2013-14 Record: 27-12-2-3, 59 points (18-3-0-1 Home, 9-9-2-2 Road), First Place – West Division

Week 17 Recap:

The Texas Stars continued their franchise record-setting home winning streak by winning the first two games of their Week 17 schedule, but all that came to an end Saturday night with a 6-4 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Stars opened the week with a thrilling 4-3 shootout victory over the Iowa Stars on Wednesday night. Colton Sceviour and Chris Mueller each scored goals in the game and each added goals in the shootout, while Travis Morin had three assists and goalie Josh Robinson stopped four-of-five shootout attempts to get the win. Texas was the last team in the AHL to win via the shootout in the 2013-14 season. Robinson did not start the game, but came on in relieve late in the second period after an injury forced starter Cristopher Nilstorp to leave prematurely.

Friday night the Stars earned one of their biggest wins of the season, taking down the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins 6-4 to move into first place in the Western Conference. Defenseman Derek Meech, playing in his first ever game against Grand Rapids – the team where he began his pro career, scored a power play goal for his first goal with Texas. Rookie Brendan Ranford scored two goals and added an assist for his first career three-point game and was named the game’s first star. Mike Hedden scored the game-winning goal and had two assists, while Travis Morin also chipped in with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and Josh Robinson stopped 38-of-42 to record his fifth win of the season. Texas set a new franchise record with 59 shots on goal and tied a club record for most combined shots in a single game (101).

Saturday’s rematch saw the Griffins leap-frog back into first place in the conference with a 4-1 win over the Stars, handing Texas its first home loss since November 22nd. Chris Mueller scored the game’s first goal, his 19th of the season, putting Mueller into third place in the AHL in goals; behind only Colton Sceviour (27) and Travis Morin (25). Grand Rapids would respond with four unanswered goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead. It was the first time in the 2013-14 season that Texas has allowed four goals in one period. Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum was fantastic in goal, stopping 33-of-34 shots to earn the victory, ending the Stars’ record-setting home winning streak and record home point streak.

Week 18 Preview:

Having lost for the first time on home ice since November 22nd, the Stars will try to begin a new winning streak at Cedar Park Center as they continue their seven-game homestand with three more this week. Texas will begin the Week 18 schedule on Wednesday night by hosting the San Antonio Rampage for a 7:30 p.m., the only meeting between the in-state rivals for all of January and February. Wednesday’s game is another Winning Wednesday presented by H-E-B.

Texas will play two games this weekend, hosting the Toronto Marlies on Saturday, February 1st at 7:00 p.m. and then a rare Super Bowl Sunday game on February 2nd at 1:00 p.m. against the Oklahoma City Barons. Saturday’s game is another Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night, a Coke Zero Family Four Pack Night and is the Colton Sceviour Mini-Bobblehead giveaway night. Sunday’s game features special Super Bowl Sunday promotions of $2 Draft Beer, $1 Hot Dogs and a $5 discount off your ticket purchased at the box office for any fans wearing a sports jersey, regardless of the team, league or sport.

Week 18 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)

Wednesday, January 29 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. San Antonio Rampage (16-21-2-4, 38 pts.)
Tied-Fourth Place, West Division
Team Notes: The San Antonio Rampage are currently in fourth place in the West Division, and sit six points back of the eighth and final playoff spot. San Antonio is 4-3-2-1 in their last ten. The Rampage are 3-14-0-2 (0.211) on the road, which is the worst road record in the AHL. San Antonio’s road power-play is ranked 28th in the league (9.8%) and their overall power-play ranks 23rd (16.2%). Their penalty-kill is ranked 24th in the league (78.2%). Though only scoring 2.70 goals per game (T-19th), the Rampage rank second in the AHL, trailing only the Texas Stars (37.20), with a 34.14 shots per game average. At Cedar Park Center, San Antonio has not beaten the Stars in regulation since October 20, 2011. This season so far, San Antonio has gone 2-5-0-0 versus Texas, including splitting the last two games they have played, winning in a shootout 3-2 on December 27th and losing 5-2 on December 28th. The Rampage made two player moves with Oklahoma City/Edmonton, sending forwards Steve Pinizzotto and Jared Gomes to the Barons and receiving LW Derek Nesbitt and C Ryan Martindale in return.
Leading Scorer: Vincent Trocheck (C) – 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) and is -7 in 40 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (G) – 2.83 GAA, 0.912 save pct., 8-9-2 and 0 SO in 20 GP.
Who’s Hot: RW Vincent Trocheck (12-17-39) leads the team in points and assists, ranks sixth among AHL rookies, and has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in his last seven games. D Ryan Whitney (3-12-15) is tied for fourth on the team in assists and has a three-game assist streak, with three assists and a +2 rating during that span. RW John McFarland (5-2-7) has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +2 rating in his last three games.

Saturday, February 1 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Toronto Marlies (25-13-2-2, 54 pts.)
First Place, North Division
Team Notes: The Toronto Marlies currently lead the North Division and rank third in the Western Conference. Toronto has gone 7-2-0-1 in its last 10 games and has a road record of 14-8-2-1 (0.620). The Marlies have the seventh best power-play (19.8%) and the 10th best penalty-kill (84.0%). Goaltender Drew MacIntyre leads all goalies in the AHL in wins (20), minutes played (1889:43) and saves (839), and ranks 10th in goals-against average (2.32); he has also won his last four starts. This will be Toronto’s second trip to Texas, losing 5-2 on November 23rd.
Leading Scorer: T.J. Brennan (D) – 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) and an Even rating in 42 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Drew MacIntyre (G) – 2.32 GAA, 0.920 save pct., 20-9-2, 1 SO in 31 GP.
Who’s Hot: D T.J. Brennan (18-25-43) leads the team and ranks fourth in the AHL in points, leads all AHL defensemen in goals, is tied for second overall in power-play points (26) and has 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) in his last nine games. C Greg McKegg (9-16-25) has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and a +2 rating in his last seven games. RW Spencer Abbott (10-32-42) leads the team and is second in the AHL in assists and has 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) and a +5 rating in his last 10 games.

Sunday, February 2 – 1:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Oklahoma City Barons (16-22-1-5, 38 pts.)
Tied-Fourth Place, West Division
Team Notes: The Oklahoma City Barons are tied for fourth in the West Division, but are still only six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Barons are 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games.  On December 31st, Oklahoma City lost 6-5 in overtime to the Stars at Cox Convention Center, squandering a 5-1 second period lead; it was the largest comeback win in Texas Stars history. The Barons have the 12th rated power-play in the AHL (18.6%), but have the 26th ranked penalty-kill (77.7%). Allowing an average of 34.95 shots and 3.45 goals per game, Oklahoma City ranks last in the AHL both categories. Linus Omark, who was traded by Edmonton to Buffalo on December 19th, continues to lead the team in points (29), while Anton Lander is the team’s active scoring leader (25).
Leading Scorer: Anton Lander (C) – 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) and a +4 rating in 27 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Richard Bachman (G) – 3.00 GAA, 0.910 save pct., 8-12-2, 1 SO in 23 GP.
Who’s Hot: C Anton Lander (11-14-25) is the active leader in goals and has 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) and a +1 rating in his last nine games. RW Tyler Pitlick (5-8-13) has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +3 rating in his last five games. RW Matthew Ford (10-11-21) ranks fifth on the team in points and has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and a +1 rating in his last 11 games.

Week 17 Game Results:

January 22, 2014                               Iowa 3 @ Texas 4 – SO
January 24, 2014                               Grand Rapids 4 @ Texas 6
January 25, 2014                               Grand Rapids 4 @ Texas 1

Stars Player of the Week: (Week 17)

Travis Morin – C – #23                                   3 GP, 6 points (3 G, 3 A), +4, 8 PIMs
Center Travis Morin continues to set the pace in the AHL scoring race. The Brooklyn Park, Minnesota native served up another six points in Week 17, adding to his league-leading total. Morin started with a three-assist game on Wednesday against Iowa, helping the Stars take a 4-3 shootout win. He then posted another three-point night on Friday against Grand Rapids, this time scoring a goal and adding two assists to lead Texas over the Griffins 6-4; it was his 18th multi-point game of the season. Morin now has 61 points (25 goals, 36 assists) in 38 games played and currently leads the AHL in points, assists and power play points (28), while ranking second in the league in goals.

Stars Quick Hits:

·         STILL A FORTRESS – The Texas Stars lost their first game at Cedar Park Center since November 22nd when they fell short to the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-1 last Saturday. The Stars still boast the best home record in the AHL this season (18-3-0-1) and lead the AHL in in home wins and home points (37), home point percentage (0.841) and home goal differential (+39).

·         STREAKS ARE OVER – Texas had two franchise-record home streaks snapped on Saturday in a 4-1 loss to Grand Rapids. The Stars’ 13-game home point streak (12-0-0-1) and their 12-game home winning streak come to an end. They each shattered previous records for consecutive home wins (6) and longest home point streak (10 games).

·         ANOTHER STREAK ENDED – C Justin Dowling was the last player on the Texas Stars roster this season to miss a game when he was forced to miss Saturday’s rematch with Grand Rapids due to injury. Dowling had appeared in all of the Stars’ first 43 games of the 2013-14 season, but is now tied with Curtis McKenzie and Mike Hedden to the team lead in games played this year.

·         TRICENTENNIAL – LW Mike Hedden played in his 300th career pro game last Wednesday against Iowa. The Dunnville, Ontario native has scored 189 points (98 goals, 91 assists) and tallied 293 penalty minutes in 302 career pro games, including 179 career AHL games – 173 of those games have been in a Texas Stars uniform.

·         SHOTS RECORDS OBLITERATED – Last Friday’s win over Grand Rapids saw several Stars’ franchise records equaled or broken. Texas broke its single-game record by firing 59 shots on goal; the previous record was 51 shots, set on April 16, 2013 in a 3-2 shootout win at San Antonio. Two single-game records were tied as the two teams combined for 101 shots in the game (59-42) and they combined for 39 shots in the third period (20-19 Stars). Those records were both set when Texas lost to Rockford 5-3 on April 20, 2013 at Cedar Park Center, the final day of the 2012-13 regular season, as the IceHogs out-shot the Stars 54-47, setting single-game benchmarks for most combined shots (101), most shots allowed (54) and most combined shots in a period (39); Texas out-shot Rockford 21-18 in the third period of that game. Also on Friday, Colton Sceivour tied the team’s single-game record with nine shots on goal; the record was shared by Matt Fraser and Tomas Vincour. Fraser had established the Stars’ record on November 11, 2011 vs. Abbotsford and Vincour matched it on October 13, 2012 at San Antonio.

·         A FIRST AND A FIRST – D Derek Meech scored his first goal in a Texas Stars uniform on Friday night, blasting in a first period power play goal in a 6-4 win over Grand Rapids. Meech, who made his pro debut for Grand Rapids on October 15, 2004 against the Cleveland Barons, faced his old team for the first time in his pro career during the same contest. He appeared in 304 AHL games, along with 23 Calder Cup playoff games, over parts of five seasons with the Griffins.

·         THE LONELIEST NUMBER – The Stars were held to just one goal last Saturday in a 4-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins, marking the first time all season that Texas has scored fewer than two-goals in a game at Cedar Park Center. The Stars have scored four or more goals in 15 of their 22 home games this season and have a perfect 15-0-0-0 record when doing son. Texas is 3-3-0-1 in the seven home games where the team has scored three goals or less. The Stars currently lead the AHL in goals on home ice (93) and in home goals-per-game average (4.23).

·         APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES – D Jamie Oleksiak is 3 GP shy of his 100th career AHL game. D Derek Meech needs 1 assist to reach his 100th career AHL assist. D Maxime Fortunus is 2 points away from his 200th career AHL point and is 4 assists away from his 150th career AHL assist. 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 4 points shy of his 200th career pro point and 3 assists shy of his 100th career AHL assist. LW Mike Hedden needs 2 goals to reach his 100th career pro goal and 50th career AHL goal. C Chris Mueller is 3 points away from his 250th career pro point. RW Colton Sceivour is 9 GP away from recording his 350th career pro game and 3 goals away from his 100th career pro goal.

Stars Week 17 Transactions:

January 28 – ADD – Pat Nagle (G) – Recalled from loan to Idaho (ECHL).
January 26 – DELETE – Pat Nagle (G) – Returned on loan to Idaho (ECHL).
January 25 – ADD – Russ Sinkewich (D) – Recalled from loan to Toledo (ECHL).
January 25 – ADD – Brock Montgomery – Recalled from loan to Idaho (ECHL).
January 23 – ADD – Pat Nagle (G) – Recalled from loan to Idaho (ECHL).

Texas Stars Team Leaders:

Games Played:                     Justin Dowling, Mike Hedden, Curtis McKenzie, (43)
Goals:                                   Colton Sceviour (27)
Assists:                                 Travis Morin (36)
Points:                                   Travis Morin (61)
Plus/Minus:                           Travis Morin (+11)
Penalty Minutes:                   Curtis McKenzie (53)
Power Play Goals:                Chris Mueller (11)
Short Handed Goals:            Six Tied (1)
Game-Winning Goals:          Colton Sceviour (6)
Shots:                                   Colton Sceviour (168)
Shooting Percentage:           Travis Morin (17.9%)
Saves:                                   Cristopher Nilstorp (700)
Wins:                                     Cristopher Nilstorp (14)
GAA:                                     Jack Campbell (1.40)
Save Percentage:                 Jack Campbell (0.947)
Shutouts:                               Three Tied (1)

The Texas Stars will return to action on Wednesday, January 29th as they host the San Antonio Rampage for a 7:00 p.m. face-off at Cedar Park Center. Wednesday's game is another 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.

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