Texas Stars Win First South Division Title in Team History

Apr 16, 2013

Magic Number Down to Three to Clinch Western Conference

2012-13 Record: 42-20-5-6, 95 points (18-11-2-5 Home, 24-9-3-1 Road), First Place – South Division


Week 27 Recap:

For the first time in franchise history the Texas Stars have won the South Division title. Texas wrapped up the division by winning two of their road three games in Week 27.  The Stars began the week with trip to Charlotte and nearly came away with the win on Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. After falling behind late in the first period, Texas stormed out in the second period with two goals in the first two minutes to take the lead. Colton Sceviour scored just 30 seconds into the frame to tie the game and rookie Brett Ritchie found the net at 1:53 for a 2-1 Stars lead. Texas out-shot the Checkers 20-7 in the second period, but was unable to build on the lead thanks to spectacular goaltender by Charlotte’s Rob Madore. The Checkers tied the game midway through the second period and took a 3-2 lead at 11:39 of the third period, but 43 seconds later Cameron Gaunce scored on a shot from the blue line to level the score at three. Just as the game looked to be heading to overtime Charlotte broke the tie when Chris Terry found Zach Boychuk for a back-door power play goal with just 1:41 left in regulation to win the game 4-3.


Friday’s rematch in Charlotte was equally exciting as the two teams combined for 80 shots on goal, a season-high for games involving Texas. Brett Ritchie scored for the second straight night to give the Stars the lead in the first period and Matt Marquardt tied the game for the Checkers midway through the second period. Colton Sceviour gave Texas a 2-1 lead on the power play at 10:06 of the third period, scoring his 20th goal of the year. Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk once again teamed up for a power play goal late in the game, this time the roles were reversed as Boychuk set up a Terry one-timer that blazed into the top right corner of the net to tie the game a two with 3:15 left in the third. Overtime lasted all of nine seconds as Kevin Connauton scored on a rebound from a Travis Morin shot to win the game for Texas 3-2. It was the fastest overtime goal scored in Stars history.


Sunday’s game at San Antonio did not feature the same tension as the Stars offense ignited at AT&T Center. Texas scored three goals in the first period and four more in the second period en route to an 8-2 rout of the Rampage. Cameron Gaunce led all scorers with four assists and set a new franchise record by posting a plus-five rating. Five other players had multi-point goals for Texas as Mike Hedden (2-1-3), Justin Dowling (2-1-3), Scott Glennie (1-2-3), Reilly Smith (1-2-3) and Travis Morin (1-1-2) led the way in the blowout win. Jack Campbell did not see a ton of action, making 16 saves on 18 shots to take over the team lead with his 19th victory of the season.


Week 28 Preview:

The Texas Stars have a magic number of three to clinch the Western Conference regular season title and home ice-advantage through the Conference Finals (third round). With both Texas and Toronto in action on Tuesday, a Stars win at San Antonio, along with a regulation, overtime or shootout loss by the Marlies at home to Oklahoma City would sew up first place for Texas. However, the Stars will need help from others if they are to win the Gregor Kilpatrick Trophy, awarded to the team with the AHL’s best overall record. The Stars must win all three of their remaining games and then have Providence take no more than two points from their last four games and have Springfield lose at least one point from their remaining three contests.


Closing out the 2012-13 regular season Texas will travel to San Antonio on Tuesday, April 16th for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff at AT&T Center. This will be the final road game of the regular season. The Stars then return home to finish off their schedule with two games this weekend at Cedar Park Center. Texas will host the Houston Aeros on Friday, April 19th at 7:30 p.m. for a $3 Beer Night, a Texas Lottery Lucky Section Night and the Maxime Fortunus Mini Bobblehead Giveaway, presented by Farmers Insurance. Saturday, April 20th is the final game of the regular season and is Fan Appreciation Night. The Stars host the Rockford IceHogs for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop and every fan in attendance will receive a Texas Stars commemorative print. There will hundreds of prizes awarded through the night, a sealed silent bid auction for the Stars’ alternate jerseys and even an open ice session after the game.


RW Colton Sceviour (21-29-50) leads the team in points, assists and shorthanded goals (4), he is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4), he ranks second in goals and plus-minus (+20), he is currently on a three-game goal streak (3 goals) and a seven-game point streak, with seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) and a +4 rating during that span. LW Mike Hedden is tied for fifth in assists, sixth in points and is on a four-game assist and point streak with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and a +6 rating during that span. C Travis Morin (11-30-41) leads the team in assists, ranks third in points, is on a four-game assist streak (5 assists) and is on a five-game point streak with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and a +6 rating during that span. C Justin Dowling (15-13-28) is third on the team in goals and has ten points (5 goals, 5 assists) and a +10 rating in his last eight games. D Cameron Gaunce (2-14-16) has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +5 rating in his last three games.


Week 28 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE over the Internet at www.TexasStarsHockey.com and the free Radio tab 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, April 16 – 7:00 p.m. – AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
@ San Antonio Rampage (29-36-2-6, 66 pts.)
Fifth Place, South Division

• Team Notes: Two days after an 8-2 blowout by Texas at AT&T Center, the two teams square off again. Tuesday’s matchup in San Antonio will be the 12th and final regular season meeting between the Rampage and Stars. Texas is 9-0-1-1 this season against San Antonio, taking 20 of a possible 22 points, a 0.909 point percentage. Texas has an all-time regular season record of 28-11-2-4 against San Antonio. Colton Sceviour (4-7-11) leads Texas in points against the Rampage, while Jon Rheault (2-5-7) leads San Antonio in scoring against the Stars. The Rampage have lost five straight games and are winless in their last eight (0-7-1-0). San Antonio closes out the 2012-13 season with three home games this week, hosting Texas on Tuesday, Rockford on Friday and Houston on Saturday.
• Leading Scorer: Jon Rheault (RW) – 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) and -3 in 64 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Dov Grumet-Morris (G) – 3.10 GAA, 0.907 save pct., 12-20-4, 2 SO in 40 GP.
• Who’s Hot: RW Jack Combs (14-14-28) ranks third on the team in goals, is sixth in points and has ten points (7 goals, 3 assists) and a +1 rating in his last ten games. C Jared Gomes (13-17-30) is tied for third on the team in points, it tied for fourth in goals and has three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in his last two games. RW Jon Rheault (20-25-45) leads the team in assists and points, is second in goals and has four assists in his last five games.


Friday, April 19 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
vs. Houston Aeros (38-25-5-5, 86 pts.)
Third Place, South Division

• Team Notes: The Aeros are level on points (86) with Rochester, but hold the tiebreaker of more regulation and overtime wins (ROW) and thus sit in fifth place in the Western Conference. Houston is just two points behind fourth place Charlotte and with three games left that fourth place spot, and the subsequent first round home ice advantage, is still very much up for grabs. The Aeros lost veteran goaltender Matt Hackett at the NHL trade deadline and, ironically, he is now helping Rochester battle for playoff position against Houston. In addition to losing Hackett, rookie goalie Darcy Kuemper has been recalled to Minnesota, leaving the Aeros with a trio of options, rookies Cody Reichard and Mike Condon and veteran Jeff Deslauriers. Houston has won two in a row and are 5-1-0-0 in its last six games, even though AHL All-Rookie Team left wing Jason Zucker has been recalled to the Wild. Texas is 6-2-2-1 this season against the Aeros, having won five of the last six meetings, while Houston is 5-4-2-0 against the Stars this year.
• Leading Scorer: Justin Fontaine (RW) – 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) and +11 in 61 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Darcy Kuemper (G) – 1.88 GAA, 0.934 save pct., 13-8-0, 4 SO in 21 GP.
• Who’s Hot: RW Justin Fontaine (21-32-53) leads the team in assists and points, ranks second in goals, is tied for second in plus-minus (+11) and has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) and a +1 rating in his last five games. C Chad Rau (14-9-23) is tied for fifth on the team in goals and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +1 rating in his last two games. C Zack Phillips (8-17-25) is tied for seventh in points and has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +3 rating in his last five games. D Brian Connelly (5-31-36) ranks second on the team in assists, is fourth in points and has five assists and a +4 rating in his last six games.


Saturday, April 20 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
vs. Rockford IceHogs (40-31-2-1, 83 pts.)
Second Place, South Division

• Team Notes: Saturday’s game in Texas could very well be one of the most important games of Rockford’s season. The IceHogs currently have the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference (83 points), but both Milwaukee and Chicago are two points behind and have four games left to play, while Rockford only has two games left. The IceHogs will play at San Antonio on Friday and at Texas on Saturday to close out their regular season schedule. In the first three games of the season series between the Stars & IceHogs, the winning team of each game has erased a three-goal deficit to win in dramatic fashion. Texas won both games at Rockford in regulation, while the IceHogs trailed 4-1 before rallying for a 5-4 shootout victory in the 11th round, a shootout where three Texas shooters hit the post.
• Leading Scorer: Brandon Pirri (C) – 70 points (21 goals, 49 assists) and +8 in 74 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Carter Hutton (G) – 2.72 GAA, 0.908 save pct., 26-22-1, 2 SO in 51 GP.
• Who’s Hot: C Brandon Pirri (21-49-70) leads the team in assists and points and has 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists) and a +9 rating in his last seven games; Pirri is tied for the AHL lead in points and ranks second overall in assists. LW Rostislav Olesz (7-9-16) has 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) and a +3 rating in his first 12 games for Rockford. RW Ben Smith (23-19-42) is tied for third on the team in goals, ranks sixth in points and has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) and a +6 rating in his last six games.


Week 27 Game Results:

April 11, 2013                        Texas 3 @ Charlotte 4
April 12, 2013                        Texas 3 @ Charlotte 2 – OT
April 14, 2013                        Texas 8 @ San Antonio 2


Stars Player of the Week: (Week 27)

Mike Hedden – LW – #26                3 GP, 5 Points (2 G, 3 A), +5, 2 PIMs
Texas Stars left wing Mike Hedden completed a fantastic week with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +5 rating during the team’s three road games in Week 27. The Unionville, Ontario native had points in all three games to extend his assist and point streaks to four games, scoring three goals, five assists and a massive plus-seven during that span. Hedden began the week with an assist in each game at Charlotte and then posted a three-point effort on Sunday at San Antonio, where he scored two goals (including the game-winner), had an assist and put up a plus-four rating. On the season he is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4), while recording 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) and a plus-eight rating in 58 games for the Stars. Hedden is tied for fourth on the team in goals, is tied for fifth in assists and ranks sixth in points.


Stars Quick Hits:

• NEW TEAM RECORD – D Kevin Connauton scored the fastest overtime goal in Texas Stars history to give the team a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night. Connauton scored a mere nine seconds into the extra session. The previous record was 17 seconds set by Travis Morin on December 11, 2010 at Milwaukee in a 3-2 win during the team’s second season.


• ASSIST RECORD – D Cameron Gaunce posted a career-high four assists during Sunday’s 8-2 blowout win at San Antonio. It was the most points and assists recorded by a Stars player in a single game this season and it tied club records for assists and points.


• LEAGUE LEADERS – The Stars have taken over the distinction as the least penalized team in the AHL. Texas has the lowest penalty minutes per game average (12.25) of all 30 teams in the league. Charlotte (12.27) is just above the Stars and Houston (13.18) has the third lowest average. Texas has the fewest minor penalties (292) and the fewest total penalty minutes (894) in the entire AHL.


• GOALIE ASSAULT – Texas and Charlotte combined for 80 shots on goal Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena (46-34 in favor of the Stars). It was the most combined shots in a Stars game this season. They also had 35 total shots on goal in the second period (20-15 Texas) marking the most shots in one period this year in a Stars game.


• NOW THAT’S A PLUS – D Cameron Gaunce set a new Texas Stars single-game franchise record by registered a massive plus-five rating during the 8-2 rout of the Rampage on Sunday. Gaunce had four assists in the game and was named the contest’s first star. The previous record was plus-four, accomplished by several skaters.


• MORIN HELPS OUT – C Travis Morin recorded his 250th career pro assist on Friday night at Charlotte. The Brooklyn Park, Minnesota native had two assists in the game, with the milestone helper coming on Kevin Connauton’s overtime-winner just nine seconds into the extra session in a 3-2 win over the Checkers. Morin has 252 assists in 432 career pro games, including 139 assists in 282 career AHL games.


• WIDE MARGIN – The Stars set a new season-high for margin of victory with an 8-2 win over the San Antonio Rampage Sunday afternoon at AT&T Center. Up until that game Texas had not won a game by more than four games this year. The Stars all-time margin of victory record is seven, set on October 9, 2011 in a 7-0 win over the Oklahoma City Barons at Cedar Park Center.


• SCORING OUTBURST – Texas’ eight goals on Sunday at San Antonio tied a team record for most goals in a single game. It was the third time the Stars accomplished that feat, also scoring eight on January 19, 2013 at Peoria (8-4) and November 16, 2010 vs. Chicago (8-2).


• APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES: D Mike Commodore needs 1 assist for his 150th career pro assist. C Toby Petersen needs 3 points for his 450th career pro point. D Maxime Fortunus is 1 goal away from his 50th career AHL goal and 3 GP away from his 700th pro game.


Stars Week 27 Transactions

April 11 – ADD – Jyki Jokipakka (D) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) from Ilves (SM-liiga).
April 10 – DELETE – Cristopher Nilstorp (G) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 10 – ADD – Josh Robinson (G) – Recalled from loan to Idaho (ECHL).
April 10 – DELETE – Mathieu Tousignant (C) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) to St. John’s (AHL).


Texas Stars Team Leaders:

Games Played:                 Toby Petersen (71)
Goals:                               Matt Fraser (33)
Assists:                              Travis Morin (30)
Points:                              Colton Sceviour (50)
Plus/Minus:                      Jamie Oleksiak (+23)
Penalty Minutes:             Antoine Roussel (107)
Power Play Goals:           Matt Fraser (17)
Short Handed Goals:      Colton Sceviour (4)
Game-Winning Goals:    Justin Dowling, Mike Hedden & Colton Sceviour (4)
Shots:                                Colton Sceviour (199)
Shooting Percentage:      Brett Ritchie (18.8%)
Saves:                               Jack Campbell (883)
Wins:                                Cristopher Nilstorp (19)
GAA:                                Cristopher Nilstorp (2.26)
Save Percentage:             Richard Bachman (0.920)
Shutouts:                          Cristopher Nilstorp (4)

The Texas Stars will complete their five-game road trip on Tuesday, April 16th as they once again travel to San Antonio for a 7:00 p.m. showdown with the Rampage at AT&T Center. The Stars’ next home game is on Friday, April 19th against the Houston Aeros at 7:30 p.m.  Friday’s game at Cedar Park Center is a $3 Beer Night and another Texas Lottery Lucky Section Night, where fans can win scratch off tickets from the Texas Lottery when the first Stars player scores a goal. Additionally, the first 2,500 fans will receive a Maxime Fortunus Mini Bobblehead courtesy of Farmers Insurance. 2013-14 Season Tickets are now on sale. Put your deposit for 2013-14 season tickets and receive priority for both Texas Stars 2013 Calder Cup playoff tickets and 2013-14 season seat selection. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.


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