Texas Sweeps Weekend, Reclaim First in ConferenceFeb 25, 2014
Stars Embark on Another Five-Game Road Trip in Week 22
2013-14 Record: 32-16-3-4, 67 points (21-6-0-1 Home, 11-10-3-3 Road), First Place – West Division
Week 21 Recap:
The Texas Stars began their Week 21 schedule, and finished their three-game road trip, with their third game in as many days on Monday, February 17th against the Toronto Marlies at Air Canada Centre, home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs. After a scoreless first period, rookie Brett Ritchie broke the deadlock with his 12th goal of the season with a little less than five minutes remaining in the second period. Colton Sceviour had a chance to double the lead with a shorthanded breakaway, but was denied by Toronto backstop Drew MacIntyre. On the same power play, the Marlies would then tie the game on a goal by Josh Leivo. Texas nearly regained the lead when Scott Glennie's shot from the right circle eluded MacIntyre, but was cleared off the goal line by defenseman T.J. Brennan. Moments later, Jerry D'Amigo scored on a partial breakaway to put Toronto ahead 2-1. MacIntyre stood strong and denied all of the Stars' attempts to tie the game and then Levio and D'Amigo each scored empty net goals to seal a 4-1 win.
Last Friday, the Stars welcomed the Charlotte Checkers to Cedar Park Center. It was Texas’ first home game in just over two-weeks and was the opening game for Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. Rookie Brett Ritchie nearly opened the scoring on the first shot of the game, but was able do so on his second shot, giving the Stars the 1-0 at 12:38 into the first period. Rookie Curtis McKenzie scored just 26 seconds later off a Maxime Fortunus shot with help from Colton Sceviour’s cross-crease pass. Brett Ritchie sent the Stars to the locker room with a three-goal lead when he scored his second of the game on a wrist shot from the slot with 1:13 left in the period. After a scoreless second period, Charlotte’s Chris Terry brought the Checkers’ within two goals by beating Cristopher Nilstorp blocker side with a wrist shot 26 seconds into the period. That was the only goal Nilstorp allowed and Mike Hedden scored a power play goal on a breakaway to seal the victory for the Stars 4-1.
Texas completed a two-game weekend sweep of the Charlotte Checkers with a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night at Cedar Park Center. That victory, coupled with Abbotsford’s 2-0 loss at Chicago on Sunday, vaulted Texas back into first place in the Western Conference; both the Stars and Heat have 71 points in the standings, but Texas leads in regulation plus overtime wins (ROW) with 30 to Abbotsford’s 28. In front of a sold out crowd of 6,863 fans at Cedar Park Center Saturday night, the Stars took a 1-0 lead at 8:31 of the second period when Colton Sceviour scored on the power play for his AHL-leading 31st goal of the season. Curtis McKenzie and Chris Mueller assisted on Sceviour’s 12th power play goal of the year. A mere 64 seconds later the Checkers capitalized on a three-on-one rush and tied the game on a goal by Philippe Cornet. Charlotte received a five-minute power play when Cameron Gaunce was given a match penalty for slew-footing. At 4:22 of the third period, with just 24 seconds left on the five-minute power play, Mark Flood scored on a shot from the right point, giving the Checkers a 2-1 lead. With just under seven minutes left in regulation, McKenzie would find Mueller for a wide-open, back-door power play goal to tie the game. It was Mueller’s 13th man-advantage goal of the season, which tied him for the league lead. Each team scored three times in the first six rounds of the shootout; Dustin Jeffrey, Sceviour and Brendan Ranford for Texas and Aaron Palushaj, Chris Terry and Brody Sutter for Charlotte. In the seventh round, Cristopher Nilstorp denied Checkers’ captain Brett Sutter, setting up rookie Matej Stransky to clinch the victory with a beautiful deke to give the Stars a 3-2 win.
Week 22 Preview:
The Western Conference-leading Texas Stars begin a five-game road trip with three games in Week 22. Texas first heads to Cleveland for its first two meetings of the 2013-14 season with the Lake Erie Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena. The Stars and Monsters will face each other for a school day game on Tuesday, February 25th at 9:45 a.m. CT and then will play again on Wednesday, February 26th at 6:00 p.m. CT. The team will then fly back to Texas and head south to face the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday, March 1st for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop at AT&T Center.
On Monday, the AHL officially suspended Cameron Gaunce for one game because of his slew-footing match penalty during last Saturday’s game against Charlotte. Gauce is ineligible to play today against Lake Erie.
C Travis Morin (28-42-70) leads the AHL in assists and points, ranks third in goals, and has eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) and a +3 rating in his last 10 games. RW Colton Sceviour (31-26-57) leads the AHL in goals and game-winning goals (6), ranks second in shots (204), ranks third in points and has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) and a +3 rating in his last 10 games. LW Curtis McKenzie (18-33-51) leads all AHL rookies in points, ranks seventh overall in the league in points and has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in his last 10 games. C Chris Mueller (23-27-50) ranks eighth in the AHL in points, tied for first in power-play goals (13) and has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in his last 10 games. C Justin Dowling (5-23-28) ranks fifth on the team in assists and has 11 assists in his last 11 games.
Week 22 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 25 – 9:45 a.m. – Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH
@ Lake Erie Monsters (22-24-0-5, 49 pts.)
Fifth Place, North Division
Wednesday, February 26 – 6:00 p.m. – Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH
@ Lake Erie Monsters (22-24-0-5, 49 pts.)
Fifth Place, North Division
Team Notes: The Lake Erie Monsters sit at the bottom of the North Division with 49 points in 51 games played. Lake Erie went winless in eight games (0-7-0-1) from January 10th to January 26th, but then rebounded and went 5-4-0-1 in its last 10 games. The Monsters have a winning record at home (14-11-0-2), but have an AHL-low eight wins on the road this season (8-13-0-3). Lake Erie is 24th in the league in goals per game (2.57), 25th for goals against per game (3.10). The Monsters lead the Western Conference and rank seventh overall in the league in penalty minutes per game (21.00) and eighth in the AHL in total penalty minutes (1,071). They have three players with over 100 penalty minutes: Mitchell Heard (123), Guillaume Desbiens (114) and Daniel Maggio (110); while Curtis McKenzie leads Texas with 68 PIMs. Lake Erie’s third leading scorer Bryan Lerg (12-15-27) has not played in a game since January 11th, when he suffered an injury in a game at Rockford.
Leading Scorer: Andrew Agozzino (LW) – 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) and a -11 rating in 51 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Sami Aittokallio (G) – 2.69 GAA, 0.909 save pct., 10-11-2 and 2 SO in 26 GP.
Who’s Hot: LW Andrew Agozzino (12-23-35) leads the team in points and assists, shares the team lead in goals and is currently on a four-game point streak, with four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +4 rating over that span. C Mark Olver (12-21-33) is tied for the team lead in goals, ranks second in points and has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +5 rating in his last 10 games. C Colin Smith (6-12-18) is tied for first in the AHL in shootout goals (6) and has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and a +4 rating in his last 10 games.
Saturday, March 1 – 7:00 p.m. – AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
@ San Antonio Rampage (23-23-3-5, 54 pts.)
Third Place, West Division
Team Notes: The San Antonio Rampage have a .500 record (23-23-3-5) and are third place in the West Division. San Antonio went on a tear in January and February, putting up a 11-3-2-2 record in its last 18 games, taking 26-of-36 points (0.722) since January 7th. During that run, the Rampage put together a 12-game point streak (8-0-2-2) from January 24th to February 21st, collecting 20-of-24 possible points (0.833); seven of those 12 games went to overtime or a shootout. San Antonio’s point streak, which included six-straight wins, was snapped with a 2-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies on February 22nd. The Rampage have six wins when trailing after two periods, which ranks second in the AHL. Four of those six wins have come while at AT&T Center. San Antonio has the 11th best home power-play in the AHL (19.7%), but only ranks 24th overall (15.4%). The Rampage have the eighth lowest average penalty minutes per game (14.41), but rank 24th in the league while on the penalty-kill (79.3%). Trailing only the Stars (37.51), San Antonio is second in the AHL in shots per game (33.15). On February 20th, San Antonio traded defensemen Denny Urban to the Springfield Falcons in exchange for forward Tim Miller. Seventh leading goal scorer Drew Shore was recalled to Florida on February 24th.
Leading Scorer: Vincent Trocheck (C) – 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) and a -3 rating in 51 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (G) – 2.59 GAA, 0.918 save pct., 11-11-0 and 1 SO in 27 GP.
Who’s Hot: C Vincent Trocheck (15-22-37) leads the team in points and assists, is tied for second in goals, ranks sixth in the AHL in rookie scoring and has seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) and a +3 rating in his last 10 games. RW Bobby Butler (16-17-33) leads the team in goals, ranks second in points and has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and a +4 rating in his last 10 games. C Ryan Martindale (5-14-19) has seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) and a +3 rating in his last 11 games.
Week 21 Game Results:
February 17, 2014 Texas 1 @ Toronto 4
February 21, 2014 Charlotte 1 @ Texas 4
February 22, 2014 Charlotte 2 @ Texas 3 – SO
Stars Player of the Week: (Week 21)
Cristopher Nilstorp – G – #41 3 GP, 2-1-0, 1.60 GAA, 0.951 Sv.%
Goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp was outstanding in his three starts this week. After allowing two goals on 29 shots in a 4-1 loss at Toronto on Monday, he turned around and beat the Charlotte Checkers in back-to-back games at Cedar Park Center. In the two games against the Checkers Nilstorp stopped 71-of-73 shots, making 36 saves on 37 shots Friday night and turning aside 34-of-36 shots Saturday night, including four-of-seven shootout attempts. The Malmӧ, Sweden native is currently tied for sixth in the AHL in wins (19), matching his 2012-13 win total in three less games. With his back-to-back wins this weekend, it is the fifth time this season Nilstorp has won at least two straight decisions.
Stars Quick Hits:
· RITCHIE RICH – Rookie right wing Brett Ritchie scored two goals in Friday’s game against the Charlotte Checkers, his 13th and 14th of the season. The Orangeville, Ontario native is in his first full season with the Texas Stars and ranks 16th in the AHL in rookie scoring with 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 49 games played this season. Ritchie has scored six goals in 11 games since coming back on January 29th after missing six games.
· MANO-A-MANO – The Stars’ seven-round shootout win was their second of the season and was the fourth time Texas has played in a shootout of seven or more rounds this season. In 44 all-time shootouts in team history, the Stars have an even 22-22 record.
· THAT’S A LOT OF GOALS – Mike Hedden’s third period goal on Friday night was the 1,100th goal scored in Texas Stars team history. Hedden also scored the team’s 1,000th goal back on December 13th against the Chicago Wolves. Stars’ captain Maxime Fortunus scored the first-ever goal in the first game in team history on October 2, 2009. Texas has 199 goals so far this season, which ranks second overall in the AHL, trailing only the Binghamton Senators (201).
· DEFEND THIS HOUSE – The win on Saturday night against the Checkers was the 20th home win of the season for the Stars. This is the third time in five seasons that the Stars have surpassed 20 wins at home in a season. The two times they did not were during the 2011-12 and 2012-2013 seasons, when they had 18 home wins each year.
· SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR – Right wing Colton Sceviour scored his AHL-leading 31st goal of the season on Saturday against Charlotte. He is now within six goals of tying Matt Fraser’s team record of 37, set during the 2011-2012 season. Playing in 48 games this season, Sceviour is averaging 0.65 goals per game and, with 21 games remaining, he is on pace to finish the season with 45 goals.
· APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES – D Maxime Fortunus is 1 assist away from his 150th career AHL assist and 3 GP away from his 750th career pro game. RW Colton Sceviour is 2 goals away from his 100th career AHL goal and is 8 GP away from his 350th career AHL game. C Travis Morin is 4 assists from his 300th career pro assist. LW Mike Hedden is 3 points away from his 200th career pro point and 10 GP away from his 200th career AHL game. RW Scott Glennie needs 7 GP to reach his 150th career pro game and 8 GP to reach his 150th career AHL game. D Derek Meech is 10 GP shy of his 550th career pro game.
Stars Week 21 Transactions:
February 24 – DELETE – Russ Sinkewich (D) – Reassigned from Toledo (ECHL) to Idaho (ECHL).
February 20 – DELETE – Ryan Button (D) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) to Idaho (ECHL).
Texas Stars Team Leaders:
Games Played: Mike Hedden & Curtis McKenzie (54)
Goals: Colton Sceviour (31)
Assists: Travis Morin (42)
Points: Travis Morin (70)
Plus/Minus: Travis Morin (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Curtis McKenzie (68)
Power Play Goals: Chris Mueller (13)
Short Handed Goals: Seven Tied (1)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (6)
Shots: Colton Sceviour (204)
Shooting Percentage: Mike Hedden (17.1%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (924)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (19)
GAA: Jack Campbell (1.40)
Save Percentage: Jack Campbell (0.947)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (2)
The Stars will begin a five-game road trip by taking on the Lake Erie Monsters today with a 9:45 a.m. CT face off at Quicken Loans Arena. Texas will return to Cedar Park Center Saturday, March 8th to face the Charlotte Checkers with a 7:00 p.m. face off. Saturday’s game is a Coke Zero Family Four Pack Night and a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night, as well as a Stars Team Poster giveaway and there will be a post-game autograph session. 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.