Gaunce & Ritchie Both Score; Texas Blasts 47 Shots on Goal in Defeat
CHARLOTTE, NC – Brett Ritchie and Cameron Gaunce each scored goals for Texas, but a late power play goal by Zach Boychuk with 1:41 left in regulation lifted the Charlotte Checkers past the Stars 4-3 Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Texas out-shot Charlotte 47-32 in the game.
Plenty of pucks were fired on net in the opening period as the two teams combined for 29 shots on goal. After giving Charlotte an early power play, the Texas penalty kill looked strong against the fifth best power play in the AHL. Later in the period Matt Beca put the Checkers on the board at 14:18. Brett Sutter caused a turnover and centered a pass to Beca, who fired a twisting shot over the glove of goalie Jack Campbell.
In the second period, Texas turned the tide with two quick goals in the first 1:53. Colton Sceviour, the Stars points leader, registered his 19th goal, and 49th point, of the season with a wrap-around goal just 30 second into the frame. Rookie Brett Ritchie got in on the scoring a mere 1:21 later to give Texas a 2-1 lead. Mike Hedden caused a turnover at the offensive blue line and found Ritchie for a shot that slipped under the pads of goalie Rob Madore and eventually skidded over the line. Although the Stars peppered the Checkers net, Madore recovered for a strong finish to the period and Bobby Raymond tied it at two with a snap shot over the glove of Texas goaltender Jack Campbell at 11:39. The Stars out-shot Charlotte by a whopping 20-7 in the period.
Texas carried the momentum into the third period and still Madore was the difference. A Stars giveaway in the defensive zone gave Jeremy Welsh a one-on-one with Campbell and the Checkers forward made a smooth forehand-to-backhand move and lifted the puck into the top right corner of the net at 11:39 to give the hosts a 3-2 lead. The Stars responded quickly, tying the game on a shot from the blue line by Cameron Gaunce that zipped on the ice through all the traffic in front and nestled inside the far right post just 43 seconds later. The goal was Gaunce’s second of the season, his first point for Texas, and was assisted by Francis Wathier and Luke Gazic. Two minutes later the Stars were awarded their third power play of the game with a chance to take the lead, but the Checkers’ highly ranked penalty kill held Texas at bay. Just 62 seconds after the penalty expired, Hedden was whistled for tripping and Charlotte received its second power play of the game. With 1:41 left to play, Chris Terry found Zach Boychuk at the far post for a power play goal that gave the hosts a 4-3 lead. The Stars pulled Campbell for the final 75 seconds and peppered the Checkers’ net, but Madore stood tall and held on for victory.
Charlotte goaltender Rob Madore stopped 44-of-47 shots to earn the win, while Texas goalie Jack Campbell made 28 saves on 32 shots in the losing effort. The Stars out-shot the Checkers 47-32 in the game, including a 35-15 advantage over the final two periods, and went 0-for-3 on the power play. Charlotte was 1-for-2 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars will continue their five-game road trip on Friday, April 12th as they again face the Charlotte Checkers for a 6:00 p.m. CT faceoff at Time Warner Cable Arena. 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. 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.
Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck/Charlotte Checkers