Morin Has Two Assists; New Stars Defenseman Scores Winner 9 Seconds into Overtime
CHARLOTTE, NC – Kevin Connauton scored his first goal for Texas a mere nine seconds into overtime as the Stars beat the Charlotte Checkers 3-2 Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The first period had a very high tempo from both teams. Charlotte earned the game’s first power play, but Texas’ penalty killers stood tall. Just 41 seconds after the penalty expired the Stars grabbed the lead when Mike Hedden stole a clearing attempt from Rasmus Rissanen and found Brett Ritchie in the high slot. Ritchie looked for a pass, saw the defenders back off and unleashed a lethal wrist shot into the top left corner of the net at 12:26 that zipped in and out of the goal so quickly that the referee had to review the goal on the video replay system just to make sure. Hedden’s assist was his 20th of the season and Texas took a 1-0 lead.
For the second straight game the Stars put up 20 shots on goal in the second period, but this time Checkers goalie Rob Madore stopped all 20 of them. Right at the halfway point of the frame Charlotte caught Texas on a bad line change and Matt Marquardt roofed his wrist shot over a stranded Jack Campbell to tie the game at 9:56.
The Stars reclaimed the lead in the third period when leading scorer Colton Sceviour scored his 20th goal of the campaign, beating Madore with a wrap-around shot on the power play at 10:06. Travis Morin and captain Maxime Fortunus each assisted on Sceviour’s goal. Six minutes later Jamie Oleksiak was whistled for delay of game when his clearing attempt from the defensive zone went directly into the crowd. The Checkers tied the game on the ensuing power play on a blistering one-timer from Chris Terry that rocketed from the top of the right faceoff circle into the upper right corner of the net at 16:45.
The Stars scored one of their fastest overtime goals in club history when the rebound from Morin’s shot went off the pads of Madore and kicked out to Kevin Connauton at the right circle. The Texas defenseman wound up and crushed a one-timer into the twine just nine seconds into overtime to win the game 3-2. It was his first goal in a Stars uniform, his eighth overall this season, and was assisted by Morin, who finished the game with two assists.
Jack Campbell made 32 saves on 34 shots to record his 18th win of the season in goal for Texas, while Rob Madore stopped 43-of-46 shots and suffered the overtime loss for Charlotte. The Stars out-shot the Checkers 46-34 in the game and went 1-for-3 on the power play. Charlotte was 1-for-4 with the man-advantage. The win clinched the season series for Texas (5-2-1-0) and gives the team 93 points, good enough to hold onto first place in the Western Conference.
The Texas Stars will continue their five-game road trip on Sunday, April 14th as they travel to San Antonio to square off with the Rampage at 3:30 p.m. 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. 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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Photo: Gregg Forwerck/Charlotte Checkers