Morin’s Breaks Texas’ Single-Season Franchise Point Record
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Hubert Labrie scored his first AHL goal in over two years and Travis Morin broke his own single-season franchise point record as the Texas Stars earned a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Abbotsford Heat Saturday night at Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Play was fairly balanced early on, as both teams earned a power play during the first ten minutes of the game, but neither was able to capitalize. Texas opened the scoring right after the mid-period medial timeout. Justin Dowling won the center-ice faceoff back to Jamie Oleskiak, who sent a pass up the right side to Brett Ritchie and the rookie forward raced into the Heat zone and snapped a wrist shot over the blocker of Abbotsford goalie Olivier Roy at 10:22. It was Ritchie’s 10th goal of the season and it was the 32nd time in 49 games this year that Texas had scored first.
The Heat got their offense going early in the second period. Just three seconds after Texas was assess a bench minor for too-many men on the ice, Ben Street won the draw and defenseman Derek Smith ripped a one-timer into the Stars net to tie the game with a power play goal at 4:33. A mere 57 seconds later Abbotsford took the lead 2-1 when Corey Locke found Josh Jooris for a far post one-timer at 5:30. Texas rallied to tie the game three minutes later as Hubert Labrie tipped-in a shot by Maxime Fortunus at 8:25; it was Labrie’s third career AHL goal, his first since December 21, 2011 at Houston. With the second assist on the goal, Travis Morin broke his own Stars’ single-season franchise record with his 67th point of the year.
After a scoreless third period, the Stars received a power play to start overtime, but were unable to win the game with the four-on-three advantage. The game progressed to a shootout and Dustin Jeffrey and Chris Mueller each scored to give Texas a 2-1 lead after two rounds. Blair Jones tied the shootout in the fifth round, Sven Baertschi put Abbotsford ahead 3-2 in the seventh round and then Roy stopped Ritchie’s attempt to close out the win for the Heat.
Olivier Roy won his third straight start in goal for Abbotsford, making 36 saves on 38 shots over 65 minutes of action and then turning aside 5-of-7 shootout attempts. Cristopher Nilstorp had a strong showing the Texas net, stopping 27-of-29 shots in regulation and overtime and then denying 4-of-7 in the shootout to help the Stars earn a point. The Stars out-shot the Heat 38-30 in the game and went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Abbotsford was 1-for-6 with the man-advantage.
Note: The Stars continue to lead the AHL in power play percentage (27.0%), but are currently suffering from a 0-for-14 drought on the man-advantage.
Texas and Abbotsford will square off again on Sunday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m. CT at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. The Stars will return to Cedar Park Center on Friday, February 21st as they host the Charlotte Checkers at 7:30 p.m. The February 21st home game kicks off Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center and is a $3 Beer and $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Night. 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.
Photo: Clint Trahan/Abbotsford Heat