Morin Scores Twice, Button Notches First AHL Goal in Big Texas Win
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Mike Hedden scored a goal and two assists, Travis Morin found the net twice and Ryan Button scored his first career AHL goal as the Texas Stars scored the final five straight goals in a 7-2 rout of the Oklahoma City Barons Saturday night at Cox Convention Center.
It took just 23 seconds of play for Travis Morin to open the scoring as he beat Richard Bachman with the very first shot of the game for his 14th goal of the season and a 1-0 Texas lead. Just 48 seconds later the Barons tied the game as Ryan Martindale tipped in a shot from Brad Hunt that triggered Oklahoma City’s Teddy Bear Toss. With 1:13 left in the period defenseman Ryan Button’s shot from the blue line redirected off a Barons’ stick and beat goalie Richard Bachman for a power play goal. It was Button’s first career AHL goal and was assisted by Matej Stransky and Mike Hedden.
Early in the second period Oklahoma City’s Steve MacIntyre received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for butt-ending Morin after a whistle. Texas struggled for much of the extended man-advantage as Will Acton scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 9:06. However, only 44 seconds later Taylor Vause scored a power play goal from Taylor Peters and Toby Petersen. It was Vause’s first AHL goal of the season and came at the backdoor on a clever backhand pass from Peters. Morin made it 4-2 Stars at 16:35 as he swooped in on Bachman, had his first shot saved, but collected his own rebound and roofed his second attempt over the sprawling Barons’ netminder. It was Morin’s 15th goal of the year, his AHL-leading 36th point and was assisted by McKenzie and Russ Sinkewich. A mere 39 seconds later it was a 5-2 Texas lead as Mike Hedden redirected a centering pass from Justin Dowling over Bachman’s shoulder at 17:14.
The Barons lifted Bachman after the second frame, starting the third period with backup Chet Pickard between the pipes. The final stanza progressed rather uneventfully until the final four minutes, when the Stars tacked on two more to complete the blowout. Toby Petersen, who was playing as a defenseman tonight for the injured Jyrki Jokipakka, beat Pickard with a slap shot from the blue line at 16:06, assisted by Vause and Hedden. It was Hedden’s third point on the night and his 20th of the season. Just 40 seconds later, Chris Mueller capped off the scoring with an unassisted goal, his 12th tally of the year, as he won a battle on the left wing boards, skated the high slot and sizzled a shot over the shoulder of Pickard at 16:46.
Cristopher Nilstorp made 34 saves on 36 shots to record his eighth win of the season in goal for Texas. Richard Bachman allowed five goals on 26 shots during the first 40 minutes of the game and took the loss in goal for Oklahoma City. Chet Pickard stopped 10-of-12 shots over the final 20 minutes of action in a no-decision. The Stars out-shot the Barons 38-36 and went 2-for-3 on the power play; Oklahoma City was 0-for-2 with the man-advantage.
Note: After the game Texas released forward Anthony Nigro from his PTO. Nigro will head back to Idaho, the Stars’ ECHL affiliate, where he is expected to be in the lineup for the Steelheads lineup for their Sunday afternoon game against the Bakersfield Condors.
The Stars now enjoy a five-day holiday break before completing their three-game road trip Friday, December 27th against the San Antonio Rampage at 7:30 p.m. at AT&T Center. Texas will return home to face San Antonio on Saturday, December 28th with a 7:00 p.m. face off at Cedar Park Center. Next Saturday’s home game against the Rampage is another Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night, a Coke Zero Family Four Pack Night and is the 2014 Texas Stars Calendar Giveaway night presented by The Parking Spot. 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.
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