Stars Take Down Barons 5-4, Snap Four-Game Road Winless Streak
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Colton Sceviour recorded a four-point night, with two goals and two assists, to tie teammate Travis Morin for the AHL points lead and help lift the Texas Stars to a 5-4 win over the Oklahoma City Barons Tuesday night at Cox Convention Center. The victory for the Stars snapped a four-game road winless streak (0-3-0-1), which dated back to November 17th at Toronto.
The Barons scored first at 12:11 of the first period. Catching the Stars on a counterattack, Linus Omark’s diagonal cross-ice pass from the top of the left circle found defenseman Martin Marincin unmarked on the right side of the net and he beat Cristopher Nilstorp with a shot just inside the right post. Texas’ top-rated power play responded less than two minutes later. Maxime Fortunus’ shot from the point went off Curtis McKenzie and fell straight down to his feet. The rookie spun around and, in one motion, quickly snapped a low shot past the right leg pad of Oklahoma City goalie Laurent Brossoit at 13:58. Fortunus and Chris Mueller picked up assists on the goal, which was McKenzie’s sixth power play goal of the year, tying him with Mueller for the team lead.
There were very few scoring chances in the first seven minutes of the second period. Then the flood gates opened and both teams seemed to score at will. Derek Nesbitt slapped a one-timer home from the slot for a power play goal at 7:51 and 2-1 Barons lead. Four minutes later Nilstorp made his best save of the 2013-14 season thus far as he split the pads and absolutely stole one from Ryan Hamilton, who had a wide-open net on a two-on-one shorthanded rush. The save immediately boosted the Stars as Colton Sceviour took the puck up the ice and beat Brossoit for an unassisted power play goal at 11:38, his 16th goal of the year. Just 51 seconds later C.J. Stretch found Travis Ewanyk in front for a quick shot that found the far corner and a 3-2 lead. But right before the period came to a close, McKenzie took a centering feed from Sceviour at the top of the crease and jammed the puck in at 17:26 for his second goal of the night and a 3-3 tie going into the third period.
Early in the third period Fortunus blasted a shot from the blue line past Brossoit to score his third goal of the season and gave Texas its first lead of the game, 5-4, at 4:49, assisted by Justin Dowling and Sceviour. The Barons struck back at 8:57 when Matthew Ford caused a turnover in the Stars’ zone and set up Stretch to tie the game at four. Texas responded just 66 seconds later to reclaim the lead for good. Scott Glennie found Sceviour speeding down the left wing and the AHL’s leading goal scorer added to his total by cutting to the middle and beating Brossoit below the catching glove and just inside the far right post at 10:03. The goal put the Stars ahead 5-4 and it was Sceviour’s league-leading 17th of the season. It was also his fourth point of the night, tying Sceviour with teammate Travis Morin for the most points in the AHL (29). The Stars would clamp down for the final ten minutes and hang on for a gusty road victory.
Cristopher Nilstorp made 28 saves on 32 shots to record his fifth win of the season in goal for Texas, while Laurent Brossoit allowed five goals on 27 shots and took the loss for Oklahoma City. The Barons out-shot the Stars 32-27 and went 1-for-4 on the power play; Texas was 2-for-4 with the man-advantage.
Note: Derek Nesbitt’s second period power play goal was the first power play goal allowed by the Stars in their last six games and ended the team’s streak of 17-consecutive successful penalty kills.
The Stars now return home to take on the Iowa Wild on Friday, December 6th for the beginning of Sing for Santa Weekend. Friday’s game is another $3 Draft Beer and $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine night and it is the Stars Hockey Family Window Decal giveaway presented by Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. 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 Credit: Steven Christy