Texas Extends Franchise-Record Winning Streak to Nine Games
Texas Stars center Justin Dowling and left wing Mike Hedden each finished with two points on the game and goalie Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 30-of-31 shots in a 4-1 victory over Lake Erie Sunday night in front of 4,538 fans at Cedar Park Center.
After a scoreless first period, Texas defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka opened up the scoring at 8:14 of the second frame taking a pass across the slot from center Justin Dowling and beating Lake Erie goaltender Sami Aittokallio stick-side. It was Jokipakka’s fifth goal of the year, assisted by Dowling and Mike Hedden. A mere 34 seconds later, the Monsters answered back to tie the game on a goal by David van der Gulik. Markus Lauridsen’s shot from the blue line was blocked in front, but Mark Olver reacted quickly to drop the puck to a waiting van der Gulik in the mid-slot for a snap shot into the net. Stars center Scott Glennie took back the lead with just over three minutes left in the period, one-timing a behind-the-back backhand pass from left wing Curtis McKenzie. It was a power play goal for Glennie, assisted by McKenzie and Travis Morin.
The score remained at 2-1 until the dying minutes of the third period. With 3:39 left, rookie Brett Ritchie scored an insurance goal bringing a pass from Hedden up the right side, cutting across the top of the crease and beating Aitokallio with a backhand upstairs for his 22nd goal of the year. Dowling would then cap off the scoring by notching a short-handed empty net goal with just over a minute left in regulation to seal the Stars’ victory 4-1.
Cristopher Nilstorp (25-12-4) finished with 30 saves on 31 shots to record his 25th win of the season in goal for Texas. Sami Aittokallio (13-14-3) stopped 23-of-26 shots faced and suffered his 14th loss of the year for Lake Erie. The Monsters out-shot the Stars 31-to-27 in the game and went 0-for-8 on the power play; Texas was 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
Notes: Brett Ritchie’s goal tonight, fifth in two games this weekend against Lake Erie, extended his current point streak to seven games. Ritchie has 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) during his current streak. Mike Hedden extended his current assist and point streak to six games; he has nine assists and 10 points during that span. Travis Morin played in his 500th career professional game tonight.
The Texas Stars return to action on Friday, April 11th as they host the San Antonio Rampage at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center. Friday’s game is $3 Beer & $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Night and is the Texas Stars Ear Bud with Carrying Case giveaway. 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.