STARS WEEKLY (WEEK 28)
First Place Texas Prepares for Three-in-Three Showdown with Rival San Antonio
2013-14 Record: 45-17-3-6, 99 points (28-7-0-1 Home, 17-10-3-5 Road), First Place – West Division
Week 27 Recap:
After a rare four non-game days to begin the week, the Stars opened Week 27 with their first of two against the Lake Erie Monsters. Before the game, the team honored Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano, but it was rookie Brett Ritchie that stole the show. Ritchie opened the scoring on the power-play at 5:04 into the first period when his cross-crease pass was deflected into the net by a Lake Erie defenseman. The Monsters responded with a goal at 12:19 when Andrew Agozzino’s wrist shot trickled over the goal-line. At 12:19 of the second period, Ritchie broke the tie after he drove to the crease and slide the puck around goaltender Sami Aittokallio. Justin Dowling collected a rebound in the high slot off Ritchie’s shot and fired a wrist shot past Aittokallio to make the score 3-1. Just over five minutes into the third period, Ritchie completed his hat-trick with a top-shelf backhander after a beautiful move to freeze Aittokallio. His third goal would not be his last. Mike Hedden found Ritchie on the right side who hammered it home for his fourth of the game and a franchise single-game record. Goaltender Jack Campbell dazzled, stopping 29-of-30 for his 11th win of the season.
The Stars and Monsters hit the ice for their final matchup of the regular season Sunday evening. Defensemen Jyrki Jokipakka opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season at 8:14 of the second period on pass across the slot from Justin Dowling. Though 34 seconds later, David van der Gulik’s snap shot from the slot tied the game back at one. Rookie Curtis McKenzie found Scott Glennie backdoor on the power-play with a beautiful behind-the-back-backhand pass to put the Stars back up 2-1. Both teams continued to battle during the third until rookie Brett Ritchie stretched the lead to 3-1. With 3:39 left in regulation, Ritchie collected a saucer pass from Mike Hedden, drove the net and used the same move on goaltender Sami Aittokallio from his hat-trick goal Friday night, collecting his fifth goal in two games and 22nd of the season. Dowling added an empty-net shorthanded goal with just over a minute left to cap the Stars’ 4-1 victory and ninth straight win. Goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp continued his phenomenal play by stopping 30-of-31 shots for his 25th win of the season.
Week 28 Preview:
With only five games left in the 2013-14 season, Texas is still leading the entire American Hockey League with 99 points in 71 games, matching the franchise record for points in a single season. The Stars’ magic number to clinch first place in the Western Conference is down to six and their magic number to clinch the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy, as the AHL’s regular season points champion, is down to seven.
This week Texas will play its third and final three-in-three of the season and all three games will be against the San Antonio Rampage. The Stars will host San Antonio on Friday, April 11th for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff 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. Texas will then travel south for back-to-back games this weekend at AT&T Center on Saturday, April 12th at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 13th at 4:00 p.m. This three-in-three will also conclude the season series between Texas and San Antonio.
C Travis Morin (31-50-81) leads the AHL in points, ranks second in assists, third in goals and has nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) over his last nine games. RW Brett Ritchie (22-25-47) leads all AHL rookies and is seventh overall in shots (211), tied for seventh in rookie points and is currently on a seven-game point streak with 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) and a +12 rating during that span. C Justin Dowling (11-34-45) is third on the team in assists and is currently on a five-game point streak with 11 points (6 goals, 5 assist) and a +12 rating during that span. LW Mike Hedden (22-29-51) is fifth on the team in points and is currently on a six-game point streak with 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists) and a +12 rating during that span.
Week 28 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE over the Internet at www.TexasStarsHockey.com and the free radio button on the schedule page of www.ahllive.com and can be viewed via internet pay-per-view video on www.ahllive.com. All times listed in Central Time)
Friday, April 11 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. San Antonio Rampage (29-33-3-6, 67 pts.)
Fifth Place, West Division
Saturday, April 12 – 7:00 p.m. – AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
@ San Antonio Rampage (29-33-3-6, 67 pts.)
Fifth Place, West Division
Sunday, April 13 – 4:00 p.m. – AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
@ San Antonio Rampage (29-33-3-6, 67 pts.)
Fifth Place, West Division
· Team Notes: The San Antonio Rampage have gone 3-7-0-0 in their last ten games, but have won their last two games. San Antonio defeated the Charlotte Checkers 5-2 on April 4th and then shutout the Lake Erie Monsters 3-0 on April 5th. Against Lake Erie, defensemen Josh McFadden scored his first AHL goal and rookie Connor Brickley scored his first professional goal. The Rampage are 12-20-1-2 (0.386) against the West Division, the including 4-5-0-0 against Texas. San Antonio is second in the AHL in total shootout games (17) and tied for first in shootout wins (11). They are the seventh least penalized team in the league by average penalty minutes per game (13.89), but have the 28th ranked penalty-kill (78.5%). The Rampage are tied for second in the AHL in shots for per game (32.83), which ranks only behind the Stars (36.68). When San Antonio is trailing after two periods, they are tied for second in wins (7) and are tied for first in home wins (5). Since the trade deadline on March 5th, the Rampage and Florida Panthers have completed 26 transactions directly between the two clubs, including recalling one of San Antonio’s top scorers, rookie Vincent Trocheck, and trading leading goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
· Leading Scorer: Bobby Butler (RW) – 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) and a -2 rating in 64 GP.
Leading Goaltender: Michael Houser (G) – 2.82 GAA, 0.908 save pct., 12-12-1-1 and 2 SO in 26 GP.
Who’s Hot: C Drew Shore (6-25-31) is tied for first on the team in assists and is currently on a five-game point steak with seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) and a +6 rating during that span and was recalled by Florida on April 6th. D Matt Gilroy (10-11-21) is currently on a three-game goal streak with three goals during that span. RW John MacFarland (9-14-23) is currently on a three-game assist streak with four assists and a +1 rating during that span.
Week 27 Game Results:
April 4, 2014 Lake Erie 1, Texas 5
April 6, 2014 Lake Erie 1 @ Texas 4
Stars Player of the Week: (Week 27)
Brett Ritchie – RW – #20 2 GP, 6 points (5 G, 1 A), +5, 0 PIMs
Week 27 was very good for Texas Stars rookie Brett Ritchie. The Orangeville, Ontario native piled up a team-best six points (5 goals, 1 assist) and a +5 rating during the two games in the week and even outdid an NHL legend. Friday night against Lake Erie, with U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Modano in attendance, Ritchie broke the Stars’ single-game record by scoring four goals and he tied the club mark for points in one game (5) with an assist as he factored in every goal of the team’s 5-1 win over the Monsters. He followed that with another goal on Sunday vs. Lake Erie in a 4-1 home victory to extend his current point streak to seven games, with 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) and a +12 rating during that span. Ritchie has 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists) and a +11 rating in 65 games this year, which puts him tied for seventh in rookie scoring. He currently leads all AHL first years in shots (211) and ranks seventh overall.
Stars Quick Hits:
· NEW FRANCHISE WIN STREAK – By winning both games during Week 27, the Stars stretched their record-breaking franchise winning streak to nine games. The streak began on March 15th with a 3-0 shutout over Chicago at Allstate Arena and includes three road wins and six home victories. The AHL record for winning streak is 28 games, set by the Norfolk Admirals during the 2011-2012 season.
· A NEW LEADER – With his four goal performance on Friday night against Lake Erie, rookie Brett Ritchie broke the Texas Stars single-game franchise record for goals. It was Ritchie’s first career pro hat trick, the 10th in Stars history. By adding an assist, Ritchie also tied Colton Sceviour and Travis Morin for the team record for most points in a single-game (5).
· THE 500 CLUB – Center Travis Morin played in his 500th career professional game on Sunday vs. Lake Erie. Morin has 465 points (160 goals, 305 assists) in his pro career, which includes 346 career AHL games and seven career NHL games. Morin is the Texas Stars’ all-time leader in points (288) and is second in franchise history in games played (341), trailing only Colton Sceivour (348).
· A FRANCHISE BEST – The Stars equaled their single-season team record for points (99) with a two-game sweep over the Lake Erie Monsters in Week 27, tying the mark first set during the 2009-10 inaugural campaign. Texas is currently at the top of the overall AHL standings, holding a one-point lead over the Manchester Monarchs (98) and a two point lead over the Grand Rapids Griffins (96), with five games remaining. At the end of the season, the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy is presented to the team with the most points in the AHL.
· THE GREAT WALL OF MALMÖ – Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp has gone 10 consecutive starts without a regulation loss. Since his last loss on February 17th to Toronto, the Malmö, Sweden native has posted a 9-0-1 record, with a 1.52 GAA, a 0.951 save percentage and one shutout. For the season, Nilstorp has a record of 25-12-4, ranking fifth in the AHL in wins; he is tied for eighth in the league in save percentage (0.919), ranks 10th in saves (1,228), 11th in minutes (2,449:44), is tied for 11th in shutouts (3) and tied for 12th in goals-against average (2.45).
· PASS, SHOOT, AND SCORE – The line combination of center Justin Dowling, left wing Mike Hedden and right wing Brett Ritchie is arguably the hottest in the AHL. All three players are on point streaks of five or more games and all three are amongst the top seven scorers on the Stars this year. During the two games last weekend against Lake Erie, the line combined for seven of the Stars’ nine goals and 16 total points.
· ANOTHER 60-POINT STAR – Rookie left wing Curtis McKenzie recorded his 60th point of the season on Sunday against Lake Erie, when he set up Scott Glennie’s game-winning power play goal in the second period of a 4-1 win. He became the third different Texas player in team history to reach 60 points in a season; Travis Morin has done it twice and Colton Sceivour accomplished the feat this year. The Stars have three of the 11 players in the AHL currently with 60 or more points.
· #ANGRYSWEDE – Cristopher Nilstorp picked up four penalty minutes (PIMs) during Sunday’s game against Lake Erie, bringing his season total to 10, which is a single-season team record. Nilstorp is currently tied for 11th in the AHL in goalie PIMs; Adirondack’s Cal Heeter leads the league (37). Nilstorp took two separate roughing minors on Sunday, tying Andrew Raycroft for the most penalty minutes in one game by a Stars’ goaltender (4); Raycroft first accomplished the feat on February 8, 2012 at home against Milwaukee. Nilstorp is also Texas’ all-time leader in goaltender penalty minutes (12).
· NORTH DIVISION DOMINANCE – The Texas Stars swept two home games against Lake Erie last weekend to complete their 16-game schedule this season against North Division opponents. Texas finished a perfect 8-0-0-0 at home against the North, and posted a 11-2-1-1 record overall (0.781), taking 25 points and a +23 goal differential (56-33).
· 150 AND COUNTING – Captain Maxime Fortunus notched his 150th career AHL assist on Friday vs. Lake Erie. Fortunus has 204 career AHL points (54 goals, 150 assists) in 629 career AHL games, including 333 games and 95 assists for Texas.
· ANOTHER 150 MILESTONE – Center Justin Dowling recorded his 150th career pro point on Sunday against Lake Erie. Dowling has 151 points (48 goals, 103 assists) in 197 career pro games, including 81 points (29 goals, 52 assists) in 137 career AHL games.
· DEBUTANTES – A trio of youngsters made their debuts for Texas over the weekend. On Friday night vs. Lake Erie, left wing Alex Guptill made his pro debut and center Radek Faksa made his 2013-14 AHL season debut. On Sunday against the Monsters, defenseman John Klingberg made his regular season AHL debut; he played one game for Texas during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs.
· A CENTURY OF HELPING – Left wing Mike Hedden tallied his 100th career professional assist in Friday’s game against the Monsters. Hedden has 209 career pro points (105 goals, 104 assists) in 329 games, including 70 assists in 206 career AHL games.
· APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES – LW Kevin Henderson is 1 GP from his 300th career pro game, 7 GP from his 300th AHL career game, 3 points from his 100th pro point and 4 points from of his 100th AHL point. C Justin Dowling is 3 GP shy of his 200th career pro game. D Jamie Oleksiak is 3 GP away from his 150th career pro game. D Maxime Fortunus is 3 points away from his 250th career pro point. C Travis Morin is 4 GP away from his 350th career AHL game and 2 goals away from his 100th career AHL game. D Hubert Labrie needs 4 GP to record his 100th career AHL game. C Chris Mueller is 7 points shy of his 250th career AHL point. C Toby Petersen is 5 GP from his 950th career pro game and 3 goals from his 150th career AHL goal.
Stars Week 27 Transactions:
April 6 – ADD – Chris Mueller (C) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 6 – DELETE – Chris Mueller (C) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 5 – ADD – Chris Mueller (C) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 4 – DELETE – Chris Mueller (C) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 4 – ADD – John Klingberg (D) – Reassigned by Dallas from Frolunda (SHL).
April 2 – ADD – Radek Faksa (C) – Reassigned by Dallas from Sudbury (OHL).
Texas Stars Team Leaders:
Games Played: Mike Hedden & Curtis McKenzie (70)
Goals: Colton Sceviour (32)
Assists: Travis Morin (50)
Points: Travis Morin (81)
Plus/Minus: Justin Dowling & Patrik Nemeth (+19)
Penalty Minutes: Curtis McKenzie (81)
Power Play Goals: Chris Mueller (14)
Short Handed Goals: Brendan Ranford (2)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (6)
Shots: Colton Sceviour (228)
Shooting Percentage: Scott Glennie (16.5%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (1,128)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (25)
GAA: Jack Campbell (1.53)
Save Percentage: Jack Campbell (0.940)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (3)
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. Texas Stars’ 2014 Calder Cup playoff ticket packages are on sale now! Reserve your seats for all Calder Cup playoff games at Cedar Park Center at a discounted rate. For more information on Texas Stars playoff tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
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