Stars Beat Oklahoma City 2-1 to Seal AHL’s Regular Season Crown
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Texas Stars clinched the 2013-14 Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the American Hockey League’s regular season champion with a 2-1 win over the Oklahoma City Barons Wednesday night at Cox Convention Center. Texas also broke its franchise point streak record by earning a point for the 13th consecutive game (12-0-0-1) and extended its new club record road point streak to 11 games (8-0-0-3).
Texas got off to another fast start as they immediately grabbed the lead. Toby Petersen, playing in just his second game back from a long term injury, finished off a beautiful three-man rush at 1:46. Rookies Alex Guptill and Taylor Peters combined to work the puck from the right wall to the far left side of the net and Petersen blasted a one-timer past Barons’ goaltender Richard Bachman for his fifth goal of the season. Guptill’s assist on Petersen’s goal was the first point of his pro career.
After out-shooting Oklahoma City 11-2 in the first period, the middle frame was more balanced. The Barons cashed in on their first power play of the game, as Steve Pinizzotto scored on a rebound from a Taylor Fedun shot at 7:12 to tie the game. Texas reclaimed the lead with just 32.5 seconds left in the period. William Wrenn brought the puck down the right wing and took a shot that was stopped by Bachman and rebounded to Taylor Vause, who then fired another shot and Kevin Henderson slotted home that rebound for his 12th goal of the year and a 2-1 lead.
The Barons threw everything they could muster at the Stars in the third period, out-shooting Texas 13-8, but Cristopher Nilstorp would not allow another puck to elude him, as he extended his personal point streak to 11 games (10-0-1) and helped his team lock up the AHL’s best record for the 2013-14 regular season.
Cristopher Nilstorp (27-12-4) stopped 24-of-25 shots to record his 27th win of the season in goal for Texas. Richard Bachman (25-18-6) turned in another strong performance in goal for Oklahoma City, turning aside 29-of-30 shots, suffering his 19th loss of the year. The Stars out-shot the Barons 31-25 and went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Oklahoma City was 1-for-5 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars will complete the 2013-14 regular season at Cedar Park Center on Saturday, April 19th at 7:00 p.m. against the Abbotsford Heat. Saturday’s game is Fan Appreciation Night with a Stars Commemorative Print Giveaway, as well as being a Coke Zero Family Four Pack Night and a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night. 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.
Photo credit: Steven Christy