All you really have to know about this game is that Texas set a new team record for goals scored tonight.
The Stars got on the power play early but couldn't get setup. Travis Morin snapped the 0-0 tie on a breakaway homerun pass from Francis Wathier, beating Heat goalie David Shantz stick side high. The Heat came right back just a few minutes later. Vishnevskiy got a little to close to Heat star player Jason Jaffray on the way out of the zone and gave it up to him. Fortunus was already on his way out of the zone and couldn't get back to help. Climie stopped the initial shot, but Jaffray poked in his own rebound to make it 1-1 on the unassisted tally. The Stars would shut it down from there.
Just over a minute later, the Stars got physical in the offensive zone and Greg Rallo got the puck from a casual Heat defender. He passed to Travis Morin, who sent it out to Stafford who was all alone coming down from the point. He ripped one past Shantz to make it 2-1.
The Stars ended the period with a Luke Gazdic fighting major. Grantham and Gazdic got into it and I'm not sure Grantham ever threw a punch! He went down to the ice after a few well placed punches from Gazdic and both went to the locker room.
Just 1:39 into the second, the Stars would tally another. Garrett Stafford shot one in from the right circle that seemed to glide across Shantz's leg pads and was seemingly tucked home by an unmolested Scott McCulloch on the far side. However, the goal was changed to Garrett Stafford's several minutes later. Unsure of what happened here, since the Stars score on the opposite end from me during the second. Anyone with insight, please post in the comments.
With the Heat's Baldwin in the box for high sticking, Shantz again suffered from his own bad rebound control as Gagnon put one away that bounced off of him. Assists came from Wathier and Vish.
To end the second, how about another Luke Gazdic fight? Grantham and Gazdic dropped gloves again. This time, Gazdic was defending Mathieu Tousignant who seemed to be on the receiving end of every single delinquent thing the Heat could throw at the Stars. Grantham was getting a little close after the play was over at the bench and Gazdic started throwing punches. I'd say this one was more of a tie. Just a few minutes later, Wathier and Watt dropped the gloves. In arguably the best moment of the night, Luke Gazdic came out to congratulate Wathier on the fight as he exited the ice and entered the players' tunnel.
The Stars would score twice more in the third. First, they score on a power play shot from Ivan Vishnevskiy that was redirected in front of the net by Francis Wathier. This gave Wathier the coveted Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, and fighting major). The 6th and final goal was a wicked wrister by Ludwig redirected by Korostin in front of the net.
Finally, not content with just two fighting major, Gazdic threw down with Murray in the last three minutes of the game. He received a game misconduct for having three majors in a game, but he wouldn't have come back to the game anyways.
The Stars did a great job tonight. Aside from a momentary lapse in judgement on Vish's part, this would be a shutout 6-0. Abbotsford laid on the shots though; this wasn't a cushy 1 goal game. Climie stopped 36 of 37. I think Climie's got his groove back a little. I don't think he was challenged exceptionally tonight in terms of quality shots, but stopping that much rubber has to do something for the confidence of a guy who was fighting the puck just a few weeks ago.
The Stars also kept their special teams hitting on all cylinders, going 2/4 and not allowing a single PP tally against. They are now 11/23 in their last six games. The 'no goals in the first' streak was broken though.
More of the same tomorrow night. See you there.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Shelast and Stephenson (scratched)
Peters (NHL call up)
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Abbotsford - January 29 2010