Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stars potent offense, strong defense power 5-0 win in Hamilton

The Stars completed a number of firsts tonight: first win on Canadian soil, first AHL shutout for Richard Bachman and first win over the Hamilton Bulldogs. The game was a sparkling specimen of what the Texas Stars can be when they are firing on all cylinders. Let's get into the play-by-play.

With Krahn and Climie out and Todd Ford having a bad stretch, ECHL call up Richard Bachman got the start. Texas was given an early power play on a double-minor for high sticking. Mathieu Tousignant also took a minor for interference on the play. When the Tousignant minor expired, Texas had two minutes of man advantage but couldn't capitalize on it.

The Stars were afforded another opportunity on the power play at 14:24 of the period. On a scrum in front of the net just 18 seconds into the power play resulted in a goal given to Warren Peters in the building. Sceviour sent the puck in to the crease and Ray Sawada and Peters both whacked at it until it came out to the low slot where Peters put it home.

Perttu Lindgren took a penalty for cross-checking late in the first and Texas was strong on the penalty kill to keep the one goal differential. Matheiu Beaudoin had a good chance in the last minute of the period when he broke in alone and challenged Desjardins. Beaudoin came from right to left and, being right-handed, had to give it a shot on the backhand. Desjardins caught the puck glove side with facility. Texas closed the period with the shots advantage at 9 to 6.

Coming out of the break, Gazdic and Neilson tangled and each took five for fighting. Texas came out shooting, starting with a 5-0 shot advantage before Warren Peters took a penalty for interference. On the power play, PK Subban was a little bit too rough on Greg Rallo who had carried the puck into the offensive zone and drew a roughing call. The Bulldogs touched up on the puck and Ryan White shot the puck into the empty net after the play was over, which is really something that is not done. No penalties were doled out on the play. So we would skate 4-on-4.

Texas got revenge on the 4-on-4 when Beaudoin came down the left side 2-on-1 on Belle and passed to Hutchinson who came down the right side and scored. The power play came when the Peters minor expired and Texas would score again just 78 seconds later. A pass from Andrew Hutchinson was shot in by Francis Wathier from the left-wing circle. Desjardins stopped the initial shot but gave up a juicy rebound to Aaron Gagnon who drove the net and scored on the backhand. It would be the last shot Desjardins would face as Curtis Sanford came on in relief.

The Stars struck once more in the period when Trevor Ludwig came in with some fancy stick work and passed to Sawada coming down the right side. Sawada immediately sent it back to Ludwig who was then staring an empty net in the face. Texas was up 4-0.

With two minutes left in the period, after play had stopped on a save by Bachman, Ryan White plowed a defenseless Mathieu Tousignant into the boards. His face struck the middle of the board but he did not appear injured. Everyone on the ice at the time, save the goalies, got entangled with each other behind the net. Coming out of play, Ryan White received a five minute major for boarding and Gazdic and Henry received matching minors for roughing.

Mathieu Beaudoin only took 29 seconds to make it 5-0. Beaudoin and Lindgren attempted the same play as Ludwig and Sawada on the previous goal. However, Beaudoin's attempt to pass it back to Lindgren was redirected into the net by a Bulldogs defender.

Gagnon took a tripping minor just 30 seconds into the third period and took Texas off the man advantage. On an early power play in the third, Tousignant and Gazdic even saw some power play time. The third was a penalty-filled affair, including a rare diving call on PK Subban followed by an unsportsmanlike for arguing the call and punching the glass in the penalty box. These calls were evened out by Stars penalties.

Bachman was not challenged much until the third period when the Bulldogs put all of seven shots on goal. He stood strong though to preserve the shutout and earn his first of his AHL career. The shot differential in the game was a sure indicator of the finish. Texas outshot Hamilton 37-17 and absolutely dominated every aspect of play. There's not much to say about the game except, let's do this more often.

The Stars travel tonight immediately after the game to Syracuse for tomorrow's game against the Crunch, the second-to-last place team in the East Division. We will preview that game tomorrow, but hopefully it will end as successfully as tonight's did.

Tonight's lines:
McCulloch-Gagnon-Rallo
Wathier-Peters-Sawada
Morin-Lindgren-Beaudoin
Gazdic-Tousignant-Sceviour

Fortunus-Hutchinson
Stafford-Ludwig
Jancevski-Stephenson

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson and Krahn (injured)
Climie (day-to-day "strep-type" infection)
Korostin and Shelast (scratched)
  • Lines shuffled quite a bit after the homestand. The Sceviour-Morin-Rallo line was broken up completely. With Wathier back in the lineup from Dallas, the Wathier-Peters-Sawada line was reunited.

  • Garrett Stafford was on the ice for all five goals scored by the Stars tonight.

  • The 'fourth line' saw a lot of ice time in the third period tonight with the game well in hand.

  • The attendance for tonight's game was only 2,551, less than half of the Texas Stars' nightly average. Of course, Team Canada was also busy beating up on Norway in Vancouver at the same time, so I'm sure that had an effect on attendance. Imagine a Texas Longhorns game was on at the same time. Note that this happened twice this season at the Stars drew 4466 and 3858 those nights. So there, Canada.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Hamilton - February 16 2010

3 comments:

  1. Best postgame wrap-up ever. "There's not much to say about the game except, let's do this more often" and "So there, Canada" will go down in hundred degree history, I'm sure!

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  2. I don't think comparing Canada vs. Norway to a Longhorn game here is even close to a fair comparison, maybe if it were the Longhorns in the National Championship game and it was taking place here in Austin, that might at least come close, but it wouldn't quite compare still, if you had the choice of watching an AHL game, or watching one of the best national teams ever put together play in your home country, which would you go with (Personally, I even watched what was left of Canada vs. Norway over the Stars game when I got home today)? Plus, everyone in Canada is going to be talking about that game tomorrow, I can't imagine how much of a loser you'd be up there if you tell your friends you didn't see it cause you were busy watching the Bulldogs instead. I've got no problem with sticking it to Canada, but I'd rather save that for the gold medal game, just like we did in the WJC.

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  3. Ludwig's goal belongs on the Stars' year-end highlight reel, and I feel safe in saying that his dad never scored one remotely like it. Who knew the kid had it in him.

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