The Texas Stars had a historic night, dropping a franchise record eight goals on the Wolves, including six in the second period. It was a complete game for the Stars that can build momentum as they move toward more rigorous scheduling ahead.
Chicago opened the scoring in the game as Akim Aliu maneuvered down the left wing side and edged out Philip Larsen to score stickside high on the backhand. Later in the period, with one player in the box for each team, Texas would get a 4-on-4 goal. Severin Blindenbacher hit Greg Rallo with a pass right in the crease from below the goal line. Rallo took the pass falling down and scored both with the puck and his body for a 1-1 tie. Chicago would take the lead to close the period as Pettersson scored on a slow dribbler to the right corner of the net.
The second period was where the Stars really lit it up though. Texas scored six goals in the period, including five power play goals on five chances. It got started with a point shot from Fortunus was tipped by Francis Wathier to even the score at 2. Fabian Brunnstrom found Travis Morin in the high slot for a 3-2 lead and then Texas didn't look back. Luke Gazdic scored his first home goal of his Texas Stars career on a wraparound on the right post to make it 4-2. The crowd went wild.
With 5:52 left in the period, Andre Deveaux boarded Trevor Ludwig, with Ludwig's head going right into the top of the dasherboards. Ludwig got up successfully and Texas was awarded a five minute major PP. Texas got PP goals from Tomas Vincour, Tousignant, and Aaron Gagnon on the PP. Gagnon's goal was scored on an extended 5-on-3 with Boris Valabik in the box for roughing after Tousignant's goal. At the end of the period, Texas was up 7-2. "So much of this game is momentum," said Dan Spang after the game. "We got it and the last thing we want to do is give it back, so we kept our foot on the gas pedal." Spang had 3 assists on the night.
The third period was mostly quiet. With under two minutes left, Texas forward Vincour got his 2nd of the night on a nice pass from Roman in the left wing corner. The final was 8-2.
The six goal second period was the most goals scored in a period by the Stars in Texas history. Prior to tonight, Texas had scored 6 goals in all of their second periods combined. Texas's 5/5 power play night vaulted them from #28 in the league on the overall power play to #11 with an 18.5%. Additionally, Texas jumped from #15 in the league on home power play to #2, just behind Peoria, with a 27.5% clip. Coach Gulutzan commented postgame: "Now we just have to find that level of consistency night in and night out."
While we won't see 8 goal games very often in the league, Gulutzan is confident that the net presence and other "little things" that the Stars did tonight will help them to have to confidence to win those 3-2 and 2-1 type games.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Chupp, Stephenson, Benn, King, Krahn (scratched)
Lots of shuffling and other attempted lines tonight. Gazdic scored his goal shifted up on a line with Morin and Rallo. I think he deserved a "fourth" star in the game. He had a goal, some great offensive plays, and excellent back checking. "It was exciting [to score at home]," said Gazdic. "It's good to get that one off my back and do something at home other than fight."
Tonight's attendance was 4,699.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - November 16 2010