For the second straight night, the Texas Stars put up a five-spot on the Grand Rapids Griffins, although tonight's was decidedly less dramatic. Instead of fighting back from down three, the Stars scored the first five goals of the game and never trailed. With the win, Texas has achieved a season-long four game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 18-5 over that span.
"When you're playing well, you get bounces. When you're struggling, you don't," said Stars' forward Colton Sceviour. "We create our own luck." Sceviour had two goals and an assist for the second straight night.
Texas started off the scoring in the first with Greg Rallo scoring between his legs to mark his 26th of the year, an unassisted goal, just 3:37 in. The goal came off the Stars' first shot of the game. Ondrej Roman extended the lead with his 8th of the year at 15:33 of the first on a deft pass from behind the net by Francis Wathier.
Jordan Pearce's night was done to start the second as one-time Stars emergency backup David Brown entered the game for the second period. Brown would fair no better than Pearce. Colton Sceviour victimized Brown on the power play to make it 3-0 before the end of the second and would add another to start the third. Sceviour's first of the night was assisted by Greg Rallo, who wound up for a point blank slap shot, but instead bunted a pass to Sceviour for the tap-in. Sceviour's two goals on the night earned him first star honors, as he has now tallied 4 goals and 6 points in the past two games.
Ray Sawada would add a power play tally with eleven and a half left in the game to set the score at 5-0. Amadio and Sawada dropped the gloves after the goal was scored, giving Ray a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, and fighting major) in the game.
The shutout bid would be broken up by newcomer Gustav Nyquist with 8:21 left in the game. Richard Bachman let a puck slip through five-hole on a screened shot to make it 5-1. Despite the one goal, Bachman is in exceptional form right now for Texas. "Bachman is going to be our go-to guy [for the rest of the season]," said forward Greg Rallo. "He's filled the #1 role and put us in the position we're in right now."
Speaking of that positioning, with tonight's win the Stars put five points between themselves and the pack of three at 83 points. Texas knows that it is in control of its own destiny at this point. Rallo intoned, "We don't want help from anybody else."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Larsen (hip pointer, day-to-day)
Vincour, Segal, Lukowich (callup)
Tonight's attendance was 6,040.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Grand Rapids - March 26 2011