|Colton Sceviour (Credit: Gregg Forwerck/Charlotte Checkers)|
The Charlotte offense came alive, but it didn't matter to the Texas Stars on Friday night as they outscored the Checkers 7-3 to start their important weekend against the club closest behind them in the standings. Colton Sceviour had two goals and an assist as one of five different goal scorers in the game. Travis Morin also collected a pair while Francis Wathier, Toby Petersen and Carl Sneep collected the others.
"The mistakes we're making you can't afford to make against anyone, let alone a great team like Texas," said Checkers coach Jeff Daniels after the game. "They're in first place for a reason."
The game was important for so many reasons for the Stars. With the win, they ensure that they will leave Charlotte with first place in the West regardless of Sunday's outcome. However, they also give themselves a chance to open a seven point lead on their closest competition with a month to go until the end of the season.
The Stars struck first, scoring the only goal of the first period on a rebound of a Sceviour wrap-around attempt that went in over Muse's right pad. Gord Baldwin was the lone assist and set the score at 1-0.
Play opened up more in the second as Charlotte's Beau Schmitz answered back. His first of the year was scored from the point with all five Stars below the hashes and inside the faceoff dots. Texas answered back with two in the period in rapid succession. Carl Sneep scored his second of the season as Bretton Cameron raced down the right wing side and found Sneep open in the high slot for the pass. Texas would take the 2-1 lead and would not trail again in the game.
With Wrenn in the box for tripping, Sceviour got his second of the night shorthanded. One too many dekes for John Muse and Sceviour found twine thru the five-hole of the Charlotte tender for the 3-1 lead just 50 seconds later.
Despite only eight shots in the third period, Texas managed to score four goals and salt away the game despite two Checkers tallies. Matt Marquadt was left alone down low and tapped one in past a sprawling Campbell to make it 3-2 early in the third. Texas responded with Wathier's third of the year, a Johnny-on-the-spot tally off a turnover by the Checkers defense. Travis Morin tipped home a Fraser shot just 30 seconds later and it was 5-2.
Beau Schmitz would add his second on the game and the season late in the period but Texas would answer with an empty net goal from Morin and Toby Petersen goal with less than a minute in the game.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Oleksiak, Vincour (call up)
Nemeth, Gazdic, Nilstorp (injured)
Fyten, Tousignant (scratch)
Tyler Sloan and Maxime Fortunus, both out with injuries until recently, were each plus-3 in the contest. That's a good sign.
Tonight's attendance was 8,421.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Charlotte - March 15 2013