Saturday, October 5, 2013

Travis Morin's Four-Point Night Pushes Texas Stars to 4-1 Win

Travis Morin (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Veterans stole the night for the Texas Stars as Travis Morin was the standout player with a four-point night in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves tonight in Cedar Park.

"Tonight, we wanted to make a little statement and show the younger guys how Willie wants us to play and how we need to play to be successful," said Morin, who had two goals and two primary assists.

Coach Desjardins expanded, "Morin was the difference tonight. He worked hard. It wasn't just the plays he made; he battled in the corners and won 1-on-1s against really big guys."

Colton Sceviour opened the scoring, and captain Maxime Fortunus scored one on the power play. Both were assisted by Morin. Jyrki Jokipakka added two secondary assists and Matej Stransky had a secondary power play assist, his first professional point. Morin's four-point effort tied a franchise record for points in a game.

Jack Campbell stopped 18 of 19 shots against. He was untested for long stretches, often a challenge for goalies, but came up big, especially on a breakaway against Keith Aucoin.

Texas got things started in the first period with Colton Sceviour's first goal of the season. A bit of a defensive miscue from Chicago put the puck on Travis Morin's stick via rookie Jyrki Jokipakka.

Morin explained, "I just picked the puck up, and I didn't know if I would be able to beat the guy to the net. I just tried to drive hard. I caught Sceviour out of the corner of my eye, and he had an empty net there."

Sceviour finished Morin's pass with a backhand into the yawning net. The Stars outshot the Wolves 12-5 in the first period but only generated one goal.

Travis Morin continued his solid night in the second as Texas found itself on the power play in the middle of the frame. The Stars all-time leading assist man dished to Maxime Fortunus at the point.

"We've been working on moving the puck and getting our shots," said captain Maxime Fortunus. "If we have opportunities, we'll move it. Morin was open on the wide side and could have taken the shot. I yelled for it because I had a lane too. He's an amazing passer, and he'll always find you."

The captain blasted the puck through traffic for the 2-0 marker. Matej Stransky picked up his first professional assist on the play.

Morin got into the scoring action himself on an individual effort to push things to 3-0. Two-on-one with Sceviour again, Morin went shot all the way and found the top right corner over Climie's glove.

"Obviously Climie played here a couple years and he knows me," said Morin. "In the past, I've looked to pass all the time. You'd have to ask him but I think he was leaning pass. I was lucky to hit my spot."

Chicago would break up the shutout bid with a deflection goal just a few minutes later, putting the score at 3-1 after 40. Texas and Chicago were even on shots in the period at 10 each.

Travis Morin finished out his scoring spree with a top-shelf goal in tight against Climie, his fourth point of the night. Texas dominated on shots in the final period with a 16-4 effort.

Texas hosts the Rockford IceHogs tomorrow night.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Stransky-Vause-Petersen
Montgomery-Wathier-Peters

Fortunus-Wrenn
Oleksiak-Nemeth
Jokipakka-Gaunce

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Labrie, Button, Ranford (scratch)
Smith (injured)

Pairings above were changed in the second period a bit. Coach Lidster switched to Wrenn-Oleksiak and Nemeth-Fortunus. Oleksiak and Nemeth had some trouble in the first period with some trouble moving the puck out of the zone.

"You have to be able to play with everybody in every situation," said Fortunus. "Sometimes coaches see things we can't, and they thought it was best to replay with the pairings."

Every Texas goal scorer tonight played with Wolves goalie Matt Climie during the Texas Stars' inaugural year.

Tonight's attendance was 6,045.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - October 5 2013

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