Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Abbotsford Heat Torch Texas Stars in 7-3 Affair

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
With both teams on streaks coming into tonight's game, something had to give one way or the other. Abbotsford's streak won out as they won their eighth in a row and ended the Stars' five game home winning streak by a 7-3 margin tonight in Cedar Park.

"We scored three, and with three you should be able to win in this league," said Francis Wathier, who had his third of the year shorthanded in the game.

"The little mistakes that we had really cost us. We had been doing the right things in practice but small details is the type of game this is."

The Stars got two early power plays that did not convert and then found themselves in a 2-0 hole at the end of twenty. They battled back to draw within one at 3-2 with the end of the second coming on but gave up a late goal to see the score slip to 4-2 after forty. Three goals in 55 second span in the third period, one from Texas and two from the Heat, pushed the momentum firmly to the Heat end for good.

"I don't think the score indicated the game last time and neither did this score," said Coach Desjardins, referring to the 9-3 contest that Texas won on Abbotsford's last visit to Texas. "They scored on set breakouts on two and the powerplay on three, and that's five [of their goals]."

Texas has now allowed a total of fifteen goals in their last three games, a troubling trend for a team now without its top scorer, Travis Morin.

"We can't try to outscore teams 6-5," added Desjardins. "We have to start holding teams to one or two goals. Our penalty kill also has to get better."

The Stars penalty kill was 0/3 on the night. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 23 of 29 shots and was pulled after the sixth goal.

An early pair of power plays for Texas came up empty and set the Stars ill-at-ease, as early power plays often do. Abbotsford scored twice in 37 seconds in the period's sixteenth minute to go up 2-0. Blair Jones got his first of the night on homerun pass from Chad Billins. Brett Olson got his on the power play. Shots were 18-7 at the end of the first for Texas.

Blair Jones got his second on the power play with a Fraser-esque laser from the left wing circle, assisted again by Billins.

Scott Glennie and Colton Sceviour pushed the score within one as the period wore on. While Glennie cram goal was not on the power play, it came just as one expired. Colton Sceviour's came off a nice pass from Brett Ritchie, who found Sceviour alone in the slot.

Ben Street set the score at 4-2 off a nice pass from Blair Jones that beat the Stars defense and got him in behind the defenders clean.

"We had individual mistakes twice [on the breakouts]," said Desjardins.

Texas got a bit of energy as the third period opened with Francis Wathier generating a shorthanded goal by putting pressure on Heat goalie Joni Ortio. The Stars gave it right back with another off the stick of Street. Corban Knight followed to suck all remaining air out of the building just 25 seconds later.

Blair Jones finished off the night's scoring with an empty net tally, giving him a hat trick and a five point night.

Texas now heads to Utica to face the Comets and start a North Division road trip.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Mueller-Sceviour
Petersen-Glennie-Ranford
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Wathier-Peters-Smith

Oleksiak-Connauton
Jokipakka-Gaunce
Wrenn-Labrie

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Morin (callup)
Stransky (scratch)
Campbell, Nemeth, Fortunus (injury)

Desjardins on Glennie, who played center tonight: "Glennie was real good at center and played well. He battled hard for us."

Desjardins on Dowling, who was minus-3 tonight: "Dowling hasn't been quite as good lately. He's a good player though and he'll get his chances."

Tonight's attendance was 4,412.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Abbotsford - November 13 2013

6 comments:

  1. I hope Nihlstorp will get back to his awesome self again! It sucks hearing he isn't having a great season so far. I just hope too he still wasn't hurt and trying to play through it..

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  2. Cristopher has not appeared to be himself going back all the way to the concussion last season. I don't know what is going on with him, but he has not been himself. Not sure how much longer until Jack comes back, but hanging on to Alan York might be a good idea. Steve

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  3. I think Coach D. is absolutely right. With Morin, our defense was a stellar offense. We could afford a mistake on a penalty kill or breakaway because Morin would help put us up one or two on the board above that and take the momentum away. Without him I think we are experiencing all of the areas of the game he had an effect on. Now we need to shore those up, like the coach said with cutting back on the penalties and maintaing the leads we earn.

    I also wish the best for Nilstorp. I remember that he helped carry the team to the playoffs last season but since then hasn't quite been the same. Scoring 6+ goals on the other guy is great but we have to pull our goalie because of it, I think that has an effect on our team's mentality. They are coming up against the comets who were 2-8 if I remember correctly, which places them in last place in their division. Hopefully our guys can score a win to start the road trip.

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  4. Goaltending WAS our strength going into this season.

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    Replies
    1. It still is. Sometimes to many of a good thing isn't good at all. None of these guys have had enough minutes to be where we want them.

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  5. I like Nilstorp but I think they should sign York and trade Nilstrop, I don't have any reason for trading Nilstorp other than we appear to have very good goalie depth and are lacking in other ares,

    There are a lot of guys playing below the level we need them to play. Hopefully they will pick it up.

    ReplyDelete

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