To say it was a superlative night for the Texas Stars would be selling it short. The Stars held nothing back this evening in Charlotte as they put up seven on the home-team Checkers, including a five point night for Travis Morin, a four point night for Curtis McKenzie and two goals each for Colton Sceviour and Chris Mueller.
The five point night for Morin tied a team-record set earlier this season by Colton Sceviour. McKenzie's four assists also tied a team record for assists in one game. Colton Sceviour's two extended his goal-scoring lead to 26, one ahead of teammate Travis Morin in the league race.
All told, Texas had three power play goals on six chances and held the Charlotte PP scoreless on four attempts. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 17 of 18 before giving way to Josh Robinson in the third period. With the early game tomorrow, Coach Desjardins no doubt saw a chance to start Nilstorp again tomorrow if he could get him some rest. In a 7-1 game, it was a logical choice to put Robinson in for the third. He stopped 10 of 10.
Texas got start off the penalty kill in the first period. Mike Hedden was called for tripping, which the Stars killed off. As Hedden emerged from the box, he led the play into the Checkers zone and opened the scoring with an assist going to Cameron Gaunce. Russ Sinkewich, who played both forward and defense on the night, got the second assist.
From there, the Stars were off to the races. The power play activated next with Colton Sceviour scoring on his usual backhand move off the pass from Curtis McKenzie and Travis Morin. Two minutes later, Morin scored off a give-and-go with Hubert Labrie and Sceviour. In just six minutes, it was 3-0 for Texas.
Late in the period, the Checkers killed any momentum they may have had with a four-minute penalty that extended into the second. Just after the penalty expired, Justin Dowling picked up where he left off on Wednesday with his fifth of the year off the assist from Mike Hedden.
Charlotte's only tally of the year came in the second off the stick of Aaron Palushaj. Another six minute sequence for the Stars made that goal a footnote in the story of the game.
Again on the power play, Chris Mueller scored on a tap-in goal generated off a beautiful pass from Curtis McKenzie. Another power play and Chris Mueller found the net once again for his 17th of the year, the exact same scoring line as they had on the previous goal. That ended Mike Murphy's night. Finally, at even strength Colton Sceviour scored off the pass from Curtis McKenzie. Morin had the second assist on all three of those goals.
Josh Robinson started the third period to give some relief to Nilstorp ahead of the early game tomorrow. Well, that was the idea. Nilstorp had to finish off the game for the Stars as Robinson broke his skate steel with two minutes left in the game and had to leave. Nilstorp came back in and stopped one more.
Texas really managed their shifts and was outshot by Charlotte 10-2 in the final frame.
These same two teams will play again tomorrow at 11 AM.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Nemeth, Glennie, Campbell, Ritchie, Wathier, Vause (injury)
Francis Wathier skated in the warmup but did not play. Taylor Vause was in morning skate but did not dress for the evening.
Tonight's attendance was 8,102.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Charlotte - January 17 2014