Thursday, January 2, 2014

Two Each from Morin, Hedden Give Texas 5-3 Comeback Win

Curtis McKenzie screens John Muse (Credit: Charlotte Checkers)
After going down 3-1 early in the second, the Stars put up four unanswered tallies including two from Mike Hedden to win 5-3 in Charlotte tonight. Travis Morin also had two goals in the game to extend his league scoring lead to 43 points. The Stars went two for two on the power play, increasing their already league leading power play percentage to 30.3%.

Cristopher Nilstorp got the start and stopped 29 of 32. With the win, Texas moves to just one point behind conference leader Abbotsford and two behind league-leader Manchester.

Charlotte opened the scoring with a screened goal on Nilstorp. Marquardt was a better door than a window as Philippe Cornet put it past Nilstorp on the ice five-hole. It was Charlotte's first shot of the game. The Stars answered back with Travis Morin's 17th of the year, coming right off the faceoff win by Chris Mueller. Mueller slotted into Colton Sceviour's spot on the top line, sliding in quite nicely.

Another goal off a screen gave Charlotte the 2-1 lead as the first period game to a close. Brenden Woods's 4th goal of the year was assisted by Mark Flood and Mark Marquardt. At the end of the first, Flood drew a penalty as he was boarded by Francis Wathier. The penalty gave the Checkers a clean sheet of ice to start the second on a full two-minute minor. They made no mistake, scoring to go up 3-1 thanks to Chris Terry.

Perhaps inspired by their own performance on New Year's Eve, the Stars put the nose to the grindstone down by two. Matej Stransky popped one in on the power play at 6:21 of the second. Every Stars player on the ice touched the puck on the play, but Mike Hedden and Brett Ritchie were the only two with assists.

Down by one after forty, sixty seconds in the middle of the third frame ended up being the difference in the game. Travis Morin scored his second of the game, sneaking off the bench unmarked and completing a beauty of a pass from Brendan Ranford to tie the game. Matej Stransky picked up his second point of the game.

Just a minute later, Mike Hedden got the puck off a turnover and put the game on his stick. The Stars winger added his twelfth goal of the season with a quick snap past John Muse. Late in the final frame, the Checkers picked up just their second penalty of the game, but Texas made them pay. It was Hedden again, putting home his thirteenth of the season and third point of the game.

The Stars will play the same Checkers tomorrow night.

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

Jokipakka-Fortunus
Wrenn-Oleksiak
Button-Labrie

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Sceviour, Gaunce (callup)
Sinkewich (scratch)
Nemeth, Glennie, Campbell, Petersen (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 5,677.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Charlotte - January 2 2014

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