Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stars Claim First in Conference with 3-1 Win in BC

Dustin Jeffrey
(Credit: Clint Trahan/Abbotsford Heat)
Dustin Jeffrey scored for the first time as a Star, putting in two and powering Texas past the Abbotsford Heat in British Columbia this morning. Jeffrey centered the second line this afternoon in the absence of top ten scorer Chris Mueller, flanked by Scott Glennie and Brendan Ranford. Ranford picked up the primary assist on both of Jeffrey's goals. Brett Ritchie added the insurance goal on a nice individual effort in the third period.

The win pushed the Stars four points ahead of the Heat in the division race and put them a point ahead of the Grand Rapids Griffins for first place in the conference. That lead may be short-lived if they do not earn two points tomorrow as well. Grand Rapids plays Chicago Wednesday night, giving them a chance to pass Texas.

Jack Campbell got his 'second' start back from injury in the game. His first start was the suspended game at San Antonio over the weekend. He stopped 23 of 24 shots against.

Abbotsford opened the scoring in the morning contest with Sven Baertschi picking a corner on Campbell with just over four minutes left in the opening frame. The Stars evened it right back up with Dustin Jeffrey collecting his first of the AHL season in his thirteenth game as a Texas Stars. Brendan Ranford sauced the puck over to Jeffrey on a run up the ice after Scott Glennie got crushed in his own zone but made the play.

Jeffrey would get another nice dish from Brendan Ranford in the second period to gain their first lead of the afternoon. Jamie Oleksiak stripped a Heat forward and traded passes with Brendan Ranford up the ice until Ranford slid it over the Jeffrey for a one-timer and the 2-1 lead.

Texas would put up the insurance goal off the stick of Brett Ritchie in the third period. His 15th of the season was on a breakaway he generated himself. Ritchie blocked a Chad Billins shot and chased the rebound down the ice, where he went forehand to backhand to befuddle Joey MacDonald for the third goal of the day for Texas. Ritchie has been beastly against the Heat this season, scoring five goals and four assists in just six games against the club.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Sceviour
Ranford-Jeffrey-Glennie
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Wathier-Peters-Stransky

Oleksiak-Meech
Nemeth-Jokipakka
Gaunce-Fortunus

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Mueller (call up)
Wrenn, Labrie (scratch)
Petersen, Vause (injury)

Today's attendance was 6,827.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Abbotsford - March 4 2014

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