Friday, April 11, 2014

Texas Stars Corral Rampage 5-0, Earn Tenth Straight Win

Chris Mueller (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Two goals on the first two shots of the game were all the Stars needed to extend their franchise-record winning streak to ten tonight in Cedar Park. They added three more for good measure as Texas put up a 5-0 final over the visiting Rampage.

"It was the perfect start. That was the gameplan: to come out hot and not give them any momentum," said Mueller, who had a goal and two assists on the night. "When you have a good start like that, it goes a long way."

Mueller was the number one star of the game, playing in his first Texas contest in 19 days. He has been shuttling back and forth to Dallas as the 13th forward for the now playoff-bound NHL club.

"I knew coming in that I would be up and down. It was almost like the first game of the year [tonight]. It was good to be back with the guys and play a game."

Jack Campbell got the start and stopped all 27 shots he faced in the night. Campbell won his 12th of the year and moved his goals against to 1.42.

"We gave up a lot of solid chances, but Jack played well," said William Wrenn. "He's an outstanding goaltender."

"It wasn't that we dominated," added Coach Desjardins. "We scored when we needed to. We didn't do a great job in the back half of the game. They came hard and didn't let us do a lot."

With the win, Texas pushed their point total to 101, a new franchise record. They also brought their magic number for clinching the conference to two and the league to six.

The Stars came out with their hair on fire in the first period. Scott Glennie posted the first goal of the night, finishing off a beauty of a pass from Chris Mueller. Less than a minute later, Mike Hedden deposited the puck behind Michael Houser for the two goal lead. John Klingberg picked up his first North American point on the play, the primary assist from the corner to generate the play. Hedden and Justin Dowling extended their point streaks to seven and six games, respectively, on the tally.

San Antonio immediately called their timeout. Texas's two goals had come on their first two shots of the game. San Antonio had yet to register a shot.

Curtis McKenzie showed why he was selected to the AHL All-Rookie Team this week with the Stars' third goal. Derek Hulak's initial shot on net was deflected up into the air. McKenzie was able to knock the puck out of midair in the left wing circle and slip it past Houser for the 3-0 advantage.

Late in the period, the league's best power play got a chance to extend the lead further. Chris Mueller made no mistake, finding the five hole with five seconds left in the frame. Travis Morin picked up his league-leading 82nd point on the play. Maxime Fortunus earned the second assist.

Mueller added, "We've had a great power play all year. We have chemistry and know where each other are. We wanted to get quality shots early [in that power play]. I kinda whiffed on the shot, but it went in. It's better to be lucky than good sometimes."

Rob Madore relieved Houser in the second and sealed things up for San Antonio. Despite heavy pressure from the home side, the score remained 4-0 through forty.

William Wrenn would polish off the scoring in the third period off a two-on-zero with Mueller.

"Mueller is an unselfish player; you can see it in his stats," said Wrenn. "I decided to jump in and got the puck and scored. He made a nice pass and I finished it."

Texas now packs up for a morning trip to San Antonio, the second game of a three-in-three all against the Rampage.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Hulak
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Ranford-Mueller-Glennie
Stransky-Peters-Henderson

Gaunce-Wrenn
Meech-Fortunus
Jokipakka-Klingberg

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Sceviour, Jeffrey, Nemeth (callup)
Oleksiak, Labrie, Vause, Faksa, Guptill (scratch)
Petersen (injury)

Toby Petersen skated in warmups but was held out of the game.

Today's attendance was 5,210.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - April 11 2014

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