Rookie Brett Ritchie set a Stars' franchise record with a four goal night and pushed Texas to its record eighth straight win. Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden picked up three assists each and Dowling added a goal of his own in the 5-1 romp over the Monsters.
"Everybody has those games where things open up a bit and it feels like you have more time out there," said Ritchie. "Our line was flying all night so you really felt like something good was going to happen."
Jack Campbell got the win with a lot of run support. He still only allowed a single goal, saving 29 of 30 against. With the win, Texas pushed to 97 points, just two short of the team's all-time record of 99 in 2010.
Ritchie opened the scoring in the first period with a power play goal. The second unit delivered toward the end of a minor to Andrew Agozzino. Agozzino made up for that a few minute later with the game tying goal to make it one all. From there on out, it was all Ritchie and the Texas Stars' second line.
At 12:19 of the second, Ritchie broke the tie with his 19th of the year. "It was lucky to go in. There was just a little area by [the goalie's] skates."
Five minutes later Justin Dowling potted his 10th of the season, and Texas was off to the races. Ritchie added his third of the night to open the third period on what had to be one of the prettiest goals of the year. With speed, he rushed the net and cut right to left to roof the puck over Sami Aittokalio. The power play tally was also his 20th goal of the season, a mark that six Stars have now reached.
By the time Ritchie scored his fourth, it was all just icing on the cake of a 5-1 win.
Coach Desjardins commented positively on Ritchie's ability and willingness to go to the net, which is really how all of the goals were scored on the night. Ritchie has a blistering shot but sometimes you have to get in tight in those dirty areas to make things happen. That's what happened tonight for the rookie.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Sceviour, Jeffrey, Mueller (callup)
Jokipakka, Hulak, Vause (scratch)
Today's attendance was 5,819.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Lake Erie - April 4 2014