Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Travis Morin's OT Tip Gives Texas Series Lead in 2-1 Win

(Credit: Colin Peddle)
The AHL's MVP made his case that he should be in the running for the playoff MVP as well with a clutch overtime goal to take the series advantage for the Texas Stars in Game 3 in St. John's. Travis Morin was the OT savior for the visiting Stars, scoring his seventh of the postseason.

Texas managed to keep the crowd out of it by scoring first, getting on the board in the second period thanks to Brett Ritchie's fifth of the playoffs. IceCap Kael Mouillierat put the score at a tie and got the sellout crowd back into the game in the third period, forcing OT.

The Stars top line made their impact in the extra frame. All three forwards were involved in the play that ended the game at a 2-1 win for the Stars.

An even first period on the scoreboard was lead by the Stars in intangibles. They managed to turn things against the IceCaps and do some work with their own forecheck. After one, Texas led on shots 12-7 but neither team had scored.

Carl Klingberg had St. John's best chance of the second period, hitting the post two minutes into the frame with Justin Dowling in the box for a rare minor penalty. Travis Morin had similar luck in the ninth minute of the frame. With Texas on the power play, Michael Hutchinson slipped right to left in his crease deftly to glove what looked to be a sure goal from the AHL's MVP from the right wing circle.

With just over four minutes left in the frame, it was rookie Brett Ritchie breaking through. His fifth of the postseason broke up a streak of 55 straight saves by Hutchinson getting Texas on the board with his fifth of the playoffs in the second period. His line was dynamic again, generating the goal off the rebound of the Justin Dowling shot. Mike Hedden picked up the second assist, his 17th point of the postseason in just 19 games.

The Stars more than doubled up the IceCaps on shots in the frame, putting them at 26-13 after forty.

Texas got into penalty trouble in the third, getting outshot 6-0 early in the frame. Jyrki Jokipakka had the best play of the PK, swatting away a puck that had trickled behind Nilstorp while killing the Henderson slashing minor.

Finally, St. John's pierced the Swedish goaltender at 11:44 of the third. Zach Redmond's point shot for the right side was tipped around Nilstorp by Kael Mouillierat. It was Mouillierat's sixth of the playoffs and third of the series. He has scored in every game so far. By that point, shots were 14-3 for St. John's in the period.

The two teams ground out the remaining minute of the third and headed to overtime.

Josh Lunden had what seemed to be the game winner early in the extra period. The whistle had blown and the puck squirted out to his stick. He roofed it and the goal light went off. It was a no-goal and a lucky one for the Stars.

Texas was awarded an early power play in the extra frame but squandered it. It wasn't for lack of trying. Ritchie had the best chance of the advantage with a point blank chance on Hutchinson that the goalie collected in highlight reel fashion.

The Stars top line came down the ice after the power play expired and ended the contest. Curtis McKenzie dropped a pass for Brendan Ranford. He found Morin through traffic on the back post for the easy tip-in goal and the 2-1 win.

Texas now has the 2-1 series lead and four days off to practice and heal up. Game 4 is Monday in St. John's.

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

Jokipakka-Nemeth
Gaunce-Oleksiak
Meech-Fortunus

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Robinson, Labrie, Guptill, Troock, Hulak, Vause, Wrenn, Byström, Desrosiers, Peters (scratched)
Klingberg, Petersen (injury)

Today's attendance was 6,287.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. St. John's - June 11 2014

11 comments:

  1. Awesome heart pounding win. The incredible saves by both goalies keeping the game close. 2 down 2 to go.

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  2. The Icecaps mailed in the frst 40 minutes as it seemed to me that they spent almost the entirety of the first 2 periods in their own zone. Credit to the Stars for playing a wonderful possession game. But the IceCaps came out flying in the third period and dominated that period and the OT up until a weak penalty call by the referee in OT (and that's not just my homer bias showing through, as these games are too important to both teams to have them decided by poor officiating and weak penalty calls at critical times of the game). Speaking of poor officiating --- the disallowed goal --- Ugh! That was a gut punch.

    Still though, the Stars are obviously not a team against which the IceCaps can take the first two periods off and expect to win, though they almost managed to do so (and would have but for a premature whistle by the ref).

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    1. I thought the Icecaps did what they could do the first 40 minutes. No offense but Texas did what they have been doing to teams all year in the first 40 minutes and I just don't think the Icecaps have the ability to stop them. I'm more of the opinion Texas got complacent and moved away from their strengths in the third and it almost cost them. Oddly enough the best played game by Texas thus far was the game they lost, games 1& 3 they really didn't play the style that got them where they are. Game 1 they just didn't miss their scoring chances and game 3 they just won because they were the better team.

      I can't look at the controversial call this minute but I did a couple of times last night and not sure why it's controversial. I thought it was obvious Nilstorp gloved the puck and it was knocked out after the whistle blew, yes a quick whistle but the referee had every right to blow the whistle when he did. I didn't think it was a case where the puck was uncovered and he blew the whistle.

      I'm never fond of of OT penalties unless they are obvious and have substantial effect on the game, I would agree the OT penalty against the Icecaps shouldn't of been called but it wasn't a factor so no big deal.

      The worse part for the Icecaps is the break IMO. Some Texas fans think taking advantage of the momentum would be best but I think the coaching staff and team leadership will be enough to avoid letdown, on the flip-side fresh legs for the high octane Texas style of play is going to be a lot for the Icecaps to try to handle.

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    2. I don't agree that the penalty wasn't a factor in the outcome of the game. The IceCaps were dominating the Stars who were back on their heals. The penalty didn't necessarily lead directly to a Stars win, but it changed the flow.

      I'm sure that what the Stars did in the first 40 minutes is reflective of what they have done to their opponents thoughout the playoffs (though I had not watched them play before this series)... but what the IceCaps did to the Stars in the final 30 minutes is reflective of what they have done to their opponents throughout the playoffs as well. They have more than enough ability to hang with the Stars.

      I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the disallowed goal. Nilstrom's glove wasn't even moved by Lowry's stick, but yet the puck squirted out several feet up to the top of the crease... Suggests that he didn't have it fully covered.

      Anyway, it was a fun game to attend, despite the outcome. I'll hope for better results in the next two games.

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    3. The ref was completely within his rights to blow the whistle, in fact he should have blown the whistle on the disallowed goal because the puck had been covered and the referee had lost sight of it. Once that happens, he is to blow the whistle and stop play. The puck would not have come lose if not for it being poked at. It's pretty straight-forward on this one. As for the penalty, it may have changed some things, yet the Ice Caps had a breakaway following that point and could have put the game away but Nilstorp made the stop. Ice Caps had their chances before and after the penalty and didn't finish it. Stars capitalized on their opportunity to end the game. End of story.

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  3. The disallowed goal was exactly the call that should have been made. Watch the video here and watch it slowed down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdLLazoMUqE

    Nihlstorp covers the puck right before Lowry throws his stick in there to dislodge it. Whistle blows before the shot as it should have. Kerry Fraser wrote about this type of play on TSN this spring:

    "The philosophy employed to kill play in and around the goal crease is somewhat consistent with Rule 69 (Interference on the Goalkeeper.) This rule was formerly called "Protection of the Goalkeeper" for good reason by recognizing, in part, the vulnerability of a goalkeeper given his unique position and the obvious impairment to defend his goal that would result through player contact. As such, the referee must first determine that the goalkeeper has control and coverage of the puck prior to his intent to blow the play dead in order to avoid a quick whistle. Of equal importance, is for a ref to be aware that an attacking player(s) does not dislodge or expose a covered puck by contacting the goalkeeper with a stick or any part of the body! "

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=446567

    Good series so far!

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  4. rdillion99 you say weak call in the OT is ridiculous but it was an obvious hook and something St. Johns had doing all game and finally got caught ridiculous is 3 straight power plays in the 3rd to turn momentum to you guys and I don't see how you can disagree puck was covered up Lowry pokes at it with his stick puck comes out

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  5. Disallowed goal in game 3 reminded me of the Stars disallowed goal in game 2 that would have tied the game. Refs have been very inconsistent in all the games. Bad calls, non calls and straight out blow icing calls. Quick whistles, slow whistles and no whistles. Inconsistent at best. Man I love playoff hockey!!!!

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  6. Even the ice caps coach says it was a good call by the refs in his interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJX9NFP7w44

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  7. Watching Hutchinson reminded me of Tuukka Rask. The similarities are simply uncanny.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2PQVfjs5xI
    I thought that clear by Jokipakka was the best defensive move of the night. He has really stepped up his game. Before playoffs, we used to joke that he was the butterfly of the group who never hit anyone, but now he's a big bad blue-liner!
    I'm glad our Stars found a way to win despite the refs! Teams don't change overnight, but refs change every game. I personally wanted to see some Eastern refs to compare their awareness to ours. Hopefully, they'll toss in some for the next game.

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    1. Don't count on it Margaret. The refs have already been named for the Finals and believe me, we've seen all of them more often than we'd have preferred: Hanson, Koharksi, Lemelin, Skilliter and Lewis.

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