Friday, December 12, 2014

Texas' Secondary Scoring Leads the Way Against Charlotte, 3-1

Win puts Stars on first three game winning streak since start of the season
Branden Troock celebrates his first goal (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
With their leading scorer recalled to the NHL and a flu bug ravaging the dressing room, it's been a steady drumbeat for the Stars to increase 'secondary scoring' to win games. Texas needed goals from someone other than the usual suspects and got just that tonight in a 3-1 win over the visiting Charlotte Checkers.

"For us, it was a good two points," said Coach Laxdal. "With the transition of players we've gone through in sickness, it was good to see other guys step up for us tonight.

"You have to have secondary scoring. We asked a lot of our younger players to step up, and it was a great night for them to step up. "

Branden Troock scored his first career AHL goal, and Matej Stransky potted his second goal of the year as Drew MacIntyre faced 40 shots from the Texas offense.

"We had quite a few shots," said Troock. "You have to keep going, peppering the goalie. Eventually the bounces are going to go."

While there were definitely a fewer finer points that the Stars will want to clean up for tomorrow's game, it was one of the most complete games the Stars have played all season. The penalty kill was stellar, shots against were scant, and scoring came from multiple different lines. Coach Laxdal called the 0/7 power play unlucky as they rang a few posts in the game and could not convert on a 6 minute long stretch of power play time in the first. Overall, however, it was a good building block game for a team needing positive momentum.

With the win, the Stars strung together three wins for the first time since the opening three games of the season. Anders Lindback has backstopped them all and will go again tomorrow.

In the first, it seemed all but certain the Stars would open the scoring on the power play. The aforementioned six minute advantage could not convert, getting stopped up with a lot of offsides whistles and neutral zone play by the Checkers.

Branden Troock made up for it in the second period. The rookie winger appeared to have his first career goal but it was waved off by the ref.

"On the first one the puck was right on the goalie's toe," said Troock. "The ref was in the act of blowing the whistle so that was no goal."

Troock's line got to stay out for the faceoff and he was a man on a mission.

"I was upset that one didn't count, so I had extra motivation. Off the faceoff, I found the puck in their end, went around the net, came out in front and it went in."

A few minutes later, Jesse Root's work in the corner put the puck on the stick of Matej Stransky, who outwaited Drew MacIntyre for the 2-0 lead.

By the end of the second period, the Stars were outshooting Charlotte 35-9.

Texas and the Checkers traded goals in the final frame. Greg Rallo got his sixth goal of the year on a very nice passing play from Radek Faksa. Faksa was asked to step up into the hole vacated by Travis Morin and did well in the role. His pass to Rallo gave the veteran winger an open net from the left wing circle to make it 3-0.

As the period wore on, the Stars took a few late-game penalties, which eventually yielded the Checkers' only goal of the night, a 5-on-3 tally with both Brett Ritchie and Maxime Fortunus in the box.

Also late in the game, Scott Valentine went down hard blocking a shot off his lower leg. He was unable to get up under his own power for a several seconds as play continued around him. Coach Laxdal noted that blowing the play dead in those cases us up to the referee's discretion. There was clearly an opportunity to blow the play dead when Charlotte exited the zone on a clear by Texas and the referees did not do it. Valentine made it to the bench eventually and exited the ice at the next stoppage. William Wrenn will likely jump in for him in tomorrow's game.

The Stars will face Charlotte again to close their homestand tomorrow at the Cedar Park Center.

Tonight's lines:
Rallo-Faksa-Ranford
Ritchie-Dowling-Glennie
Hulak-Root-Stransky
Troock-Peters-Stefishen

Gaunce-Fortunus
Meech-Honka
Valentine-Oleksiak

Lindback

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Morin, Rynnas, McKenzie, Jokipakka (call up)
Wrenn (scratch)
Smith (illness)
Hardowa (out, lower body)
Henderson (out, hand)

Tonight's attendance was 4,194.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Charlotte - December 12 2014

1 comment:

  1. I know it is late and likely no one will see this - but I am calling BS on the announced attendance. The place was EMPTY!!!

    ReplyDelete

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