|Jack Campbell stops one of his 29 shots against in the game. (Credit: Ben Hall)
Jack Campbell won his 13th of the season, stopping 27 of 29 in front of the largest crowd that Texas has playing in front of this season at over 12,000.
The Monsters and Stars traded penalties but not goals in a mostly even first period. The first scoring came in the opening minutes of the second. Relative newcomer Carl Sneep accepted a pass from Tomas Vincour and blasted the puck from point and past Calvin Pickard for his first of the season and first as a Star.
The power play got revved up in the middle of the second, scoring on consecutive opportunities and both off the stick of Oleksiak. Taylor Vause found the rookie blueliner open in the right circle for the first tally with Oleksiak roofing the puck over Pickard for the 2-0 mark. Just three minutes later, Oleksiak collected his sixth goal of the year on a netmouth scramble off the initial shot from Tomas Vincour.
The Monsters would fight back, scoring power play goals of their own. Karl Stollery went first just before the end of the second period. A simple point shot through traffic beat Jack Campbell to breakup the shutout bid. The period would end at the 3-1 score with shots in Texas's favor by a solid 33-19 margin.
The clubs would trade goals in the third period, not ultimately affecting the games outcome. Mike Hedden regained the Stars' three goal lead early in the third as he received the backhand pass from Justin Dowling on a two on one and beat Pickard high for the 4-1 score. The goal would end Pickard's night.
Lake Erie collected one more before the end of the game, regrettably a power play goal. The Stars allowed two on four total opportunities, a flaw in their game that they know they need to improve on.
The Stars retain their hold on first place in the league, moving to 74 points on the season. Charlotte beat Abbotsford to move to 69 and is their closest challenger in the Western Conference. The Stars will stay on the road, playing Oklahoma City on Tuesday before returning home next weekend.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Roussel, Nilstorp, Fraser, Benn (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Sloan, Morin, Chiasson, Fortunus (injured)
A. Smith (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 12,108.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Lake Erie - February 23 2013