Logan Stankoven leads all AHL rookies with 12 points, Matt Murray records fifth career shutout
|(Credit: Tim Garland)|
The Texas Stars won 4-0 in Iowa and extended their road winning streak to four games. After over a period of scoreless hockey, Curtis McKenzie broke the seal early in the second period and Texas never gave up the lead.
Head coach Neil Graham flipped Matej Blumel and Curtis McKenzie on the top two lines during last Saturday’s game in Cedar Park. The change remained the same tonight in Iowa and the top line of Curtis McKenzie, Mavrik Bourque, and Logan Stankoven generated a majority of the Stars’ scoring opportunities. Blumel was also extremely active on the night and scored the only non-first-line goal. So far, Texas seems to be profiting from Graham’s choice to make the slight line tweak at the top.
Matt Murray recorded the first shutout performance of the season for the Texas Stars. He faced 30 total shots, making multiple high-quality saves in each period. Matt Murray has played well against the Iowa Wild so far in his young career, with this shutout being his third facing Iowa.
Texas was crisp with their passing and defense in the first period, but unable to put a goal on the board. Matej Blumel was active and created a few solid opportunities in the first eight minutes of the game. Just past halfway into the period, Iowa’s Brett Budgell was called for hooking and gave the Stars their first power play of the night. The first and second PP units both looked threatening despite failing to get one into the back of the net. A few minutes later, Logan Stankoven was called for hooking, but the penalty kill was able to keep the game scoreless.
The Stars came out fast in the second period and took control of the game. Within the first two minutes, Curtis McKenzie put a rebound from Mavrik Bourque into the back of the net to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Not long after, Mavrik Bourque got a goal for himself from a 3-on-1 opportunity with the pass coming off of Curtis McKenzie’s stick. Logan Stankoven also recorded an assist on both goals.
Texas seized opportunities given to them by Iowa turnovers in the second period, which led to the 2-0 lead. The Stars then managed the puck well for the rest of the second period and also killed off a second Iowa PP.
The strong play continued for the Stars in the third period. About halfway into the period, Matej Blumel scored a short-side goal just after a Stars PP expired, bringing the lead up to three. Then the duo of Bourque and Stankoven connected once again to secure the 4-0 win for Texas. The top line of McKenzie-Bourque-Stankoven each scored a goal in the game and combined for eight total points.
Logan Stankoven now leads AHL rookies with 12 points so far this season. Coming into this year with such high expectations, Stankoven has shown poise and delivered meaningful production for Texas early in the season.
The Texas Stars have now played eight games. The road team has won every single one of those games. Texas will look to keep that streak alive tomorrow afternoon as they again play the Iowa Wild at 3pm.
Berard, Jacob Murray (scratch)
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Tonight’s attendance was 6,408.