The Texas Stars opened the 2013-14 season by splitting a pair of games over the weekend at Cedar Park Center. Forward Travis Morin had a big weekend for Texas, registering six points (three goals, three assists) in the two games.
Saturday October 5: Texas 4, Chicago 1
Morin tied a franchise mark with four points (two goals, two assists) in a game as Texas opened the season with a 4-1 victory over Chicago Saturday night at Cedar Park Center. Colton Sceviour chipped in with a goal and an assist and defenseman Max Fortunus also scored. Rookie defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka had two assists in his AHL debut.
“It was a good win,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “I think Morin was the difference tonight. He had such a great game.”
Morin set up the first two goals by Texas to give the team a 2-0 lead by early in the second period. Off the rush he backhanded the puck across the crease to Sceviour, who scored off a close range backhand at 10:07 of the first period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Early in the second Morin sent a pass to Fortunus, who scored off a blast from the point with Texas on the power play to make it a 2-0 game. Morin scored on a two-on-one rush late in the second to put the Stars up 3-0. Chicago scored a little more than a minute later to make it a 3-1 game, but Morin scored again just under eight minutes into the third to round out the scoring in the game.
Jack Campbell got the start in goal and stopped 18 of 19 shots.
“I was incredibly impressed with the guys,” said Campbell. “Everybody top to bottom played well and that’s what it is going to take to have a great season and build off last year.”
The Stars outshot Chicago 38-19 in the game.
Sunday October 6: Rockford 4, Texas 3
The Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead Sunday evening against Rockford at Cedar Park Center, but couldn’t hold it and eventually lost 4-3 despite a 44-24 advantage in shots.
“We played well at the start and we did some good things. They capitalized on some mistakes that got them going and got them some life,” Desjardins said. “They played a pretty good game. We have to play better. We probably didn’t work as hard away from the puck as we need to.”
Morin had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Curtis McKenzie scored his first professional goal and Mike Hedden also tallied for Texas. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal and stopped 20 of 24 shots.
Morin scored 6:32 into the game and then assisted on a power play goal by McKenzie midway through the first period to stake the Stars to a 2-0 lead. But Rockford scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead. Hedden scored at 11:22 of the second to tie the game, but Rockford scored a little more than seven minutes later to take a 4-3 lead.
The Stars outshot the IceHogs 18-6 in the third period, but couldn’t get another puck past Rockford goaltender Kent Simpson, who ended the night with 41 saves.
No games scheduled.
Next game is October 15 at Oklahoma City.
*Travis Morin leads Texas in scoring with six points (three goals, three assists) after two games.
*Morin, Colton Sceviour and Curtis McKenzie are all plus-four after two games.
*Forward Matej Stransky, who is in his first professional season, picked up an assist in each of the first two games.
*Stransky leads the Stars with ten shots on goal through two games.
*Texas defenseman Maxime Fortunus played in his 700th professional game in Saturday’s season opener vs. Chicago.
*Forward Austin Smith missed the first two games due to injury.
Texas opening weekend lineup
Here was the lineup Texas used primarily for the first two games of the season.
Curtis McKenzie-Travis Morin-Colton Sceviour
Mike Hedden-Justin Dowling-Brett Ritchie
Matej Stransky-Taylor Vause-Toby Petersen
Francis Wathier-Taylor Peters-Brock Montgomery
Jamie Oleksiak-William Wrenn
Patrik Nemeth-Maxime Fortunus
Jyrki Jokipakka-Cameron Gaunce
Jack Campbell/Cristopher Nilstorp
Here is the Texas Stars roster to open the season. There are 14 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goaltenders currently on the roster.
Forwards: Justin Dowling, Mike Hedden, Curtis McKenzie, Brock Montgomery, Travis Morin, Taylor Peters, Toby Petersen, Brendan Ranford, Brett Ritchie, Colton Sceviour, Austin Smith, Matej Stransky, Taylor Vause, Francis Wathier
Defensemen: Ryan Button, Maxime Fortunus, Cameron Gaunce, Jyrki Jokipakka, Hubert Labrie, Patrick Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, William Wrenn
Goaltenders: Jack Campbell, Cristopher Nilstorp
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge