The Texas Stars won two of three games (2-1-0) over the past week, giving them a 7-1-0 mark over their last eight games. The Stars are 18-9-4 on the season, ranking second in the AHL’s West Division and fourth in the Western Conference.
Center Travis Morin tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in the three games and reclaimed the AHL’s scoring lead. Curtis McKenzie tallied four points (one goal, three assists) and now ranks second in rookie scoring in the AHL.
Here’s a look at the past week for Dallas’ AHL affiliate.
Wednesday, December 18: Texas 4, San Antonio 2
The Stars ran their winning streak to six games with a 4-2 win over San Antonio Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center. Jack Campbell made 30 saves and Travis Morin, Toby Petersen, Francis Wathier and Curtis McKenzie scored goals. The Stars built a 3-0 lead by the midway point of the game, but the Rampage rallied in the third to pull within a goal before McKenzie sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
“Six (wins in a row) is pretty good, but every game is tough,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “All games are tough. You guys probably get tired of me saying it, but it’s true. Every time you watch they are always tight and can go either way.”
Friday, December 20: Oklahoma City 2, Texas 0
The Stars’ six-game winning streak came to an end with a 2-0 loss at Oklahoma City Friday night. Former Stars goaltender Richard Bachman stopped 39 shots for his first shutout of the season with the Barons. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal for Texas and stopped 24 of 26 shots and had a personal three-game winning streak snapped.
Saturday, December 21: Texas 7, Oklahoma City 2
The Stars bounced back from Friday’s loss and routed the Barons, 7-2, in Oklahoma City. The game was tied 2-2 midway through the second, but the Stars scored five unanswered goals. Morin scored two goals to lead the Texas attack. Petersen, Ryan Button, Mike Hedden, Taylor Vause and Chris Mueller also scored. Nilstorp stopped 34 of 36 shots in goal for Texas.
The week ahead
Friday, December 27, Texas at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 28, San Antonio at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
Injuries, call ups hit Texas
When the Texas Stars played at Oklahoma City on Saturday they had six players out of the lineup due to either injury or call up to the NHL. Four of those players – Cameron Gaunce (call up), Max Fortunus (call up), Patrik Nemeth (injury) and Jyrki Jokipakka (injury) – were defenseman. That left veteran forward Toby Petersen patrolling the blue line Saturday night against Oklahoma City.
Nemeth is going to be out a while after surgery for a broken foot. Jokipakka was injured in Friday’s game in Oklahoma City and is out with concussion-like symptoms.
Texas is also without forward Scott Glennie. He suffered a shoulder injury in Wednesday’s game against San Antonio in Cedar Park and missed both Friday and Saturday’s games.
*C Travis Morin, who had four points (three goals, one assist) in three games over the past week, has regained the AHL’s scoring lead with 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 25 games.
*RW Colton Sceviour, who has not played in Texas’ last five games because of being in the NHL, still leads the AHL in goal scoring with 18 in 26 games played.
*LW Curtis McKenzie, who tallied four points (one goal, three assists) last week, is second among AHL rookies in scoring with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 30 games.
*Texas ranks third in the AHL in goal scoring (3.45 per game).
*Texas ranks 12th in goals against (2.71 per game).
*Texas’ power play ranks first in the league (29.0 percent).
*Texas’ penalty kill ranks fifth (85.7 percent).
12/21: C Anthony Nigro released from PTO.
12/19: C Anthony Nigro signed to PTO.
12/19: D Maxime Fortunus released from contract to sign NHL contract with Dallas.
12/18: D Jamie Oleksiak assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL).
12/18: D Russ Sinkewich signed to PTO.
12/17: D Cameron Gaunce recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL).
Here is the lineup Texas rolled out in its last game.
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Brendan Ranford
(Various) – Chris Mueller – Brett Ritchie
Mike Hedden – Justin Dowling – Taylor Vause
Francis Wathier – Taylor Peters – Matej Stransky
Jamie Oleksiak – William Wrenn
Hubert Labrie – Ryan Button
Toby Petersen – Russ Sinkewich
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 1-2-0 over the past week. The Steelheads are 14-9-4 on the season, ranking third in the Mountain Division and fifth in the Western Conference.
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.