The Texas Stars went 2-1-0 over the past week to improve to 10-2-1 over their past 13 games. Texas is 21-10-5 on the season, ranking second in the West Division and fourth in the Western Conference.
The Stars staged a couple of impressive comebacks last week, overcoming a 5-1 deficit to win in Oklahoma City and then rallying from 3-1 down to win in Charlotte.
And the AHL honored Texas left wing Curtis McKenzie as the top rookie in the league for December.
Here’s a look at the past week for Dallas’ AHL affiliate.
Tuesday, December 31: Texas 6, Oklahoma City 5 (OT)
The Stars found themselves down 5-1 midway through the game, but rallied for a 6-5 overtime victory in Oklahoma City on New Year’s Eve. Mike Hedden scored at 12:34 of the second to cut the Barons’ lead to 5-2 and then Taylor Peters scored early in the third to make it 5-3. Chris Mueller, who scored in the first period for the Stars, scored two goals in the third to complete the hat trick, including one with 1:17 left in regulation to force overtime, where Colton Sceviour won the game at the 46 second mark with a power play goal. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal and was pulled at the 11:47 mark of the second after allowing five goals on 18 shots. Josh Robinson played the rest of the way and stopped all seven shots he faced.
Thursday, January 2: Texas 5, Charlotte 3
Thursday in Charlotte, the Stars fell behind 3-1 but scored four unanswered goals to rally for a 5-3 victory. Travis Morin and Mike Hedden scored two goals each. Matej Stransky also scored. Hedden’s goal at 11:39 of the third period proved to be the game-winner. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 29 of 32 shots in goal.
Friday, January 3: Charlotte 4, Texas 3
The Stars had a three game winning streak come to an end in Charlotte Friday night. They Stars grabbed a 2-1 lead, but Charlotte scored three straight to go up 4-2 and there was no comeback for Texas on this night. Sceviour, Morin and Russ Sinkewich scored goals. Robinson started in goal and stopped 24 of 28 shots.
The week ahead
Friday January 10, Abbotsford at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday January 11, Utica at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
Notes: McKenzie honored
*LW Curtis McKenzie was named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month for December. McKenzie, Dallas’ fifth round pick (159th overall) in 2009, had 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 11 games during the month, helping lead Texas to a 9-1-1 record. McKenzie currently ranks second in AHL rookie scoring with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games. He is tied for second among rookies with six power play goals.
*RW Brett Ritchie is tied for 11th in rookie scoring with 23 points (6 goals, 17 assists) in 36 games.
*RW Colton Sceviour scored two goals over the past week and continues to lead the AHL in goal scoring with 22 in 29 games.
*C Travis Morin leads the AHL in points with 46 (19 goals, 27 assists) in 30 games. Sceviour ranks third in points with 37.
*C Chris Mueller ranks fourth in the AHL in points with 34 (15 goals, 19 assists) in 34 games. Mueller has registered points in nine of his last ten games, registering five goals and seven assists during that stretch.
*Texas is second in the AHL in goal scoring at 3.56 per game.
*The Stars rank 15th in goals against at 2.81 per game.
*Texas has the AHL’s top ranked power play at 30.3 percent.
*The Texas penalty kill ranks fifth at 86.2 percent.
1/6: Texas (AHL) signed D Derek Meech to standard player contract
1/5: F Chris Mueller assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
1/4: F Chris Mueller recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/3: F Colton Sceviour assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
1/2: F Colton Sceviour recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
Here is the lineup Texas rolled out in its last game.
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Colton Sceviour
Brendan Ranford – Chris Mueller – Matej Stransky
Mike Hedden – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Francis Wathier – Taylor Peters – Taylor Vause
Jamie Oleksiak – William Wrenn
Hubert Labrie – Maxime Fortunus
Ryan Button – Russ Sinkewich
Injured: Patrik Nemeth, Scott Glennie, Jack Campbell, Toby Petersen
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 1-1-0 over the past week. The Steelheads are 17-11-4 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.