The Texas Stars won both their games over the past week, and climbed into first place in the AHL’s West Division. The Stars, who are 12-2-1 over their last 15 games, are 23-10-5 on the season.
Both Texas wins came at home, where they have won a franchise-record nine straight games.
Travis Morin scored four goals in two games and has tied linemate Colton Sceviour for the goal scoring lead in the AHL with 23.
Morin and Sceviour were both selected to play in the AHL’s All-Star game, which will be played next month in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Here’s a look at the past week for Dallas’ AHL affiliate.
Friday, January 10: Texas 5, Abbotsford 0
Brett Ritchie scored two goals and Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 26 shots for his first shutout of the season as Texas defeated Abbotsford, 5-0, at Cedar Park Center Friday to take over first place in the West Division. Travis Morin, Francis Wathier and Justin Dowling also scored for Texas, which won its eighth straight game at home. Texas’ league-leading power play scored twice in the game.
“I think the main thing for us is just to have the killer instinct and be hard on pucks,” said Ritchie, whose power play goal 5:27 into the game held up as the game-winner. “We know that if we out battle them, we have one extra guy and we are going to get some good chances to score. We just have to keep that going.”
Saturday, January 11: Texas 5, Utica 3
Morin scored three goals as the Stars defeated Utica, 5-3, at Cedar Park Center. Colton Sceviour had one goal and two assists and Curtis McKenzie also scored for Texas, which ran its home winning streak to nine games. Nilstorp stopped 30 of 33 shots. Morin scored the first three goals for Texas. It was his first AHL hat trick.
“Probably six years ago in the ECHL,” Morin said when asked about his last hat trick. “It’s been a while.”
Morin notched the hat trick on Travis Morin Mini-Bobblehead Night at Cedar Park Center.
“I got a glimpse at it,” Morin said of the bobblehead. “It’s not bad. I don’t mind it. It’s got some good flow. … It’s always hard with those things. I don’t think it looks a whole lot like me. I guess it looks more like me the past few years when my hair has been grown out. I’ve kept my hair short this year, so it doesn’t look as much like me as it probably could. I don’t mind it. It’s nice to have.”
The week ahead
Wednesday, January 15, Rochester at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 17, Texas at Charlotte, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 18, Texas at Charlotte, 11:00 a.m.
Notes: Sceviour, Morin selected to play in AHL All-Star Game
*Texas forwards Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour both were named to the roster for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, which will be played February 12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This year’s All-Star game will have a twist. The 20 AHL players named to the roster will play Farjestad of the Swedish Hockey League. Dallas defense prospect Ludwig Bystrom, a second round pick (43rd overall) in 2012, plays for Farjestad.
*Morin and Sceviour are tied for the AHL lead in goal scoring. Sceviour has 23 in 31 games and Morin has 23 in 32 games.
*Morin leads the AHL in points with 50. Sceviour is tied for second with 40.
*Stars center Chris Mueller is tied for fourth in the league in scoring with 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists).
*Left wing Curtis McKenzie is tied for ninth in the league with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) and is tied for the league lead in scoring among AHL rookies.
*Right wing Brett Ritchie is tied for sixth in rookie scoring with 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists).
*Texas leads the AHL in goal scoring at 3.63 per game.
*Texas ranks 13th in goals against at 2.74 per game.
*Texas ranks first in the league on the power play at 29.8 percent
*Texas ranks fourth in the league on the penalty kill at 86.8 percent.
1/9: D Cameron Gaunce assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL).
Here is the lineup Texas rolled out in its last game. With Texas banged up at the forward spot, defenseman Ryan Button skated at forward.
Curtis McKenzie- Travis Morin – Colton Sceviour
Francis Wathier – Chris Mueller – Brendan Ranford
Mike Hedden – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Ryan Button – Taylor Peters – Matej Stransky
Jamie Oleksiak – Derek Meech
Jyrki Jokipakka – Cameron Gaunce
Hubert Labrie – Maxime Fortunus
Injured: Jack Campbell, Patrik Nemeth, Scott Glennie, Toby Petersen, Taylor Vause
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 1-1-0 over the past week. The Steelheads are 18-14-4 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.