The Texas Stars split their final two games of the regular season to finish the season 48-18-10 (106 points), and secured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular-season points champions for 2013-14. Finishing with the most points in the league guarantees Texas home-ice advantage in every round they play in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Stars open the playoffs this week against the Oklahoma City Barons, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.
And it was a big week for center Travis Morin, who raked in some impressive hardware for his spectacular regular season.
Here’s the latest on Dallas’ AHL affiliate.
Texas Stars take on OKC in Round 1
The Stars open the Calder Cup Playoffs Wednesday against a familiar foe – the Oklahoma City Barons. The two teams played 12 times during the regular season with the Stars posting an 8-3-1 record. The Barons knocked the Stars out of the second round of the playoffs last season.
Right win Brett Ritchie missed the two games of the regular season due to injury and is not expected to be ready to start the playoffs. Defenseman John Klingberg, who joined the team late in the season from the Swedish Hockey League, also has been out with injury.
Forwards Chris Mueller and Dustin Jeffrey and defenseman Patrik Nemeth all are currently with the Dallas in the NHL, so they are not available.
It is not known if coach Willie Desjardins will turn to Jack Campbell or Cristopher Nilstorp in goal for Game 1 of the series.
Although the Stars are the top seed in the AHL playoffs and will have home ice advantage in every series they play, they’ll open their first round series on the road. The series format is a 2-3 with the first two games being played in Oklahoma City and the next three scheduled for Cedar Park.
Here’s the schedule.
Game 1: Wednesday, April 23rd, Texas at Oklahoma City, 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 26th, Texas at Oklahoma City, 8:00 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 30th, Oklahoma City at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
*Game 4: Friday, May 2nd, Oklahoma City at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
*Game 5: Saturday, May 3rd, Oklahoma City at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
Morin named AHL MVP
Stars center Travis Morin raked in the hardware in the final week of the AHL’s regular season. He was voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2013-14 season.
The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the AHL’s 30 cities.
“We’ve had a lot of key guys, but Morin has probably dominated more throughout the year,” Stars coach Willie Desjardins said on the team’s radio broadcast. “Other guys have been better in segments, but he’s been the best throughout the year. … It’s great for him. It’s great for the organization.”
Morin led the league in scoring with 88 points (32 goals, 56 assists) and had a plus-17 rating in 66 games in helping lead Texas to the best record in the league.
Morin also won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy, which goes to the AHL’s top scorer.
*C Travis Morin led the AHL in scoring with 88 points (32 goals, 56 assists) in 66 games. Morin finished second in goal scoring.
*LW Curtis McKenzie led all AHL rookies in scoring with 65 points (27 goals, 38 assists) in 75 games. He finished ninth among all players in scoring.
*Texas ranked second in the league in scoring at 3.61 goals per game.
*Texas ranked seventh in the league in goals against at 2.59 per game.
*Texas was tops in the league in shots per game at 36.5.
*Texas was eighth in shots against at 29.2 per game.
*Texas ranked first in the league on the power play at 25.3 percent.
*Texas ranked third in the league on the penalty kill at 86.4 percent.
4/15: RW Branden Troock signed to ATO by Texas (AHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, has already started play in its first round playoff series. The Steelheads are currently tied 1-1 with Colorado in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Colorado.
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