The Texas Stars won both their games over the past week, improving to 18-15-9 on the season. The Stars hit the AHL’s All-Star break in tenth place in the Western Conference, one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot and five points out of fifth place. Center Travis Morin got a new contract from the Dallas Stars. And captain Maxime Fortunus was on target during All-Star weekend in Utica, New York. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Friday January 23: Texas 3, Chicago 2
Captain Maxime Fortunus scored two goals as the Stars opened a five-game homestand with a 3-2 win over Chicago Friday night at Cedar Park Center. Fortunus’ power play goal at 13:48 of the third period gave Texas a 3-1 lead and proved to be the game-winner. Brendan Ranford also scored for Texas. Travis Morin chipped in two assists, and goaltender Jussi Rynnas stopped 26 of 28 shots.
Saturday January 24: Texas 5, Chicago 4
Five different Texas players scored goals as the Stars hit the All-Star break with a 5-4 win over Chicago Saturday night at Cedar Park Center. Cameron Gaunce, Julius Honka, Brendan Ranford, Jesse Root and Curtis McKenzie all tallied for Texas. A total of eleven Texas players registered points in the game. Jussi Rynnas stopped 31 of 35 shots in goal.
“It was a great team effort. Everybody pitched in,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the game.
Morin signs extension with Dallas
The Dallas Stars announced last week that they had signed Texas center Travis Morin to a two-year contract extension. It’s a two-way deal both years for Morin, who is in his fifth season with the Dallas organization and his sixth with Texas.
“Dallas wanted me, either here or there. It was up to me to decide if I wanted to wait it out, see what happens and possibly go to Europe,” Morin told media in Cedar Park. “After talking with my family, I am 31-years-old and I know what’s going on here. It’s a good deal. I think both sides are pretty happy with it. My family, most important, is happy to be here at least a couple more years.”
Morin led Texas to the Calder Cup last season, winning both regular season and playoff MVP honors. Morin is the Texas franchise leader in goals (113), assists (216) and points (329).
Fortunus on target at AHL Skills Competition
Texas captain Maxime Fortunus made his mark at the AHL All-Star Skills Competition in Utica, New York, hitting four of six targets in accuracy shooting and tying Hartford Wolf Pack forward Chris Bourque for top honors in the event.
Fortunus, who captained the Western Conference team, had no points in Monday night’s All-Star game. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 14-12.
Texas center Travis Morin was selected to play in the game, but did not attend due to a lower body injury.
The week ahead
Thursday January 29, San Antonio at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday January 31, Charlotte at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Here is where Texas ranks in some key statistical categories at the All-Star break.
Goals for: 2.88 (9th)
Goals against: 3.10 (24th)
Shots for: 32.1 (6th)
Shots against: 31.1 (21st)
Power play: 17.8 (11th)
Penalty kill: 87.0 (6th)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Brendan Ranford
Derek Hulak – Justin Dowling – Greg Rallo
Jesse Root – Eric Faille – Branden Troock
Scott Valentine – Gemel Smith – Matt Mangene
Cameron Gaunce – Jyrki Jokipakka
Jamie Oleksiak – Maxime Fortunus
Derek Meech – Julius Honka
1/26: D Jyrki Jokipakka recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/26: D Jamie Oleksiak recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/21: D Jyrki Jokipakka assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
1/21: D Jamie Oleksiak assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, won two of three games (2-1-0) last week and are now 26-12-4 on the season. They rank second in the Pacific Division.
Stars goaltending prospect Henri Kiviaho made one start last week, stopping 36 of 41 shots in an 8-5 victory over Alaska on Friday. Kiviaho is 5-4-1 with a 3.00 goals against average and .896 save percentage.
Dallas goaltending prospect Maxime Lagace made one start last week, getting pulled 11:08 into the game after allowing three goals on six shots against the Allen Americans. Lagace is 5-6-4 with a 3.01 goals against average and .885 save percentage.
Click here for Texas Stars statistics
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.