It's the All-Star Break for the AHL's Texas Stars (29-15-2-4, 64 pts, #4 Western Conference). Well, not for all of them. Colton Sceviour and Travis Morin participated in the AHL's festivities in St. John's, Newfoundland.
It's a pretty big feat for the Texas forwards to both be named to the team. This year the format saw the AHL put up their best 22 skaters against Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League. That meant that at least a dozen teams in the AHL did not get a representative at the MileOne Centre this week. The Stars were one of the lucky few to pick up two players in the events.
The week wasn't so great on travel for the league's leading point and goal scorers. After Sunday's game in Abbotsford, British Columbia, the two set off immediately that night for Newfoundland. The red-eye flight put them in at one in the afternoon on Monday. The rest of the Texas club went back to Austin and many dispersed for a few days off before continuing their road trip in Hamitlon, Ontario.
There was no such respite for Morin and Sceviour, who traveled yesterday to meet the team upon their arrival in Hamilton. All told, the two will be out on the road for nine days total across five time zones. All that said though, Sceviour ranked making the All-Star team among the best moment's he's had in his career.
In the actual game, Texas's participants found the scoresheet in the first period. Travis Morin tipped a point shot at the net for the 4-0 lead. Colton Sceviour had the second assist.
On the Texas Stars side, the Stars split the week against the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames), who now lead the Western Conference. Recaps below.
The Stars opened the scoring and then overcame a one-goal Heat lead only to fall in the shootout by a final of 3-2 on Saturday. Travis Morin had a second assist on Hubert Labrie's first goal of the season, setting a new franchise record for points at 67. That broke his own previous record of 66 set in 2011-12.
The Stars' power outage with the man advantage continued. Combined with an 0-for-5 effort tonight, Texas is on an 0-for-14 skid but still leads the league on the power play by four percentage points. Abbotsford at 23% is in second.
The shootout was unkind to the Stars again. They are 1-for-5 so far on the season.
Neither team was likely satisfied with this being a three-point game, as the two are chasing each other in the division and conference standings.
Colton Sceviour and Scott Glennie headlined a seven goal outburst for Texas on Sunday, setting them back on their winning ways as the AHL takes a five day respite for the All-Star festivities in St. John's, Newfoundland. Each forward potted two goals on the night while Sceviour added an assist as well for good measure. Jamie Oleksiak, Justin Dowling, Curtis McKenzie and Chris Mueller all had two assist games. Other Texas goal scorers included Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Ritchie and Mike Hedden. Among other notable stats, AHL All-Star Ben Street of Abbotsford was minus-4 on the night registering zero shots.
The win pushes Texas to two points behind Abbotsford in the division race. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start for the second night in a row. He stopped 33 of 35. Abbotsford started Roy again but he was chased by Texas after allowing four goals on 24 shots. Ortio stopped 14 of 17 in relief.
The Week Ahead
Texas has a three-in-three this weekend for the first time in a while. They will play all three on the road in three different cities. Saturday will see them against the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens). They'll head south for Sunday's afternoon match against the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres). Finally, Monday will bring a trip to the Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs). That will be an afternoon game for anyone interested in listening live.