Brett Ritchie Scores 12th Goal of Season in Stars Defeat
TORONTO, ON – The Texas Stars led 1-0 on Brett Ritchie goal in the second period, but the Toronto Marlies rallied in the third period by scoring four times, including two empty net goals, for a 4-1 win Monday afternoon at Air Canada Centre.
The first period went by without a goal. Toronto out-shot Texas 11-6 in the opening frame, but the scoring chances were much closer to even through the first 20 minutes. Cristopher Nilstorp was solid between the pipes for the Stars, while Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre was forced to make two very strong saves on rookie Matej Stransky.
Texas turned the tables in the second period, out-shooting Toronto 11-7 and threatening to score first. The Stars eventually did get on the scoreboard with 4:45 left in the frame as Mike Hedden found rookie Brett Ritchie on the far post to slam in the puck. It was Ritchie’s 12th goal of the season, assisted by Hedden and Justin Dowling.
The Stars nearly doubled their lead early in the third period, but MacIntyre stops Sceviour’s shorthanded breakaway, Moments later Josh Leivo collected the puck just above crease on the left side of the net and poked it through the pads of Nilstorp for a power play goal at 7:16 to tie the game. Texas experienced another two-sided swing two minutes later. At one end of the ice, Scott Glennie’s shot beat MacIntyre, but was cleared off the goal line by diving defenseman T.J. Brennan. The Marlies immediately sent the puck the other way and Jerry D’Amigo beat Nilstorp through the five-hole on a partial breakaway to put Toronto in front 2-1 at 9:59. Texas pulled their goaltender inside the final two minutes, but the Marlies tacked on two empty net goals to made the score appear more lopsided than the game really was. First it was Leivo scored his second goal of the afternoon at 18:22 and then D’Amigo added his second at 19:49 to close out the scoring.
Drew MacIntyre was excellent in goal for Toronto, stopping 30-of-31 shots to record his 22nd win of the season. Cristopher Nilstorp allowed just two goals on 29 shots in goal for Texas, but was tagged with his 12th loss of the year. The two teams finished even with 31 shots on goal apiece. The Marlies went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Stars were 0-for-1 on the man-advantage.
With their five-game road trip completed, the Texas Stars will return to Cedar Park Center on Friday, February 21st as they host the Charlotte Checkers at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s game kicks off Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center and is a $3 Beer and $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Night. Pro-rated full and partial 2013-14 Texas Stars Season Tickets are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.