ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The Texas Stars snapped a three-game winless streak the best way they know how — by scoring a bushel of goals in quick succession.
The Stars are the highest scoring team in the American Hockey League and showed it by thumping the Abbotsford Heat 7-2 on Sunday.
Colton Sceviour scored his first of the night just 53 seconds into the game, but it was his second that capped a six-goal second period for the Stars.
"We were able to get a goal early and we buried our chances," said Sceviour. "In yesterday's game (a 3-2 Abbotsford shootout victory), (Heat goalie Olivier) Roy made some big saves and we weren't able to capitalize. Today we were able to capitalize and that was the big difference."
Lopsided victories are nothing new between these two clubs. Abbotsford's largest margin of defeat this season was a 9-3 loss in Texas Oct. 20, which it followed with a 7-3 win. The Stars also toppled the Heat 5-0 in January.
"It's kind of strange," said Sceviour. "The second game they played us in Texas they beat us pretty handily. It's weird how teams that are so tight in the standings that when they play one team seems to control the other a little bit. But fortunately it's been us more times than not."
Scott Glennie had a pair of goals, while Brett Ritchie, Jyrki Jokipakka, and Mike Hedden also scored for Texas (29-15-6), which moves the club to within two points of the Heat for first in the Western Conference.
"It's good for us, but we know they're a good team," said Glennie. "The games, it seems, have been one-sided this year, one way or another. It's been fun playing them and we'll have a tough matchup in the future."
The Stars boast the top-two goal scorers in the AHL in Sceviour and points leader Travis Morin.
"(Sceviour) is such a big part of the team," said Glennie. "We need those guys to be scoring for us to be successful, and they bring it every single night. But obviously when we get the secondary scoring, like tonight, it's huge for us as well. When you're playing a team like Abbotsford you need that."
Cristopher Nilstorp made 33 saves for the win.
"(Nilstorp) was fantastic," added Glennie. "They had a lot of good opportunities to get back in the game and he was there to stop them every single time and that was great."
Max Reinhart and Shane O'Brien replied for Abbotsford (31-15-4), which had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Olivier Roy allowed four goals on 24 shots before being replaced by Joni Ortio, who was reassigned to the Heat by the Calgary Flames for the Olympic break. Ortio let in the first shot he faced and three of the first six shots that went his way.
"The second period was a big outburst and that was kind of a shock for both teams," said Glennie.
The Stars opened the scoring when Dustin Jeffrey's pass deflected in off Sceviour's skate, and after review the goal stood.
The Heat tied the game at 11:19. Corban Knight jammed at the puck down low, and with the puck sitting on the goal line Reinhart swooped around the net to tuck it in for his 12th of the season.
O'Brien gave the Heat their only lead of the game at 2:14 of the second. After leading a shorthanded rush he dropped the puck to Markus Granlund and went to the net. Granlund had two assists on the night.
Ritchie tied the game a little more than a minute later on a power play. His wrist shot from the left face-off dot found its way through a pair of bodies into the top right corner for his 11th of the season, beginning the offensive onslaught.
"We knew we let it snowball on us, and give them credit - they smelled some blood and they took advantage," said O'Brien.
Glennie then scored two goals in a three-minute span. First he one-timed a feed from Chris Mueller while shorthanded. Then he was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce, with the puck going off a defenceman's backside and in.
Ortio came in to play goal, but allowed Jokipakka to score on the first shot he faced.
"Goals four and five were the absolute backbreakers for me and our team," said Heat head coach Troy Ward. "The ones that were on the power play after, that's a frenzy of wolves feeding. They just smelled blood, and they went for it and they got it."
Hedden and Sceviour then scored on successive power plays for their 18th and 29th goals respectively to round out the scoring.