Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gameday Preview: Stars at Peoria Rivermen

Texas Stars
39-23-3-4, 85 pts
#3 West Division
atPeoria Rivermen
33-28-2-6, 74 pts
#5 West Division
March 21st at 3:00 PM
Carver Arena, Peoria, IL

Texas jumps from one team whose number they've had in Rockford, to one that's had theirs with a day game today against Peoria. Texas is 3-3-1 in their season series with Peoria and has struggled overall against this team.

These two teams last met on March 10th in Cedar Park, a 3-2 win for the Stars. Teas has since gone 3-1 as part of an overall 8-2-0-0 record in the last ten games. Peoria has also gone 3-1 since the last meeting with an overall record of 6-3-1-0 in the last ten games. The single loss for both teams came against San Antonio in the AT&T Center.

Peoria is clawing at Milwaukee to try to make the playoffs. With only 11 games left, it seems like the 5 point deficit they find themselves in might be too much. Milwaukee also has 11 games left. The Rivermen do have a chance to control their own destiny a bit with two games against the Admirals before the end of the season, but they will be watching the out-of-town scores intently from here on out.

Leading scorers for the Rivermen include Lars Eller (14-35-49), Pascal Pelletier, and Nicholas Drazenovic. The fourth ranked point scorer, Jonas Junland (13-26-39), was last seen by Stars fans laid out on the ice by a punishing hit from Ray Sawada at the end of the March 10th game. Sawada may get some payback attempts in the game today, so be on the lookout for that.

Between the pipes for the Rivermen are Joe Fallon and Ben Bishop. Bishop is 19-16-3 on the year with 2.91 GAA and .898 SV%. Interestingly, he does not have a shutout on the year. Fallon is 18-13-1 overall and 3-3-0 with the Rivermen. Fallon played the majority of the season with Rockford before being traded for Hannu Toivonen in a multi-player deal.

For Texas, Brent Krahn has now started four of the last five Texas games. And why not? He's yet to lose in the month of March and looks to be back on his game. That being said, Matt Climie will likely get the start today since Krahn started against Rockford. Climie last played in San Antonio last Friday, a loss in which he allowed only 2 goals. Usually, two goals is enough to get the win, but not on that evening. Overally, Matt is 18-16-3 with a 2.42 GAA and .920 SV%. Look for his number to improve as he is less overworked with Krahn around. Goaltending is one of those positions that requires a huge amount of minor league work. This is Climie's first full year in the AHL and it seems he's still adjusting. Give him time though; he'll come through it.

Stars injury/call up report:
Wilson, McCulloch (injured)
Benn (call-up)

Website: rivermen.net
Blog (unofficial): Cleve's World
Twitter: @peoria_rivermen

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