Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stars Defeat Rampage 2-1 in Preseason Action

Texas and San Antonio faced off this evening in a little less than typical venue, the Northwoods Ice Center in northern San Antonio. The practice facility for the San Antonio Rampage seats 300, and the Rampage faithful packed it in, lining the boards for overflow seating to take their first look at the 2010-11 squad.

The game featured only 3 contract players, Michael Neal, Cody Chupp, and Matt Tassone, and mostly tryouts from Idaho, Allen and others. Michael Teslak, formerly of Adirondack and Elmira, started in net with Adrian LeMay as the backup. At 1:04 of the first, Nino Musitelli beat Al Montoya with a wristshot from the top of the circles. It was a soft goal but a goal nonetheless. Musitelli played for the Allen Americans of the CHL last year. Texas led the game in shots after one, 7-6.

Texas continued to press its advantage in the second period. Cody Chupp went to ice on an interference penalty from Collins. Chupp had to be walked off the ice but returned before the end of the second. Texas got a 5-on-3 when Stone got a delay of game penalty and capitalized on the opportunity when Nino Musitelli fed Kael Mouillierat in tight. Mouillierat, who played with Idaho some of last year, popped it up over Al Montoya's shoulder to make it 2-0 Stars. Our first bit of unpleasantness was instigated by the Rampage's Neilson late in the second when he sucker punched Matt Tassone and became involved in a minor brawl with a few other players. The Stars went on their third power play of the game. Shots were 9-4 in favor of the Stars in the second.

The Rampage opened the third cutting their goal deficit in half with an even-strength tally from Colin Long. He was assisted by Jeff May and former Texas Star Ned Lukacevic. Long got a great feed from Jeff May to beat LeMay on the back door. The Rampage pulled tender Joe Fallon with just under one minute remaining but it wouldn't be enough as Texas emerged victorious.

The game was dominated by tryout players on both sides of the ice. GM Scott White was in attendance to evaluate talent in the game and I think there were a few players that stuck out. Nino Musitelli had a goal and an assist in the game with four shots and a plus-1 rating. I thought Cody Lampl had a good game as well, though it didn't appear on the scoresheet. The defenseman played in Idaho last year and has been re-signed by the Steelheads.

Forwards:
Chupp-Blackwater-Irwin

Neal, Mouillierat, Tassone, Bolt, Musitelli, Quesnel, Lowry, Yellow Horn, Sinisalo

Defense:
Friesen-Lampl

Molle, Berube, Fredricks, Mifflin

Goalie:
Michael Teslak
Adrian LeMay

Due to the newness of the players and the limited sight lines in the arena, it was difficult to determine lines beyond the starting line-up. There is for gamesheet for preseason games.

Krahn Put On Waivers, Likely To Be Assigned To Texas Tomorrow

Brent Krahn, starting goaltender for the Texas Stars last year, was put on waivers today by the Dallas Stars. The waiver wire placement indicates that Andrew Raycroft won the backup job behind Kari Lehtonen in Big D. Both Krahn and Raycroft signed two-way contracts with hopes of making the backup spot. Raycroft, who has played for Boston, Toronto, Colorado and Vancouver, is a veteran backup in the league after losing his one-time starting job in Boston to one Tim Thomas (who later lost his starting job to Tuukka Rask).

Krahn cannot clear waivers until 11 AM Friday. His earliest possible action would be Saturday against Oklahoma City.

Gameday Preview: Stars at San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
0-0-0-0, 0 pts
#-- West Division
atSan Antonio Rampage
0-0-0-0, 0 pts
#-- West Division
September 30th at 7:00 PM
Northwoods Ice Center, San Antonio, TX

Welcome back, hockey. We've missed you so much! It's time to take the Texas Stars gear out of the closet and commence a road trip to the Stars first preseason game as the defending West Conference champions of the AHL.

This being Texas's first game, there's not a lot in the tale of the tape. Fans who joined the ranks of the Stars faithful during the playoff run will not recognize over half the team. Such is the nature of the AHL. Players from last year who have departed include veteran defensemen Dan Jancevski, Andrew Hutchinson and Garrett Stafford. At forward, the Stars lost Mathieu Beaudoin, Warren Peters, Tyler Shelast, Sergei Korostin, and Perttu Lindgren. Matt Climie will be on the other side of the ice tonight as well, having signed a deal with the Coyotes in free agency this summer.

However, the Stars, who were a stifling defensive team last year look to some new additions to bring more offensive firepower to the forefront in the 2010-11 campaign. Players like Ondrej Roman, Tomas Vincour, and Philip Larsen look to add to the scoresheet. Coach Gulutzan is determined to still play lockdown defense despite the loss of several key veterans. He will be leaning on the veteran leadership of players like Maxime Fortunus and Brad Lukowich to provide guidance. With current defense struggles in Dallas, coach Gulutzan would do well to provide his defensive corps with a strong basis in blue line fundamentals.

Gagnon has been having a breakout preseason and is going to make it very hard for Coach Crawford to send him to Cedar Park. Severin Blindenbacher and Philip Larsen, two more offensive minded defensemen expected to play for Texas this year, are still with the Dallas. Much like NHL preseason, the AHL preseason is partially geared toward giving younger kids a chance to show through at the next level. ECHL and CHL players should dot the roster. Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany should be your netminders for the evening with the question simply being which one starts.

Stars injury/call up report:
None.

Many players are still with the big club and will not join Texas until later in the preseason.

Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @SARampage_Voice (play-by-play guy for SA)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fortunus and Wathier Sent Down to Texas

The Dallas Stars cut two more from their roster today. Maxime Fortunus and Francis Wathier were both sent down to the Texas Stars today.

Texas opens its preseason schedule tomorrow in San Antonio with a tilt against the Rampage at their practice facility, the Northwoods Ice Center. Game starts at 7 PM with tickets going for $5 for general admission. Rampage season ticket holders were given free tickets to the event. The arena only holds about 300, so get there early if you intend on going.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Five Players Clear Waivers, Two Assigned to Texas

All five players placed on waivers yesterday by the Dallas Stars cleared today at 11 AM. Aaron Gagnon, Francis Wathier, and Maxime Fortunus will stay with Dallas for at least one more game while Travis Morin and Brad Lukowich have been assigned to the Texas Stars. Texas starts training camp today with physicals and will start on-ice practices at the CPC tomorrow.

Scott Glennie, the Dallas Stars' first round pick in 2009, was also assigned to his junior team, the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dallas Makes Roster Cuts, Some Texas Stars On Waiver Wire

The Dallas Stars made expected cuts to their roster today following last night's game versus the Blues. Here are the players cut and where they are going:
Assigned to Texas Stars (AHL) Training Camp
(first practice on the ice is Tuesday in Cedar Park):

G Richard Bachman
RW Sean Backman
D Jordie Benn
G Tyler Beskorowany
LW Luke Gazdic
C Tristan King
D Trevor Ludwig
LW Scott McCulloch
D Guillaume Monast
LW Michael Neal
C Greg Rallo
C Ondrej Roman
RW Raymond Sawada
RW Colton Sceviour
RW Matt Tassone
C Mathieu Tousignant

Returned to his junior team:
D Jace Coyle (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Released from his NHL try-out:
RW Jonathan Cheechoo


From Mike Heika, we also learn that Aaron Gagnon, Travis Morin, Francis Wathier, Maxime Fortunus and Brad Lukowich had to be sent down through waivers. This happens when players have hit certain limits in terms of NHL games played or player age. Hopefully the Stars can sneak these guys through to Cedar Park without anyone else noticing. If the players are claimed by another team, they become Dallas's property again if they do not make the other team's NHL roster.

The Texas Stars report for physicals Monday and have their first on ice practice on Tuesday. Texas plays their first preseason game on Thursday at San Antonio.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Texas Stars Announce Training Camp Schedule

The Texas Stars will be opening training camp on Monday with physicals and take the ice for the first time on Tuesday. Practices will be open to the public next week. Here is the schedule of events:
Tuesday, September 28th

Practice: 10:00 am – 12:10 pm
Scrimmage: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Wednesday, September 29th

Practice: 10:00 am – 12:10 pm
Scrimmage: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday, September 30th

Game Day Skate: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Friday, October 1st

Practice: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The Stars still have yet to release their training camp roster, which will likely be solidified on Sunday. The Dallas Stars are expected to cut approximately 20 of their skaters and assign them to Texas following Saturday's game against the Blues.

Training Camp Roster Split, Expected Lineup for Tonight's Game

The Dallas Stars decided that they needed to get serious with "their guys" in training camp a few days ago and split the group into the NHL and AHL players.

Here is the list of "NHL players" and the lines they are working with:

Neal-Richards-Eriksson
Morrow-Ribeiro-Burish
Brunnstrom-Benn-Ott
Sutherby-Petersen-Segal
Barch-Wandell-Cheechoo

Grossman-Robidas
Daley-Niskanen
Skrastins-Blindenbacher
Fistric-Woywitka

Here is the list of "AHL players" and the lines they are working with:

Wathier-Morin-Rallo
McCulloch-Gagnon-Vincour
Tousignant-Roman-Sawada
Gazdic-King-Sceviour
M. Neal-Glennie-Backman
Tassone

Lukowich-Larsen
Jordie Benn-Fortunus
Ludwig-Coyle
Monast

Any surprises there? I don't really think so. However, from what Gagnon has been showing in this training camp, he is clearly the #1 callup from the AHL for Dallas if he doesn't make the team outright. Gagnon played a lot as a scoring forward this past year but also has the ability to be a defensive grinding forward as well. This multiple personality on the ice combined with his right shot (something the Stars lack) and faceoff win percentage (something the Stars need to improve) make him a very attractive player to jump right into the lineup.

The Stars will play the Colorado Avalanche tonight in their second preseason game. So far the only player to be sent down or cut is Jack Campbell, who was sent to his junior team following Tuesday night's game to start their season. Campbell won his debut for the Spitfires against the Plymouth Whalers 5-4.

Tonight's game lineup is peppered with Texas Stars players and prospects. Gagnon, Gazdic, Roman, Sceviour, Blindenbacher and Fortunus are expected to suit up for Dallas this evening. Here is the full lineup:

Neal-Richards-Eriksson
Brunnstrom-Benn-Ott
Cheechoo-Gagnon-Segal
Gazdic-Roman-Sceviour

Grossman-Robidas
Skrastins-Blindenbacher
Woywitka-Fortunus

Lehtonen

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News expressed some curiousity in Luke Gazdic, who will be playing tonight:
"And I'm kind of curious to see Luke Gazdic. I think he's the future enforcer of this team, and we really haven't seen him that much."
Glad to see someone from DFW is taking note of the Austin area's favorite player.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gagnon Notches Goal, Assist in Pre-season Opener

Aaron Gagnon led all Texas Stars players in last night's loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning with 1 goal and 1 assist. Gagnon was also plus-2. Philip Larsen, expected to be with Texas this year, scored a goal by jumping up on the rush. Tomas Vincour assisted on both of Dallas's goal and was on a line with centerman Gagnon.

Andrew Raycroft and Brent Krahn both allowed two goals a piece. Raycroft allowed two in 18 shots and Krahn in 13 shots. No clear frontrunner for the backup position.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Several Texas Stars Suiting Up Tonight Against Lightning

Mark Stepneski reports on the expected lineup for tonight's Dallas Stars preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nine players expected to be with Texas this season are in the lineup. Here's the full lineup from Mark:
Forwards: Morrow, Ribeiro, Cheechoo, Glennie, Petersen, Barch, Vincour, Gagnon, Sutherby, Wathier, Tousignant, Rallo

Defensemen: Lukowich, Larsen, Daley, Niskanen, Fistric, Blindenbacher

Goaltenders: Krahn, Raycroft (One goes to Dallas, one to Texas)
Puck drops on this one tonight at 7:30 PM at the American Airlines Center. Sadly, the games will not be broadcast. The game will be broadcast by Tampa Bay's radio crew on WHNZ, which you can listen to here. You can also likely follow @andrewsdsp or @defendingbigd to get updates as the game progresses.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cedar Park Center Ice Gets Paint Job With Help From Volunteer Crew

The center ice logo gets special attention from ice painters on Saturday morning

As many of the Texas Stars prepare for the season in training camp in Prince Edward Island, the facilities crew at the Cedar Park Center has been hard at work preparing the facility to host American League hockey games once again.

The process of laying down the ice, which was taken out after the conclusion of the Calder Cup Finals against the Hershey Bears, began last week. The surface, which is a base sand layer that includes the cooling elements, is made of cement. The cement is covered with an initial layer of ice and then whitewashed to give it a blinding bright sheen. With another small coat of water is laid down and then comes the part that I was involved in.

Putting down all of the logos, lines, dots, and other markings on the ice is a painstaking multi-step process. Luckily, the crew at the Cedar Park Center had some volunteer help this past Saturday in the form of several able-bodied amateur league adult hockey players.

Volunteer crew member Rich White works on the text of the ABC Home & Commercial Services logo nearest to the State Farm Entrance

The facilities team had already stenciled out the logos and lines as required when the crew arrived on Saturday morning. All that was left to do was color inside the lines using special Jet-Ice brand ice paint and foam brushes. To make the task more difficult, the ice was, at this point, only 1/32 of an inch thick. This meant that there could be no direct contact between the ice and any part of the body that would cause heat transfer. As the Arkansas vs. Georgia game blared on the Jumbotron above, painters moved around their masterpieces on islands of cardboard to prevent the ice from melting under them.

Drips and drops were cleaned up and straight lines perfected with a scraper. After each item was completed, it was sealed by misting it with water.

A facilities team member seals his work by misting the HEB logo with water

The facilities team will still need to flood the rink with one inch of water to complete the job. With all of this work, the Texas Stars are just one more step closer to returning for their second season in the Cedar Park Center.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Texas Stars Announce 2010-11 Promo Schedule

The Texas Stars had one of the best attendance records in the AHL last year, a fact which was surely influenced by the great giveaways and promotions that the Stars put on throughout the year. Texas has just released their promo schedule for the coming season. Many of the favorites from last year are coming back and the Stars will feature three specialty jerseys throughout the season. Burnt orange, pink, and camouflage will be among the jersey colors on display at the CPC this fall. Full release below.

Which promotion are you most excited about?

The Texas Stars announced on Wednesday the 2010-2011 Promotions schedule.

The promotions schedule is filled with giveaways, popular fan specials and numerous theme nights. Insulated lunch bags, fleece blankets, knit caps, drawstring backpacks, scarves, gym bags and pink water bottles highlight the giveaways. Pink in the Rink, Military Nights, Sing For Santa, Field Trip Days, and Burnt Orange jerseys lead the theme nights. The popular State Farm Family Four Pack and H-E-B Tuesdays return, joined by “3-2-1” Fridays.

The Stars will start their giveaways before the regular season begins with every fan who attends the preseason games on October 2nd and 3rd receiving a 2010-2011 magnetic schedule, compliments of Austin Telco Federal Credit Union.

On Opening Night, Texas will raise its 2010 Western Conference Championship banner to the rafters of the Cedar Park Center when the Stars host the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday, October 16th at 7:00 pm. The first 5,000 fans who attend the game will receive a Texas Stars 2010 Western Conference Champions mini banner. The first 2,500 fans receive a Texas Stars drawstring backpack, compliments of State Farm, on Saturday, October 23rd when Texas hosts Peoria at 7:00 PM.

On Saturday, October 30th, the Stars will partner with the Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to promote breast cancer awareness for “Pink in the Rink”. The Texas Stars will wear Pink in the Rink themed jerseys. As the presenting sponsor of the event, the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center will hand out 2,500 pink Stars water bottles. The jerseys will be auctioned off and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Komen Austin Affiliate®.

On Saturday, November 6th when the Stars host the Toronto Marlies, the first 2,500 fans will receive a Texas Stars insulated lunch bag, compliments of H-E-B. On Saturday, November 20th, the first 2,500 fans will get a Stars knit cap compliments of Mighty Fine Burgers and celebrate the first of two Military Appreciation Nights. Best Buy and the Stars will hand out ear buds to the first 2,500 fans on Friday, November 26th.

The Stars will wear burnt orange specialty jerseys and hold the first doubleheader at Cedar Park Center on Saturday, November 27th. The Stars will host the San Antonio Rampage at 7:00 pm, followed by a meeting between the UT and Texas A&M club teams. The first 3,000 fans to the Stars game will receive a Texas Stars hat.

As part of “Sing for Santa - Carols and Choirs” Weekend, the Stars will partner with Toyota and Sweet Leaf Tea for a pair of giveaways. On Friday, December 3rd, the first 3,000 fans get a Texas Stars fleece blanket compliments of Toyota. On Saturday, December 4th, the first 3,000 fans receive a Texas Stars scarf from Sweet Leaf Tea. To round out December, the first 3,000 fans on Saturday, December 18th receive a Texas Stars 2011 Calendar.

In January, the Stars will hand out Mouse Pads to the first 2,500 fans on Saturday, January 22nd. On the 29th, the first 3,000 fans will be handed a Texas Stars player card set upon entry to the Cedar Park Center. On Saturday, February 5th, 3,000 team posters will be handed out prior to the Stars home game against Oklahoma City. On February 11th, 2,500 t-shirts will be passed out, followed up by 2,500 Texas Stars gym bags on Saturday, February 12th, when Texas hosts Rockford.

As part of the second Military Appreciation Night, the first 3,000 fans will be handed a Texas Stars desert camouflage hat and the Stars will wear camouflage jerseys. The jerseys will be auctioned off for charity and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Cedar Park Veterans Memorial Park. Texas will hand out 2,500 Stars Oven Mitts on Saturday, March 26th.

Aside from giveaways, fans will once again see the popular “State Farm Family Four Pack” return for every Saturday Stars home game. The four pack; includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for $44. Also, H-E-B Tuesdays feature a $5.00 discount off the ticket price for anyone who donates an H-E-B Store Brand non-perishable food product. Starting this season, is the new “3-2-1” Fridays. For every Friday home game, fans may purchase $3.00 twelve-ounce domestic drafts, $2.00 sodas and $1.00 hot dogs.

The Stars will wear three specialty jerseys during the 2010-11 home season, starting on Saturday, October 30th for Pink in the Rink, promoting breast cancer awareness. The Stars will don burnt orange jerseys on Saturday, November 27th in support of the UT Club hockey team’s game at Cedar Park Center. The final specialty jersey will be displayed on Saturday, March 5th when the Stars host Military Appreciation Night.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dallas Stars Post Training Camp Roster

The Dallas Stars announced their roster for training camp which starts this Saturday in Prince Edward Island. The full list is posted here, but here are some of the notables for Texas Stars fans:
  • Scott McCulloch - Signed last year to a 1 year deal with the Texas Stars, the young forward seems to be getting a look with the big club. Often times though, these training camps are ways for clubs to evaluate talent for their minor league teams as well, so expectations should be tempered on that front.
  • Travis Morin and Greg Rallo - Not to toot my own horn, but at some point last year I predicted that Morin and Greg Rallo would both get looks at NHL training camps this year. Luckily for us, both are getting looks at Dallas. Morin is already signed with Dallas and Rallo with Texas.
  • Matt Tassone - The one-time Stars draft pick is now with the Texas Stars. Based on his performance in the AHL, expect Dallas to re-evaluate the forward.
  • Jordie Benn - The defenseman, the older brother of Jamie Benn, played all season last year with the Allen Americans. It will be interesting to see whether Texas or Idaho takes a look at him.
Others who played for Texas that are on the roster include Aaron Gagnon, Luke Gazdic, Michael Neal, Ray Sawada, Colton Sceviour, Mathieu Tousignant, Francis Wathier, Maxime Fortunus, Brad Lukowich, Matt Stephenson, Richard Bachman, and Brent Krahn. Those on the roster expected to be with Texas this season include Ondrej Roman, Tomas Vincour, Severin Blindenbacher, Jace Coyle, Guillaume Monast, and Tyler Beskorowany.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Silent and Live Auction Gala to Support Austin Youth Hockey

Coming on the heels of the announcement of the partnership between the Texas Stars and the Youth Hockey Foundation of Austin, the YHFA has announced a Silent and Live Auction Gala event to take place on September 24th. In the name of promoting hockey in Austin, I want to make sure that I let everyone know about this event. Here is the release that Laura Morrison, the event's coordinator, has put out:
On September 24th, we are hosting the Hockey Night in Austin Gala at the Iron Cactus North. This is a major fundraising event for our youth hockey program and I need your assistance! It is going to be an awesome party - fantastic food, drinks and music, along with an amazing list of items that will be in our Live and Silent auction. Tickets may be purchased in the proshop at I35 and also online at www.austinicehockey.com. Not only is this a great event to attend, it is also a tax deductable contribution, and you don't have to be a hockey fan to attend!

Here is a small list of additional items that will be on the auction block on the 24th:
The funds that we raise through our Gala will be used to continue to build our youth hockey programs and will assist our teams to participate in hockey tournaments,it will help to provide player and coach training and education and so much more! We'd love to see you at the Gala - your continued support of our youth hockey programs at the rink is greatly appreciated!

For those interested, a full list of what's being auctioned is on their homepage.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stars Prospects Split Weekend Games in Traverse City

After falling 6-1 in their opening game in Traverse City, the Dallas Stars prospects team recovered with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Jack Campbell, who got the start Saturday, allowed 3 goals in one minute early in the first period. This set the Stars on their heels for a game they would eventually lose 6-1. The Stars' only goal came off the stick of Tomas Vincour, who is expected to be with the Texas Stars this year. Vincour split his last year in junior between the Vancouver Giants and the Edmonton Oil Kings, both of the WHL. The boxscore for the game is here.

Vincour also scored first in the Stars win on Sunday. Michael Neal, and Tristan and Kevin King also scored in the game. Tyler Beskorowany got the start, stopping 26 of 27 shots. Box score for Sunday's game is here.

Texas Stars Head Coach Glen Gulutzan, who is coaching the prospects at the tournament, believes that defense was the difference in Sunday's game.

Mark Stepneski, from ESPN Dallas, is in Traverse City and caught some of the early action in the game, including Vincour's goal at 11 seconds in, on his Flip cam. Check it out:




The Stars have Monday off and will lace them up again on Tuesday against Tampa Bay at 2 PM CST.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Traverse City Tournament Starts Tomorrow

While most Austinites will be settled in front of the TV or roaring loudly at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium tomorrow, at the same time as the kickoff of Texas versus Wyoming (6 PM CST) the Dallas Stars prospects team will be stepping onto the ice against the Detroit Red Wings prospects team.

The Stars' roster, which is posted here, features several players from Texas's 2009-10 squad, including Colton Sceviour, Luke Gazdic, Michael Neal and Mathieu Tousignant. Other players of note include new signees and other expected to join Texas in 2010-11, such as Ondrej Roman, Matt Tassone, Tomas Vincour, Philip Larsen, Jace Coyle, and Tyler Beskorowany. Also in the fold are Stars top draft picks from the last two years, forward Scott Glennie and goalie Jack Campbell.

The tournament, which features the Stars and seven other teams, runs from Saturday until Wednesday with a game for each team each day. The Stars are in the Howe Division which plays opposite of the Gretzky Division. The full schedule is here. Over the next several days, I will report on the games. Another great resource for the games will be Mark Stepneski's ESPN Stars blog. Mark is in Traverse City for the tournament.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Texas inks F Matt Tassone for 2010-11

Matt Tassone, who had been rumored to be signed by the Texas Stars earlier in the summer, has finally officillay been announced as a member of the 2010-11 squad for Texas. Tassone was drafted by Dallas in 2008 but was not signed to an ELC after undergoing a lot of injury issues. This will be Tassone's first pro season after playing five years in the WHL.

Here's the release:
The Texas Stars announced on Wednesday the signing of forward Matt Tassone for the 2010-11 season.

Tassone will turn pro after playing the last five years for the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos. Tassone played in 187 regular season games, scoring 73 goals and setting up 46 others for 119 points, as well as racking up 343 penalty minutes. The 20-year old forward had his best season for Swift Current in 2008-09, scoring 36 goals and totaling 55 points in 52 games. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder also added 100 penalty minutes. The St. Albert, AB native also played in 12 playoff contests for the Broncos, totaling three goals and eight points, to go along with 12 penalty minutes in 2007-08. The Dallas Stars drafted Tassone in the sixth round (#176) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stars partner to create Junior Stars

Left to Right: Dwayne Lum (YHFA), Texas Stars General Manager Scott White, Chris Miller (Texas Stars), Sam Cote (Texas Junior Star), Texas Stars President Rick McLaughlin, Jeff Andrien (YHFA), Ryan Gonzales (Texas Junior Star), Corky Brown (YHFA), Alex Gonzales (YHFA). (Credit: Sportraits by Deena)

The Roadrunners are no more as the Texas Stars announced yesterday that they have partnered with the Youth Hockey Foundation of Austin to create seven travel teams that will wear the Texas Junior Stars logo. This is definitely a huge win for local hockey. Having the backing of the big club take the junior teams to that next level. How long before we see an Austin, Texas player drafted? That might be a ways off, but this is a great step in the right direction.

In my opinion as well, the announcement is a great step for the Chaparral Ice. Currently the only public ice rink in town (2 locations), Chap Ice has (by my non-scientific observations) seen a jump in players joining their Learn to Play and Learn to Skate classes since the Texas Stars came to town.

Here's the full release.
Cedar Park, TX – The Texas Stars, in conjunction with the Youth Hockey Foundation of Austin (YHFA), announced on Thursday they have partnered to form the Texas Junior Stars.

“The Texas Stars strongly believe in community involvement and the development of youth hockey in Central Texas,” said Texas Stars President Rick McLaughlin. “The Texas Junior Stars allows us to do both. It also ensures long-term strengthening and growth of youth hockey in the Greater Austin area.”

The Youth Hockey Foundation of Austin is a nonprofit corporation that is operated and sustained by the community to develop, encourage and foster youth hockey players in the Austin metro area. The YHFA was established in 2008, taking over the Austin Youth Hockey Association (AYHA), which operated from 1997 to 2008. YHFA’s youth travel team will be renamed the Texas Junior Stars after playing under the name Austin Roadrunners from 1997-2010. The Texas Junior Stars will wear jerseys designed to look like the elder Stars’ jerseys. In all, seven travel teams will sport the Texas Junior Stars logo.

The YHFA and Chaparral Ice combine to form approximately 20 teams with over 250 boys and girls ranging from ages four to 18. The YHFA’s goal is to provide kids with a form of exercise, teamwork and good sportsmanship. There are multiple sheets of ice in the Greater Austin region used by YHFA, including two Chaparral Ice locations, North I-35 and Northcross at West Anderson Lane. For more information about the YHFA please log on to the YHFA’s official website http www.austinicehockey.com.

“This is a great opportunity to form a lasting partnership with Central Texas’ only professional hockey team,” said YHFA President Corky Brown. “We are proud to wear the Stars jersey and we are looking forward to working with the Texas Stars (AHL) to encourage kids in the community to give hockey a try.”