Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Milwaukee Admirals

Texas Stars
23-15-3-2, 51 pts
#6 West Division
v.Milwaukee Admirals
24-13-2-5, 55 pts
#2 West Division
January 22nd at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The fans of Central Texas are anxious for some hockey. The Texas Stars are expecting their second sellout in just a week tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals. The Stars will need the crowd behind them tonight to overcome both the team on the other bench and the deficits they are currently feeling on their own.

On the Stars' own bench, they are lacking three key pieces: forwards Aaron Gagnon, Francis Wathier, and Mathieu Tousignant. Gagnon and Wathier played last night for Dallas in Alberta. Gagnon won the three faceoffs he took but otherwise recorded no statistics in 10:18 of ice time. Francis Wathier was minus-1 in 5:31 of ice time with a hit and a giveaway. Mathieu Tousignant, meanwhile, is serving the final game of a suspension for a hit on Jamie Tardif which resulted in a concussion for the Griffins' captain.

The Admirals will be coming in from Milwaukee after taking a 7-5 loss against the Rampage last night at the Bradley Center. The Ads held a 4-2 lead and then allowed four straight SA goals. That may play into Texas' favor. In the season series between the Texas and Milwaukee, there have been two shutouts, one for each team, and an OT victory for Texas. Goaltender Richard Bachman has started two of those games and a mind-blowing 0.50 GAA with a .982 SV%. Mark "@dexshow" Dekanich has a 1.03 GAA and a .968 SV%. It's bound to be a goalie battle between these two teams.

Who will break the scoring deadlock that is likely for the game? Linus Klasen (35 points in 35 games) is a good bet for the Admirals despite the fact that he has no points against Texas this year. The Backman-Morin-Rallo line is a nice lineup for Texas with those three players combining for 5 points in the 3 games against the Ads already this season.

Another great chance for Texas to score will be the power play. Road PK for Milwaukee is bottom 10 in the league while Texas's home PP is top 10. Interesting to see the youngster Neal in on the power play.

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)
Wathier, Gagnon (callup)
Tousignant (suspension)

Admirals Web Resources:
Website: milwaukeeadmirals.com
Blog (Official): In The Crease
Blog (Unofficial): Admirals Roundtable (@adsroundtable)
Twitter: @mkeadmirals

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