Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at Peoria Rivermen

Texas Stars
40-36-4-6, 90 pts
#3 West Division
atPeoria Rivermen
40-29-3-5, 88 pts
#4 West Division
April 6th at 7:05 PM
Carver Arena, Peoria, IL

The Stars finish yet another season series tonight in Peoria against the Rivermen. It has been an up and down season for the Rivermen, who shot out of the gate at a breakneck pace thanks to strong play by rookie goalie Jake Allen and forward TJ Hensick. Peoria has since cooled and is now crusing along at a still repectable .571 points percentage, on pace to make the playoffs, but still surely nervous about it.

It looked like it was going to be a long season series for the Stars back in October after facing Peoria in two of their first five games and getting thrashed in both. In the sixth game, Texas came back and put together their most complete game of the season to that point, a 3-0 shutout victory at home against Peoria. The start was Bachman's first of the season, presaging his success to come over the year. "You didn't see the huge highlight reel saves [from Bachman]," said Coach Gulutzan after that game. "But he made the big saves when we needed them."

In the Stars' last visit to Peoria, they were embarrassed at the hands of Brennan Evans. Evans scored his first professional hat trick in the February 23rd game with his tenth, eleventh, and twelfth goals of his eight-year AHL career. Nicholas Drazenovic is the only other three goal player against the Stars for the Rivermen.

Now the two teams are separated by two points in the standings, both with an eye on the Calder Cup playoffs. Peoria comes in having come back from pulling Ben Bishop against Milwaukee to get a win on Sunday. Texas is on a two game losing streak after falling to Oklahoma City and Rockford this weekend. Most importantly, the Stars can clinch a playoff spot with any kind of victory tonight in Peoria. Both will be motivated for a win.

The Stars could also have some new blood in the lineup with the anticipated addition of Scott Glennie to the roster today. Glennie was a high scoring forward in the WHL and Texas Stars fans have to be excited to see what the young winger can do at this level.

Stars injury/call up report:
Ludwig (upper body)
Vincour, Segal, Lukowich (call up)

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

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