Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at Peoria Rivermen

Texas Stars
3-3-0-0, 6 pts
#10 Western Conference
atPeoria Rivermen
2-3-1-1, 6 pts
#12 Western Conference
October 27th at 7:00 PM
Carver Arena, Peoria, IL

Texas and Peoria face off again for the second time in five days after the Stars claimed the first game in overtime 6-5 last Saturday. Both teams played one game in the interim, both wins for the two clubs. Texas, of course, dropped six on the IceHogs in Rockford while the Peoria hosted the Wolves and won 5-2 on Sunday.

The big story of the Stars in Rockford was the synergy of the newly created line of Vincour-Tousignant-Garbutt. That line combined for six points in the contest. Added to the lineup of Fraser-Morin-Sawada, which notched seven points in Rockford, Coach Pyle has the potential to roll those two lines as his top six.

This team is starting to live up to the way it was billed after having some trouble out of the gate. With so many new parts, including the new coaching staff, Texas was struggling to find the right combinations and pairings. Two are potentially lined up; two more to finely hone. The third and fourth lines are nothing to shrug at either with Wathier-Arnason-Godard and Gazdic-Glennie-Sceviour providing a little bit of scoring punch and a little bit of actual punches. It's just a question of putting the right people together.

Peoria also reworked their lineup in their last game, adding Anthony Nigro to an existing line of Adam Cracknell and Jonathan Cheechoo. Nigro scored a goal and Cracknell and Cheechoo each had a goal and an assist.

"Nigro was awesome on that line Sunday," Rivermen head coach Jared Bednar told the Peoria Journal Star. "It's an experiment we're going to pursue. He didn't have the numbers on the scoresheet that the other two guys had, but he did a lot of legwork and made things happen on that line."

The final item, of course, is the Stars and Rivs' unpleasantries after the whistle on Saturday. Conflicting reports have indicated that there was either a bite, an attempted bite, or spitting involved in the incident. Stefan Della Rovere, the alleged biter/spitter, sat out Sunday's game with a required one game suspension for incurring a match penalty.

"I don't know what happened with those guys or whether there is any carryover from it, but I'm not expecting anything," Coach Bednar told the Journal-Star. I wouldn't expect anything either in a tight game, but if things get to wider margin leads, watch out.

Stars injury/call up report:
Fortunus (left Rockford game in first period)

Website: rivermen.net
Blog (beat writer): Cleve's World
Blog (unofficial): The Peoria Rivermen Blog
Twitter: @peoria_rivermen
Twitter (beat writer): @icetimecleve
Twitter (blog writer): @LetsGoRivs

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