Friday, October 14, 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Houston Aeros

Texas Stars
1-0-0-0, 2 pts
#4 West Division
v.Houston Aeros
1-0-0-0, 2 pts
#5 West Division
October 14th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Philip Larsen has been assigned, but it is unclear at this point if he will play in tonight's game.

Coming off four days of rest, the Stars are facing off against the Houston Aeros tonight in just the second game for either team. Last season, the Houston Aeros took a trip to the Calder Cup Finals, just as Texas did the year before, also losing to the Eastern Conference. Regardless of the loss, the Aeros are still the reigning Western Conference champion.

Texas had its way with Houston in the first season but in the second the reverse was true. The Stars' overall record against the Aeros sits at 11-11-2. Deciding which side this season bends toward starts tonight in Cedar Park.

Houston returns many players from their Calder Cup Finals roster, including starting netminder Matt Hackett. In one game so far this season, Hackett has one win with one goal allowed against the Wolves in their only game last Sunday. Noted Stars killer Jon DiSalvatore returns to captain the squad again along with former Star Warren Peters, pugulist Carson McMillan and current scoring leader for the team Casey Wellman. One piece that did not return for Houston is the coaching staff, which was promoted to Minnesota this summer. Houston is being led by John Torchetti this year.

The Stars will look to extend their success on the power play, which has been a notable difference between the NHL and AHL clubs in the early season. Texas has gone 4 for 8 on the power play while Dallas is at 2 for 19. Can coach Pyle continue his winning ways on the power play? His previous team led the ECHL in PP% for 6 of his 9 season in the Coast, for the record.

Meanwhile, Morin Watch 2011 is on. Travis Morin, who has been with the Stars for all three seasons, is on the verge of becoming their all-time leading scorer. With his assist in Sunday's game, he tied Greg Rallo for all-time points at 98 total. With either a goal or an assist, he will surpass Rallo to become the team's leading scorer. Rallo still holds the goal-scoring lead all-time with 45. Morin is not far behind with 42, however.

Look for Scott Glennie and Tomas Vincour to join the lineup tonight and hopefully add even more scoring punch. I would be interested in how easy it will be for Tomas Vincour to adjust to Texas's system, as he will be the first transfer between the two teams this regular season. The word from Dallas and Texas was that it should be easier for the players to translate their systems knowledge from one team to the other. Tonight will show that on the ice for the first time.

Stars injury/call up report:
Tousignant (lower body, day to day)
Larsen (call up)

Website: aeros.com
Blog (official): Pilot to Gunner
Blog (unofficial): The Third Intermission
Twitter: @Houston_Aeros
Twitter: @aero_joe (play-by-play)

3 comments:

  1. Is McCullough somewhere else now? I noticed he wasn't on the roster on opening night? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Texas did not re-sign McCulloch and he is not currently playing anywhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So which D man gets sent to the Coast? I'm guessing it's Coyle or Labarie and my guess is Coyle

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. I have had to disable anonymous commenting due to the overwhelming amount of spam we have been receiving. Using a single account will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.