Monday, January 31, 2011

Texas Stars Report: The Team That Doesn't Blink

The Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D...
The All-Star break has come for the Texas Stars (26-15-3-3, 58 pts, #6 West), and it couldn't have come at a better time. The banged up Stars crawled into the break with a shootout loss against a struggling Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames) club.

Coach Gulutzan pointed to consistency as the goal for the close of the season. Texas needs to ensure that they are not the team on the outside looking in when it comes down to it in the West. The Stars had a chance to seal up a 4 game winning streak this weekend but came out flat and lost in the SO. The Stars are aiming to be the team that "doesn't blink" according to Gulutzan. In the crowded West, you better bring your Visine.
Read more at Defending Big D...

Adrien LeMay Sent to Allen; Krahn Ready for Action

Brent Krahn in last year's Calder Cup Finals. (Credit: Just Sports Photography)
Goaltender Adrien LeMay was returned to the Allen Americans today. Stars goaltender Brent Krahn is now likely to come off the bench. The former first round draft pick has not seen game action since November 10th. Texas is in action again this Friday in Houston. Richard Bachman has started 16 of the last 18 games for Texas, so Krahn will be likely to get some action soon.

Here's the release:
LeMay returns to Allen after his third AHL recall this season. The rookie netminder dressed, but has not made an appearance for Texas this season. In 17 games for the Americans this year, LeMay is 11-2-0 with a 3.10 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

Morin, Gagnon in Dallas

According to Mark Stepneski, Travis Morin and Aaron Gagnon are practicing with the Dallas Stars this morning. With Tom Wandell and Jamie Benn both still out, Gagnon and Morin will continue to play in Dallas for the time being. Official announcement will surely come this afternoon.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Texas Scrapes Point Out of Heat, Falls in SO 5-4

If nothing else, the Texas Stars certainly delivered a thriller to the sellout crowd tonight in Cedar Park tonight. The Stars came back from a two goal deficit to go to overtime and needed more than 60 minutes to decide a winner for the 4th straight home contest. Coach Gulutzan told the team afterwards that they need to be more prepared to play at home in the future, "At home, we have to be a harder team to play against."

Abbotsford took the lead in the first with a power play goal scored from the left wing side. Shots were 12-8 after the first 20 minutes with half of Texas's shots coming on the Stars only power play of the period.

Texas tied it up early in the second period. Aaron Gagnon backhanded the puck past Leland Irving for the 1-1 tie only 25 seconds into the period. Philip Larsen picked up his second of the year to give Texas its first, and only, lead of the game at the seven minute mark. The power play tally was assisted by Travis Morin and Dan Spang.

Abbotsford then went on a tear. The Heat scored the game tying goal at 12:22 with Richard Bachman sprawled out in the crease after getting a puck up in his mask. Bachman was clearly at least stunned on the play and put up no resistance on the second shot. The Heat scored again on a 2-on-1 just eleven seconds later to make it 3-2. Despite the Heat's two goals, they only had 5 shots to Texas's 12 in the period.

The third period opened with Sean Backman in the box for high sticking. The Heat made the most of it, scoring their second power play goal of the night. Ultimately they were 2/3 on the man-advantage this evening.

Down 4-2, Texas got to crashing and banging. "We had no effort in the first 10 minutes [of the game]," said Coach Gulutzan. "But supreme effort in the last 10." The Stars got physical and with just over 4 minutes left, Dan Spang cut the lead in half for the Heat.

With 2:32 left, Jon Rheault was called for goaltender interference after knocking Bachman down as he tried to play a puck at the top of the left wing circle. The lucky turn for Texas gave them a chance for a 6-on-4 advantage, which they cashed in on. Francis Wathier tipped Severin Blindenbacher's point shot to tie the game at four with only 60 seconds left.

The Stars went to overtime but ultimately fell in the shootout, failing to score on four shots while Abbotsford beat Bachman for 2 of 3. Final shots were 39-30 for Texas.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Gagnon-Segal
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Vincour-Roman

Larsen-Lukowich
Benn-Blindenbacher
Spang-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Neal, Stephenson, (scratched)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)
Chupp (upper body)
Fortunus (unspecified injury)

Tonight's attendance was 6,863.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Abbotsford - January 29 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Abbotsford Heat

Texas Stars
26-15-3-2, 57 pts
#5 West Division
v.Abbotsford Heat
21-20-2-5, 49 pts
#5 North Division
January 29th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The Stars and Heat come into tonight's final matchup before the All-Star break on divergent paths. Texas is on a hot streak, winning their past 3 games and starting to make some headway in the West Division. Meanwhile, the Abbotsford Heat have lost their last three games and are in the middle of a season long 10 game road stretch. In four games so far, they are 1-2-0-1.

The Heat were resilient in their most recent game last night in Houston. Abbotsford came back from three separate one goal deficits and salvaged a point from the game. Unfortunately for the Heat, there was a bit of a scary moment in the game. Defenseman Josh Meyers collided with Matt Pelech as Pelech came out of the penalty box. Meyers was taken from the ice on a stretcher with his head immobilized and taken to a local Houston hospital, according to the Heat. Meyers is 2-7-9 in 35 games for the Heat with a minus-4 rating.

The last time these two teams met, it was goal scoring that haunted the Heat. Indeed, goal scoring remains an issue. In the two games Texas played in BC, Abbotsford managed just one goal. They rank last place in goal scoring with 2.19 per game. For comparison, Texas ranks seventeenth at 2.80.

Leland Irving has been a bright spot for the Heat this season, but the Abbotsford Mission Times points out that he can't do it all himself:
...Irving was beaten three times on just 20 shots [against Peoria], pulled for the second time in four games, and the Heat lost 5-1.

While Irving’s play has dipped of late, he’s not solely to blame.

The team in front of him had little, if any jump in its step.

The lack of energy led to bad turnovers, lazy penalties, missed passes and nothing that resembled an offensive attack.

“We had a lot of guys that let the team down tonight,” said Heat captain Quintin Laing after he emerged from a prolonged closed door meeting that succeeded the loss.

“It all comes down to the effort, and the effort wasn’t there so that was the rightful score tonight.”
The Heat shut out the Rivermen the next night and then defeated the Moose, but have since lost 3 straight.

J.P Lamoureux, up from the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies, is taking starts in the AHL after an injury to Matt Keetley. Coach Jim Playfair told the Abby Times of Lamoureux: "I think that Leland has played a lot of hockey, and it’s nice to have a goalie that comes in and gives him some relief and gets a win in the meantime."

Texas has a chance to win four straight for only the second time this season, having previously done it from November 10-20th. The game is expected to be a sellout at the Cedar Park Center. The Stars have a 3-1-1-0 record in regular season sellout games at home all-time.

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)
Chupp (upper body)
Fortunus (unspecified injury)

Website: abbotsfordheat.com
Blog (unofficial): BC Local News: Abby News
Newspaper: Abbotsford Times
Twitter: @abbotsfordheat

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stars Win Tight Game in OKC 2-1

As Scott White said during the second intermission, the Stars need to avoid the three point games as much as possible. In a tight one tonight, Texas managed to avoid the three point game and gain just a little bit of ground in the crowded West Division. With Peoria, Milwaukee and Houston all still in action tonight, we will see in the morning where Texas shakes out for tomorrow's game against the Heat.

The Stars and Barons skated to a scoreless first period despite a power play opportunity for each squad. Texas outshot OKC 12-8 in the frame.

Scoring opened up in the second period with the two teams trading three goals in just under as many minutes. Texas went first with Aaron Gagnon's 10th of the year. The goal came on the third rebound chance by Texas. Wathier and Sceviour picked up the assists on the goal after their rebounds tries failed.

Two minutes later, Teemu Hartikainen potted his 14th of the year to reinvigorate the home crowd and tie it up at one each. Fifty-four seconds later, Colton Sceviour jumped off the bench and put one past Jeff Deslauriers to finish the scoring in the period and ultimately the game. Texas outshot the Barons 16-6 in the middle frame.

The Barons tried their best but the Stars and Richard Bachman held their ground in the last minute of the game to earn all two points and give the Barons none. The win was Texas's 5th of the year over the Barons. The Stars now have a 5-1-0-0 record against OKC and have won thr last 5 matchups after dropping the series' first game 6-1.

There was a lot of chippiness in the game. Cody Chupp left the game in the second after a high hit from Ryan O'Marra. O'Marra was not penalized for the hit, but I imagine it will be reviewed by the league.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Gagnon-Segal
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Vincour-Chupp

Larsen-Lukowich
Benn-Spang
Blindenbacher-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Neal, Stephenson, Roman (scratched)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)
Fortunus (unspecified injury)

Tonight's attendance was 4,339.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Oklahoma City - January 28 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
25-15-3-2, 55 pts
#6 West Division
atOklahoma City Barons
25-16-2-5, 57 pts
#4 West Division
January 28th at 6:05 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Texas faces another divisional opponent to start the weekend before the All-Star break. The Stars face a red hot Barons squad in the second game of a home stand in Oklahoma. The Barons are an impressive 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games, thus earning points in 9 of the last 10. Those 16 points since January 8th have only kept them afloat in the West. However, it has pulled them from #6 to #4 in the West.

The Stars have done well against the rookie Barons this year, going 4-1-0-0 with their only loss coming at OKC in November. The division still remains tight top to bottom with four points between first and seventh.

Two of Texas' forwards, Gagnon and Morin, saw quite a few OKC Barons in Edmonton on Tuesday. The injury-ravaged Oilers have called up Jeff Petry, Linus Omark and Liam Reddox. All three seemed destined to stay in Alberta for quite a while, so Texas will need to concentrate on the Barons' veteran forwards. Alexandre Giroux and Brad Moran lead the Barons with 53 and 42 points respectively.

Martin Gerber continues to be the star in net for OKC with a 16-10-3 mark compared to Jeff Deslauriers at 7-7-2. Gerber has won four of his last five starts and Deslauriers three of his last five.

Speaking of goaltenders, Texas is very close to having one of theirs back in nets. Brent Krahn has started skated in the past week. I would not expect that Adrien LeMay gets any starts for Texas before Krahn's return. He is expected to return sometime soon after the All-Star break.

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)
Fortunus (undisclosed)

Website: okcbarons.com
Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey
Blog (unofficial): Oil Field Hockey
Twitter: @OKCBaronsHockey

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Francis Wathier Added to AHL All-Star Roster

Francis Wathier in a December 20th game against the OKC Barons (Credit: Texas Stars)
The AHL announced today that Francis Wathier has been named as an injury/callup replacement to the AHL All-Star game. Travis Morin will miss the game, presumably staying in Dallas.

It was announced today that Morin has been reassigned to Texas after making his NHL debut in Dallas' 3-1 win over Edmonton last night. He will likely get into the two games this weekend for Texas (at OKC and v. ABB) and then be recalled in time for Tuesday's Dallas game against Vancouver. Because the All-Star game is on Monday in the AHL, that precludes his participation.

Here's the release:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League today announced four additions to the team rosters for the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, to take place Sunday and Monday, Jan. 30 and 31, in Hershey, Pa.

Forward Eric Tangradi and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, both of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, have been added to the Eastern Conference All-Star roster, while Lake Erie Monsters forward Mark Olver and Texas Stars forward Francis Wathier have been added to the Western Conference All-Star squad.

In addition, the AHL announced that Wilkes-Barre’s Dustin Jeffrey (personal), Portland’s Drew Schiestel (injury), Lake Erie’s Ryan Stoa (NHL recall) and Texas’s Travis Morin (NHL recall) will miss the event.

Tangradi, a second-round draft pick by Anaheim in 2007, is tied for the Wilkes-Barre team lead with 17 goals and has totaled 29 points in 40 games for the Penguins in 2010-11. He has also recorded a goal and an assist in nine NHL games with Pittsburgh.

Bortuzzo, a third-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2007, has two goals and 16 assists in 45 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season and is tied for third among AHL defensemen with a plus-17 rating.

Among AHL rookies, Olver ranks second with 18 goals and sixth with 29 points while skating in 45 games for the Monsters. He also has two assists in four NHL contests with Colorado.

Wathier, a member of the Dallas organization since turning pro in 2005, has 12 goals and 10 assists in 42 games for Texas this season. He also appeared in one NHL game with the parent Stars.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beskorowany Named ECHL All-Star

Beskorowany (Credit: Texas Stars)
In case you'd missed it around the interwebs, goalie Tyler Beskorowany has been named to the ECHL All-Star squad. Stars forward tryout Kael Mouillierat was also selected, but will not play due to injury.
The ECHL announced Tuesday afternoon that Idaho Steelheads goaltender Tyler Beskorowany has been added to the league’s all-star lineup in Bakersfield.

Beskorowany will join forward Mark Derlago as a representative for the Steelheads. Forward Kael Mouillierat was also selected as an ECHL All-Star but will not participate in the game due to injury. The game is Wednesday night at 8 PM and can be heard live on KTIK, 1350 AM, in the Treasure Valley.

Beskorowany, 20, has appeared in 13 games for the Steelheads and would lead the league in goals-against average (2.11) and save percentage (.936) if he had played enough games to qualify statistically. The Hanmer, Ontario, native was drafted in the second round of the NHL draft in 2008 by the Dallas Stars and has also played eight games with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League this season, registering a .925 save percentage along the way.

It is the second consecutive season that the Stars organization has provided Idaho with an all-star netminder. Richard Bachman, who is also under contract with the Dallas Stars, represented the Steelheads in last season’s all star game.

Idaho (ECHL) and Texas (AHL) are the primary development affiliates of the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

Texas Stars "On The Ice" Report on ESPN Austin: Scott White

Texas Stars GM Scott White joined ESPN 104.9 The Horn this morning. For reference, the prior conversation concerned a car salesman in Chicago who wore a Green Bay Packers tie to work and was subsequently fired because of it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dallas Calls Morin, Gagnon; Returns Wathier

After injuries last night to Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell, Dallas needs backups. Texas forwards Aaron Gagnon and Travis Morin have been called up to Dallas. Morin is expected to make his NHL debut tomorrow in Edmonton.

Meanwhile, Dallas has returned Francis Wathier. Texas is back in action on Friday in Oklahoma City.

Here's the release:
The Dallas Stars announced on Tuesday that the team has recalled centers Travis Morin and Aaron Gagnon from the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). The team also announced that left wing Francis Wathier has been assigned to the Texas Stars.

Gagnon, 24, has appeared in eight games for Dallas this season, recording two assists, including his first NHL point (Dec. 6 at Columbus). The 5-11, 186-pound center has spent the majority of this season with Texas, skating in 33 games and collecting 16 points (9g, 7a). Gagnon led the Texas Stars in scoring in 2009-10 with 58 points (27g, 31a). The Quesnel, British Columbia, native was signed by Dallas as a free agent on Feb. 2, 2007.

Morin, 27, has recorded 32 points (13g, 19a) in 45 games this season for Texas. The 6-2, 195-pound center played 80 games last season for Texas, finishing second on the team in scoring with 52 points (21g, 31a). Morin was signed as a free agent on July 12, 2010 and was originally selected in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft (ninth round, 263rd overall) by the Washington Capitals.

Morin is Texas’ all-time leading scorer with 50 assists and 84 points in 125 games. He is one of two players to suit up for every game in team history.

Wathier, a 6-4, 208-pound forward from St. Isidore, Ontario, has appeared in one game this season for Dallas on Jan. 21 against Calgary. Wathier, 26, has played in 42 games for Texas so far this season and has recorded 22 points (12g, 10a). In 2009-10, he recorded 40 points (19g, 21a) and 101 penalty minutes in 76 games with Texas. Selected by Dallas in the sixth round (185th overall) at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Wathier made his NHL debut last season with Dallas, appearing in five games and recording five penalty minutes.

Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D: The Division Race Tightens

The Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D...
The Texas Stars (25-15-3-2, 55 pts, #6 West) have been scraping and clawing all week long to get back into the top 4 of the West Division. And yet, no matter how hard they try, they can't gain any ground. Texas collected 5 points in their 8 games this week and is still in 6th place in the West.

However, "6th place in the West" is a little deceiving. As of Tuesday morning, only two points separate first from sixth. Just two more are between sixth and seventh. "There are no easy games," said forward Colton Sceviour. "You play someone who is technically last place in our division, and they have a heck of team and play well. This division is going to come down to the last weekend in the season."

"I don't know if anyone is going to get any separation in this division," said Coach Gulutzan. "We have a lot of teams that are very equal."
Read more at Defending Big D...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rallo Nets 2 As Stars Win in OT, 3-2

Aaron Gagnon tips home a Greg Rallo point shot to take the 1-0 lead in the first period. Ray Sawada blocks out his former roommate, Matt Climie. (Credit: Brian Hackert)
In the crowded West Division, Texas needed to start gaining some separation with the San Antonio Rampage coming to town. "We have to make sure we get our points, however we can get our points to stay in that hunt," said Greg Rallo who had two goals and an assist in the game. With Texas's OT win, there are now 2 points separating 1st place from 6th place. In all, there are four teams with 56 points alone. As Colton Sceviour said on Saturday, this division might come down to the last weekend.

Texas came out shooting in the first period, at one point outshooting San Antonio 15-3. Texas drew first blood on the PP with just over 2 minutes left in the first. Greg Rallo's point shot was going high and wide right when Aaron Gagnon tapped it down on one of the nicest deflections I have ever seen. The deflection, made from practically on the goal line, hit the far and near posts in succession and rattled in to give Texas a 1-0 lead.

The power play giveth and the power play taketh away as well. With Michael Neal in the box, San Antonio got a PP goal of their own. Maxime Goncharov tapped home a puck that dribbled off Bachman's pads and sat on the goal line. Everyone on the ice seemed to have thought that Bachman had the puck. The goal was scored with 8 seconds left in the period. Shots advantage was Texas' with 19 to SA's 13.

The Rampage jumped ahead in the second when Alex Picard roofed a puck over Richard Bachman top shelf from just a foot out. Texas had a few power play opportunities in the period but could not convert to tie it up. Shots were vastly in their favor in the second as well at 13-5.

From there on out, it was all Stars. With time dwindling, it was Greg Rallo with his 14th of the year. Jordie Benn's point shot ticked off a San Antonio shinpad and right to Rallo just left of the net. He tipped it in to tie things up. With just under a minute left in the period, Texas was awarded a power play. The Stars couldn't finish it in the last 57 seconds of the period and went to OT.

And again, it was Greg Rallo. Rallo, from the left wing faceoff dot, fired a laser beam of a shot off a pass from Aaron Gagnon to pick up the second point for the Stars. The power play goal was Rallo's 15th goal of the season and his 3rd point of the night.

In all, Texas threw 40 recorded shots at Matt Climie. San Antonio had 18 blocked shots in the game as well. Matt Climie played extremely well and his play plus blocked shots helped to earn San Antonio the point in regulation. Of the shot count, Aaron Gagnon commented, "We've got to get more pucks in the trenches. We aren't the most skilled team; we don't score highlight reel goals. The more we throw pucks at the net, the better odds we're going to have."

Tonight's lines:
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Gagnon-Segal
Neal-Vincour-Chupp

Larsen-Lukowich
Benn-Spang
Blindenbacher-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Fortunus, Stephenson, Roman (scratched)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Tonight's attendance was 4,339.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - January 24 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
24-15-3-2, 53 pts
#6 West Division
v.San Antonio Rampage
27-18-1-0, 55 pts
#5 West Division
January 24th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas plays only its fourth home game of the new year this evening in Cedar Park Center against the very familiar San Antonio Rampage. The Rampage and Stars have faced off six times of a total ten on the year with Texas getting the upper hand at 4-1-0-1.

The Rampage have been feeling the effects of the injury bug both in Phoenix and San Antonio. Callups to Phoenix include some of the Rampage's top scorers, such as Mikkel Boedker and Brett MacLean. Petr Prucha recently decided to go play for the KHL as well.

San Antonio did welcome back two of their much-missed forwards in Friday's game against Milwaukee. Alexandre Picard, out since January 2nd, and Mathieu Beaudoin, out since December 10th, each had a goal and three assists in the game. With the addition of the returning players, San Antonio has totaled 11 goals in their last two games after failing to register more than two in the five preceding games. Those two players are game-changers for San Antonio.

Speaking of game-changers, the Rampage road power play is #1 in the league at 27.9%. Texas is uncharacteristically ranked #27 on home PK at 79%. Power plays will be a key place for San Antonio to take advantage. Despite the assured chippiness of a game between two divisional rivals, the Stars will be smart to avoid "dumb" penalties and let the Rampage make those mistakes.

For the Stars, Richard Bachman is the only active goalie to start against San Antonio. He is 2-1-1 with a 1.96 GAA and .930 SV%. In the opposing net, former Star Matt Climie is the only active tender to play against Texas. Climie is 2-3-0 against his former team with 2.56 GAA and .918 SV%.

Both Aaron Gagnon and Mathieu Tousignant will return to the lineup tonight for Texas. The Texas offense will need to step up against the high-powered Rampage club. Three of the top four scorers against San Antonio in the season series are inactive for the game (Brunnstrom, Wathier, McCulloch).

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)
Wathier (call up)

Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @SARampage_Voice (play-by-play for SA)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gagnon Assigned to Texas

Just to make it official, Aaron Gagnon has been sent down from the Dallas Stars to Texas. No word on if Wathier is coming as well. Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas reports that Dallas is completely "healthy". Dallas and Texas are both in action tomorrow night against Vancouver and San Antonio, respectively.

Here's the release:
The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has assigned center Aaron Gagnon to the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Gagnon, 24, has appeared in eight games for Dallas this season, recording two assists, including his first NHL point (Dec. 6 at Columbus). The 5-11, 186-pound center has spent the majority of this season with Texas, skating in 32 games and collecting 14 points (8g, 6a). Gagnon led the Texas Stars in scoring in 2009-10 with 58 points (27g, 31a) through 77 games. The Quesnel, British Columbia, native was signed by Dallas as a free agent February 2, 2007.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stars Send Sellout Crowd Home Happy With 2-1 Win

The building was packed to the gills, and the Texas Stars were ready to impress the hometown fans with a victory over 2nd place Milwaukee. In a hard, grinding game, the Stars defeat the Admirals in the shootout by a score of 2-1. "We're both similar teams with similar systems so it's a battle back and forth all night," said goaltender Richard Bachman, who had 28 saves on 29 shots and earned second star honors.

With the two points earned in the game, Texas gained the right to stay in 6th place. Chicago defeated Grand Rapids this evening to win as well and tie with Texas in points. The Ads slipped past Peoria with the one point from tonight's game to make it to first place by virtue of games played. Between first place Milwaukee and seventh place Chicago, there are now three whole points.

"There are no easy games," said Sceviour. "You play someone who is technically last place in our division and they have a heck of team and play well. This division is going to come down to the last weekend in the season."

Texas opened the scoring in the second period with a great backhand goal by Greg Rallo. The forward's 13th goal of the season came off the rebound from a Sean Backman shot that Rallo buried five hole. Severin Blindenbacher, in his second game since coming back from injury, collected the secondary assist.

The only other regulation scoring came in the third for Milwaukee. The Ads tied up the game with a power play goal, technically. As the Stars' Scott Ford entered the ice from the box, Roman Josi scored from the right wing circle to make it 1-1. The play was a result of a botched D-to-D pass between Larsen and Lukowich. The goal, which beat Bachman high glove side, was assisted by Blum and Klasen.

The tight hard checking game continued throughout. Texas failed to capitalize on five power play opportunities against the bottom 10 ranked Milwaukee PK. Special teams have to get going in tight games because goaltending won't always bail you out. Tonight, Bachman did.

The game ultimately went to the shootout. Colton Sceviour got things started with his "signature move", the forehand to backhand and roof it. "In junior, I think I had 1 goal on 25 attempts. I'll take the good ones while I can." Ray Sawada also scored on a similarly slick move while Bachman stopped 4 of 5 to seal the win at 2-1.

Texas is in action again on Monday for the 3rd of 10 straight divisional games. Time to gain some ground for these Stars, who cannot afford to give up "loser points" as they did twice this week.

Tonight's lines:
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Vincour-Sawada
Gazdic-Roman-Segal
Neal-Chupp

Larsen-Lukowich
Benn-Fortunus
Blindenbacher-Spang
Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stephenson (scratched)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Tonight's attendance was 6,863, a sellout. The Stars are now 3-1-1-0 in sellout regular season games all-time.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - 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

Friday, January 21, 2011

Aeros Clip Stars 3-1

Texas couldn't get an important two points tonight against a divisional foe. Tonight's game in Houston marked the first of 10 straight divisional games for the Stars. They will look to improve tomorrow night against Milwaukee.

Texas and Houston got it started early with some fisticuffs. Ray Sawada and Jarod Palmer dropped the gloves just 3:35 into the first, but it was Texas striking first on the scoreboard. Recent callup Michael Neal scored his first AHL on the power play 9:41 into the game. Assists went to Sceviour and Fortunus.

Houston struck back six minutes later at even-strength when Patrick O'Sullivan behind the net found Casey Wellman to the left of Richard Bachman. The puck found the twine to tie it at one after 20. Shots were near even with a 11-10 advantage for Houston.

The Aeros got the only goal of the second period, putting one past Bachman at the 5:05 mark of the period on the power play. Casey Wellman picked up his 2nd point of the night with the primary assist on the play. The period ended with another slight advantage for Houston on shots at 21-19 in total.

The second period tally for Houston would turn out to be the game winner as Houston continued to press on the forecheck and bring a strong trap game through the third period. An empty netter by captain Jon DiSalvatore closed up everything with 15 seconds to go in the game.

Tonight's lines:
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Neal-Vincour-Chupp
Sceviour-Roman-Sawada
Gazdic-Segal

Benn-Fortunus
Larsen-Lukowich
Blindenbacher-Ludwig
Spang

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stephenson (scratched)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Tonight's attendance was 6,309.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Houston - January 21 2011

Luke Gazdic on FOX 7 Austin

Aired last night at 9:50 PM. When I tweeted to @foxaustin about the interview they replied:

That's good stuff. Here's the interview:

Gameday Preview: Stars at Houston Aeros

Texas Stars
23-14-3-2, 51 pts
#5 West Division
atHouston Aeros
24-18-1-3, 52 pts
#4 West Division
January 21st at 7:35 PM
Toyota Center, Houston, TX

For the first time since late December, Texas faces off with Houston. The Aeros rank above the Stars in the standings for the first time in a while. The Stars, however, have 4 total games in hand over the Aeros and posses the 3rd best points percentage in the West Division.

The two teams play each other 12 times this year, with half of those contests already taking place. Last year, Texas owned Houston with an 8-3-0-1 record; this year, it has been less than good with a 1-3-1-1 record and an 0-2-0-1 record at the Toyota Center.

Houston has been hot recently. They had a four game winning streak going before falling to the suddenly hot Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday in the shootout. The Aeros are an interesting dichotomy on the home special teams. They rank 26th in the league in home power play but 4th in the league in penalty kill at home. If there are going to be any power play goals in the game, they will be Houston's. Texas ranks second to last in the league in road power play and 26th on the away PK.

For Houston, there has been a bit of a goaltending carousel. Injuries to both Niklas Backstrom and Jose Theodore necessitated the callup of Anton Khudobin to Minnesota. Anton played in 4 games, going 2-1-0 with a 1.59 GAA and .942 SV%. In the meantime, Matt Hackett and Josh Tordjman tended net. Tordjman has since been sent back to Bakersfield and Khudobin returned. I would expect him to get this start.

For Texas, it's going to be a crazy roster. With Wathier, Gagnon and Tousignant unavailable, Texas will have 11 forwards and no scratches up front. The thought here is that Texas will probably play 7 defensemen, possibly with one jumping to a forward line. Neither Wathier nor Gagnon played in last night's game in Edmonton, but it is unlikely either would be back in Houston in time for the game even if they were sent back this morning.

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

Website: aeros.com
Blog (unofficial): The Third Intermission
Twitter: @Houston_Aeros

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Texas Stars "On The Ice" report on ESPN Austin: Richard Bachman

Texas Stars goaltender Richard Bachman joined ESPN 104.9 The Horn this afternoon.

Tousignant Suspended; Michael Neal Called Up

Stars forward Mathieu Tousignant celebrating a goal in a game against Oklahoma City on Novermber 30th, 2010. (Credit Byrd/Texas Stars)

The AHL announced today that Mathieu Tousignant has been suspended for two games for his actions in the game against Grand Rapids on Tuesday. Tousignant will miss this weekend's games against Houston and Milwaukee.

The hit occurred in neutral ice late in the third period. Griffins' captain Jamie Tardif and Tousignant were skating out to the Griffins' end of the ice shoulder-to-shoulder. Tardif attempted to cut across Tousignant and Mathieu lowered his shoulder and apparently made contact with Tardif's head as the primary contact point.

We've heard a lot about headshots in the NHL so this suspension for the head as the primary point of contact does make sense. I personally missed the hit live because it trailed the play. Tardif took a roughing minor for retaliating after the hit.

As a result of the suspension and callups yesterday to Gagnon and Wathier, Texas is down 3 forwards. The Stars recalled Michael Neal, brother of James Neal, from Idaho today to remedy that.

Working off the list of forwards from the last game, here's what we have now:

Wathier-Gagnon-Segal
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Vincour-Chupp
Roman-Neal

That leaves Texas with 11 forwards. Texas will need to call someone else up (King, most likely) or play with a 7th defenseman (Stephenson or Blindenbacher).

Here's the release from the AHL:
The American Hockey League announced today that Texas Stars center Mathieu Tousignant has been suspended for two (2) games as a result of his actions in a game vs. Grand Rapids on Jan. 18.

Tousignant was suspended under the provisions of AHL Rule 28.1 (supplementary discipline).

Rinaldo [sic] will miss Texas’s games on Friday (Jan. 21) at Houston and Saturday (Jan. 22) vs. Milwaukee.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gagnon, Wathier Called Up To Dallas

Wathier dukes it out with Plante of the OKC Barons in a November 30th contest. (Credit: Byrd/Texas Stars)
Mark Stepneski reports this morning that Aaron Gagnon and Francis Wathier have been called up to Dallas. Adam Burish and Brian Sutherby are on the mend for Dallas, which necessitated the callup.

Gagnon has played in 7 NHL games this year with 2 assists to his name. Wathier has yet to dress for a Dallas game this year but played in 5 games last year.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stars Assign Beskorowany to Idaho

Beskorowany in warmups before a game in Milwaukee. (Credit: Chris Jerina)

As I hypothesized yesterday, Tyler Beskorowany was sent down to Idaho today before the game with Grand Rapids. This was nothing about Beskorowany's play at all. This was a way to get him more playing time, as he has only gotten two starts in the last 30 days. In Idaho, he will get a chance to develop at a better pace with more minutes.

Here's the release:
Prior to the game, the Dallas Stars reassigned goaltender Tyler Beskorowany to the Idaho Steelheads. Beskorowany posted a 1.85 goals against average and stopped 202 of 213 shots (.948%) in his last six games (4-2-0). Overall, Beskorowany is 4-4-0 with a 2.64 goals against average and a .925 save percentage with Texas. In ten games with Idaho this season, he posted a 4-3-1 mark with a 2.27 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.

The Dallas Stars drafted Beskorowany in the second round (#59 overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder spent the 2009-10 season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. In 62 appearances, Beskorowany posted a 29-25-4 mark with a 3.52 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. For his OHL career, the Hammer, ONT native went 52-56-17 with a 3.69 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Griffins Outlast Stars in 4-3 OT Win

Despite a wide shot margin and seven power play opportunities, the Texas Stars dropped tonight's game in overtime to the Grand Rapids Griffins. The OT loss gave the Stars one point in the standings, which was crucial to maintaining their buoyancy in the West Division. After tonight's game, the standings have just 5 points between first and seventh.

However, Texas has games in hand against most of the teams in the division. The Stars have to start putting streaks together instead of "win one, lose one" to start gaining ground. "I don't know if anyone is going to get any separation in this division," said Coach Gulutzan. "We have a lot of teams that are very equal."

Grand Rapids got on the board first in this one. "The first five or eight minutes we weren't very good," said Gulutzan. Indeed just 4:25 in, Jamie Tardif scored to make it 1-0 as Texas got hemmed into their own zone one too many times. The Stars quickly got one back though off the stick of Brandon Segal. Segal did some independent contracting and took the puck along the goal line and finished with a backhand to tie it at one. The power play tally was assisted by Gagnon and Spang.

Texas wasted a 71 second long 5-on-3 opportunity in the late period and went to the room tied at 1. Grand Rapids had the only tally of the 2nd period, with a shot going 5 hole on Richard Bachman from the low left wing circle. Texas left the period down 2-1 despite a 22-12 shot advantage.

That advantage only expanded in the third. The Stars bombed 17 shots on Pearce in the third, trying to gain the lead. Early in the period, they at least got it even on a point shot from Jordie Benn. The tally, assisted by Sawada and Tousignant, was Benn's first AHL goal and tied the game at 2. Texas continued to pour it on 5 minutes later when Tousignant tipped a Brad Lukowich point shot at the net to make it 3-2. The Stars had their first lead of the night.

Despite a flurry of shots from the Stars, that would be the end of the goal scoring. "Their goalie played very well tonight," commented Tousignant. "We got a couple of chances that we didn't capitalize on." A call for hooking to Brandon Segal gave Grand Rapids a power play, which Jordan Owens made count. Owens tapped in a puck that deflected off traffic to tie the game at 3 and send it to OT.

The Griffins finished it out in the OT period with another goal from Owens. Texas finished with 42 shots in the game to the Griffins' 18. Fourteen of those were stopped by Bachman, as opposed to 39 by Jordan Pearce.

Texas is in action again on Friday against Houston, a key divisional matchup that will give them the chance to gain separation. However, something tells me it may not be until April that we know the playoff fates of many in the West.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Gagnon-Segal
Backman-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Vincour-Chupp

Benn-Fortunus
Larsen-Lukowich
Spang-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Beskorowany, Stephenson, Roman (scratched)
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Tonight's attendance was 4,412.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Grand Rapids - January 18 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
23-14-2-2, 50 pts
#5 West Division
v.Grand Rapids Griffins
19-19-1-4, 43 pts
#6 North Division
January 18th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas is back in action at home after a mostly successful road trip to the state of Illinois. The Grand Rapids Griffins come to visit the Stars for what is only their second home game in the new year.

The Stars sport a surprisingly poor record against the Griffins historically (3-5-0-0) and have split the season series thus far 1-1. Both game came in the same weekend, being the Friday and Sunday games in a 3-in-3 that also saw a game against Milwaukee. Tyler Beskorowany started both games with Richard Bachman in Dallas to spell an ailing Kari Lehtonen.

Special teams will be a key to the game tonight. Grand Rapids ranks in the top 5 in the league in PIMs per game at 21.07. Texas has one of the hottest home power plays in the league at 20%. If the Stars can goad the Griffins into taking dumb penalties and take advantage of those opportunities, the night will go well.

However, if Texas is the one in the box, the penalty kill will have to be stout. Penalty killing for the Stars has been a liability this season with the home mark at 79.7%, ranking 7th worst in the league. This is uncharacteristic for a Glen Gulutzan coached squad with his Wranglers and last year's Stars being ranked in at least the top half of the league if not better.

Texas needs these points tonight to stay competitive in the West. While the Stars have the 3rd best points percentage in the West, there lack of games-played has slotted them at 5th place. The key to having games in hand is actually winning them. When you win those games, you gain ground and that's what Texas must do. Just five points separate 1st from 7th place. Without the advantage of two points tonight, Texas could fall as far as 7th place before they are in action again on Friday.

Stars injury/call up report:
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Website: griffinshockey.com
Twitter: @GriffinsHockey
Blog: Griffins Hockey on MLive.com

Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D: The Illinois Road Trip

The Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D...
The Texas Stars (23-14-2-2, #5 West) struck it out on the road this week, visiting all three teams located in lovely and scenic Illinois over a 4 day stretch.

As you're surely aware, Texas didn't return to Texas with all the played they left with. Fabian Brunnstrom is now property of the Toronto Maple Leafs and will likely play for the Marlies. It is a shame for Texas fans that he had to go to settle salary issues in Dallas. He had just recently begun to pick up his play, earning 7 points in his last 6 games as a Star including a 4 game goal streak.

To 'replace' him we have Brandon Segal, who was the other sacrificial lamb to the salary dumping necessary to acquire Jamie Langenbrunner. I haven't gotten a chance to see Segal play yet in person, but he has not been too much of a stand out player yet. He collected an empty net goal in Saturday's game and is minus-1 so far. There are high hopes for the winger though, as he collected 52 points in 69 games only two seasons ago with the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning).

In addition to all of the player transfer hub-bub, Travis Morin was selected to start the AHL All-Star Game. Morin has very quietly been having a standout season, currently at 13-19-32 and a plus-11 rating. Morin was signed by Dallas over the summer as an AHL depth guy but might turn into something more if he keeps up this play. Two years ago, Morin was an ECHL All-Star. NHL All-Star in two years?
Read more at Defending Big D...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blue Liner Monast to Idaho; G LeMay Called Up

Adrien LeMay in warmups for the Stars during a December 11th game in Milwaukee. (Credit: Chris Jerina)

Texas has made a few moves today in the system. First, defenseman Guillaume Monast has been sent down to Idaho. Personally, this signals good things for Severin Blindenbacher's condition. Blindenbacher was skating last week, and the send-down of Monast could mean that he is ready for action this week.

The call-up of LeMay is a little more curious. With the addition, Texas now has four goaltenders on their roster: Bachman, Krahn, Beskorowany, and LeMay. Remember that Krahn is still on the roster since the AHL does not have an injured reserve system due to a lack of salary cap.

It is unlikely that Texas will continue to carry 4 goalies, which means someone is either injured or being sent down. Richard Bachman would be the first one to look at since he didn't play in the last game, but that's unlikely as he did sit on the bench in Peoria. The Stars would have signed an emergency backup if he had been injured. That was simply a case of giving Beskorowany a quality start.

And that's probably the issue: quality starts. Look at Tyler Beskorowany's stats in the AHL. The second rounder from Dallas has played a total of 119 minutes in the last 30 days. Granted both were wins, but I've discussed before both here and at DefendingBigD.com that a player like Beskorowany needs quality minutes to continue to develop. That's what Richard Bachman got last year in Idaho and look what that's done for his development.

It is uncertain at this juncture what the situation will be for tomorrow night's game against the Griffins. If Beskorowany is sent down, it's nothing against him; he just need starts.

Here's your press release:
The Texas Stars announced on Monday that defenseman Guillaume Monast has been reassigned to the Idaho Steelheads, Texas’ ECHL Affiliate. The Stars also announced that goalie Adrien LeMay has been recalled from the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League.

Monast has played in three games for Texas over two separate recalls from Idaho. He has yet to register a point with the Stars this season. In 30 games for Idaho this year, Monast has one goal and four assists while adding 20 penalty minutes. The Quebec native spent his rookie season with Idaho, setting up six goals in 68 games played, helping the Steelheads reach the 2010 Kelly Cup Finals. Monast attended training camp in Dallas and in Texas each of the last two years.

LeMay returns to Texas for the third time this season. The rookie netminder has not made his AHL debut. In 17 games for the Americans, LeMay is 11-2-0 with a 3.10 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stars Pick Up Important Two Points Against Peoria In 3-1 Win

Texas closed out their three game Illinois road trip with a win in Peoria to gain 4 of 6 total points in the roadie. The Stars' two points from tonight's game were crucial to keeping pace in the tight West Division. The Barons, who were tied with the Stars for 5th place coming into the day's action, also picked up two points, and Texas's win kept them even with OKC.

The Stars never trailed in the game as Philip Larsen opened the scoring with his first professional goal in North America. Colton Sceviour's cross-ice feed found the stick of Larsen who potted the goal just past the halfway mark of the first. Greg Rallo added onto the lead on the power play to end the period, and Texas had a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.

The lead was one they would not relinquish. Graham Mink scored for the Rivermen in the middle frame, but Texas emerged victorious thanks to a gargantuan effort from rookie netminder Tyler Beskorowany, who stopped 30 of 31 and earned first star honors on the night. Brandon Segal sealed the deal with an empty netter in the last 80 seconds of play. The goal was Segal's first with the Texas Stars.

Tonight's lines:
Lines were not recorded tonight, as I could not watch the game live.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Monast, Stephenson, Roman (scratched)
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Tonight's attendance was 5,593.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Peoria - January 15 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at Peoria Rivermen

Texas Stars
22-12-2-2, 48 pts
#5 West Division
atPeoria Rivermen
25-12-2-1, 53 pts
#1 West Division
January 15th at 7:05 PM
Carver Arena, Peoria, IL

Ah, the Peoria Rivermen. Remember these guys? Texas hasn't faced the Rivermen since October. In a weird twist of AHL scheduling fate, the Stars played Peoria three times in October, all in Texas, and will now close out the season with three more games against Peoria in January, February and April.

The Rivermen have been racking up wins ever since the start of the season. When Texas last played Peoria, they were 7-3-0-0. This means they are 18-9-2-1 since. That's a pretty good clip but clearly the hot start helped.

Also helping has been the Rivermen's play in net. Rookie goaltender Jake Allen, who shut out the Stars earlier this year, has been on a tear. The first year netminder was recently named as a starter on the AHL All-Star team after collecting a 15-4-0 record with a 2.04 GAA and .937 SV%. Ben Bishop is no slouch either. The 6 foot 7 inch tender is 10-10-1 with a 2.51 GAA and .914 SV%. The stingy pair has averaged 2.41 GA/game, top 3 in the league.

On offense, the Rivermen are led by some talented veterans. T.J. Hensick and Graham Mink lead the squad with 33 and 29 points, respectively. Hensick is averaging 1.18 points per game, and Mink is over 100 PIMs in addition to his points. They are two players to certainly watch out for.

It will be difficult for the Stars to get out of any offensive slumps against this team, especially if Allen starts. Texas fans will have to hope that the lack of goal scoring in the Rockford game does not follow them to Peoria.

Stars injury/call up report:
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

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

Friday, January 14, 2011

IceHogs Best Texas 3-1 in Illinois

I was unable to watch tonight's game live, so I had to copy in the Stars press release below. Texas could not get it done on offense tonight, not scoring until Colton Sceviour beat Hannu Toivonen for the Stars first goal in the third period. Toivonen defelected 32 of 33 Stars shots and earned the first star of the game. Rockford came back with the game winner just over a minute later. The empty netter sealed the dea despite Texas's 6-on-4 advantage.
The Texas Stars (22-14-2-2, 48 points) were defeated by the Rockford IceHogs (17-16-1-4, 39 points) 3-1 on Friday night at the Rockford Metro Centre. Rockford rookie Jeremy Morin scored 2:47 into the third period and forward Ryan Potulny added an empty-net goal late in the third period to seal the Hogs second straight win over Texas. Rockford goalie Hannu Toivonen (8-7-3) made 29 saves for the win, while Texas goalie Richard Bachman (14-8-2) stopped 30 of 32 Rockford shots in the loss. Texas right wing Colton Sceviour had the lone Stars goal, as the team dropped to 11-7-0-1 on the road this season. Texas will conclude a three-game road swing in Peoria on Saturday at 7:05 PM.

After a scoreless first period, Rockford opened the scoring 2:10 into the second period. Rookie forward Kyle Beach snapped a wrist shot from the right-wing circle, beating Texas goalie Richard Bachman for his eighth goal of the year. Left wing Rob Klinkhammer set up the play for the 1-0 Rockford lead.

In the third period, the Stars crept back into the game at 1:38 of the final frame. Right wing Colton Sceviour scored off a rebound, putting in his eighth goal of the year for the 1-1 score. Forward Greg Rallo and defenseman Maxime Fortunus each had an assist on the Stars goal. The IceHogs moved back in front 49-seconds later after Jeremy Morin scored his eighth goal of the year for a 2-1 Rockford lead. Morin finished off a cross-ice feed from Mathis Olimb to move the Hogs ahead of Texas at 2:47. Ryan Potulny scored his tenth goal of the year, an empty-net tally at 19:25 for the 3-1 final.


Tonight's lines:
Lines were not recorded tonight, as I could not watch the game live.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Monast, Stephenson, Chupp (scratched)
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)

Tonight's attendance was not recorded in the game sheet at time of publishing.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Rockford - January 14 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
22-13-2-2, 48 pts
#4 West Division
atRockford IceHogs
16-16-1-4, 37 pts
#8 West Division
January 14th at 7:05 PM
Rockford MetroCentre, Rockford, IL

Texas continues its three game road trip with the third and final visit on the season to the Rockford MetroCentre. The Stars will play the IceHogs a total of six times this year with the first three being played in Rockford and the last three in Texas. Tonight's game closes the season series in Rockford.

Historically, Texas has faired well against the IceHogs, carrying a 7-3-0-0 record in the regular season all-time and an 11-3-0-0 record when you include the playoffs. The IceHogs did hand the Stars one of their worst losses of the season, however, back in December. With Richard Bachman called up and an emergency backup on the bench, Tyler Beskorowany was pressed into service and allowed 8 goals to Texas's 5. Bachman has actually not faced the IceHogs yet this season, with Brent Krahn taking the other start and winning 4-3 in the shootout.

Either Backman or Chupp will be coming off the bench for Texas with the trade of Fabian Brunnstrom. Brunnstrom is an unfortunate loss for this Texas squad. His line with Morin and Rallo was really clicking and Fabian himself had seven points in his last six games. My bet is that Backman comes off the bench for Texas tonight. If you'll remember, Scott McCulloch had a lot of early season success with Morin and Rallo before being injured. With the skill of Morin and Rallo, my guess is that anyone could get plugged into that line and have success, not to discount Brunnstrom or McCulloch.

Rockford currently occupies the West Division cellar, but that doesn't mean too much with the competitiveness of the West. The IceHogs' .500 points percentage would put them right in the thick of the playoff race in the North and East Divisions.

Leading the IceHogs in points is a defenseman, Brian Connelly (4-20-24), which I find troubling for the squad. They rank in the bottom ten of the league in scoring per game. Leading scorers against Texas for Rockford include Jeff Taffe, Ryan Potulny, and Shawn Lalonde, with most of the points coming in the lopsided 8-5 loss. Dan Spang leads all Stars in points with 2 goals and no assists against Rockford. In total, 5 players are tied at 2 points against Rockford, including Vincour, Roman, Chupp and Sceviour.

Stars injury/call up report:
Blindenbacher (upper body)
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)

Website: icehogs.com
Blog (unofficial): Rockford IceHogs Fan Blog
Twitter: @goicehogs

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stars Trade Brunnstrom for Stefanovich of Toronto

Brunnstrom in a 12/11 game against Milwaukee. (Credit: Chris Jerina)
Dallas has traded Fabian Brunnstrom to the Toronto Maple Leads for right winger Mikhail Stefanovich. Stefanovich is currently playing the KHL (Russia), and I would bet will never wear a Stars jersey. It looks like this was a salary dump: plain and simple.

Fabian Brunnstrom, despite picking up points in the AHL, had run out of time to develop inside the Stars organization. With the pick up Jamie Langenbrunner's salary, Dallas needed a salary dump. Fabian's one-way salary of $675,000 in the AHL wasn't cutting it for the Stars, and they got him off the books.

It is disappointing for fans in Cedar Park, where Brunnstrom had just recently begun to catch on fire. After a slow start, Brunnstrom had seven points in his last six games. His lineup with Morin and Rallo was really clicking, but now Coach Gulutzan will have to find another winger for the two. It feels a lot like the Ivan Vishnevskiy trade to me, because of the fact that Texas gets nothing in return. At least with Vish, Dallas got Lehtonen. In this case, there is no silver lining for Texas hockey fans.

Here's the presser:
The Dallas Stars announced on Thursday that the club has traded left wing Fabian Brunnstrom to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for right wing Mikhail Stefanovich.

Brunnstrom, 25, has played in 37 games for the Texas Stars, Dallas’ primary affiliate in the AHL, posting 21 points (11g, 10a). He has played 99 career NHL games, all with Dallas, collecting 40 points (19g, 21a). The Jonstrop, Sweden, native agreed to a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $675,000 on July 23, 2010 with Dallas. Brunnstom was originally signed as a free agent by Dallas on May 8, 2008.

Stefanovich, 21, has played 15 games with Minsk Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), recording one goal and two penalty minutes. The Minsk, Belarus, native, dressed in two games for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL) going scoreless and appeared in four games for the Reading Royals (ECHL), collecting five points (3g, 2a) this season.

The 6-2, 202-pound right wing skated three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the Quebec Remparts, tallying 210 points (106g, 104a) in 171 games for the club. Stefanovich also recorded 36 points (18g, 18a) in 36 career QMJHL playoff games with Quebec. He was Toronto’s third round selection (98th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Defenseman Larsen Assigned to Texas

Philip Larsen in a game against the Peoria Rivermen on October 26th. (Credit: Brian Hackert)

After a short stint in the NHL to spell two injured defenseman, Dallas has returned Philip Larsen to the Texas Stars. I would imagine this means that Guilliaume Monast will be headed to Idaho as a consequence, as the Stars will now have 8 healthy defensemen.

Here's the presser:
The Dallas Stars announced on Thursday that the club has assigned defenseman Philip Larsen to the Texas Stars, Dallas’ primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Larsen, 21, has skated in six games for Dallas this season, collecting two assists. He has spent the majority of 2010-11 with Texas, playing in 29 games, recording 13 assists and eight penalty minutes with a +7 plus/minus rating. The Esbjerg, Denmark, native made his NHL debut last season with Dallas, dressing in two games and posting one assist.

Larsen skated in 116 games from 2006-2010 for Vastra Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, tallying 27 points (3g, 24a). The 6-1, 183-pound defenseman was drafted by Dallas in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

AHL All-Star Game to Air Live on FOX Sports Southwest

Austin hockey fans will be treated to the AHL All-Star game live on FOX Sports Southwest for the second straight year. The game, which will feature Travis Morin as a starter, will air on January 31st at 6:00 PM. Both FOX Sports Southwest and FOX Sports Houston will show the game.

No locally available channels will air the Skills competition on the 30th. If you have access to some sort of special sports package, you can find the list of channels where the skills game will be available here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stars Win The Day 4-2 Over Chicago

The Texas Stars and Richard Bachman knew that they needed two points today. Highlight reel saves from Bachman and opportunistic offense from everyone else gave the Stars those two points in the franchise's first day game at home or away. With the win, Texas stays ahead of Chicago and Houston and continues to control their own destiny in the West Division.

The Stars and Wolves skated to a scoreless first period where the goaltenders shined brightly. Chicago led Texas in shots at the end of the period 9-8.

The second period opened up the scoring. With the Wolves on the power play, Aaron Gagnon took a shorthanded shot that went back the other way and led to the first goal for Jared Ross in the first minute of the period. With Texas again on the penalty kill, Nigel Dawes collected a rebound off Richard Bachman to score the Wolves' second PP goal of the night to make it 2-0.

Fabian Brunnstrom could not get a penalty shot to go in the middle of the period, but Texas would not leave the period empty handed. Offensive defenseman Dan Spang scored his first goal since December 8th to cut the lead to 2-1 for the Wolves with 88 seconds left. Assists on the goal went to Brunnstrom and Rallo.

I would love to hear the speech Coach Gulutzan gave during the second intermission because Texas came out positively on fire in the third period. Fabian Brunnstrom opened up the scoring, tying the game at 2 just over 100 seconds into the game. Assists came from Morin and Lukowich. Less than 50 seconds later, Colton Sceviour tipped a Maxime Fortunus point shot for a 3-2 lead just 2:32 into the third. Mathieu Tousignant picked up the second assist.

The Stars killed off a late Luke Gazdic slashing minor and continued to swarm to the puck, as they did all day. Fabian Brunnstrom collected his third point of the day with an empty netter to seal the deal. Maxime Fortunus picked up his second assist of the night.

It was a quality win for the Stars, who now have sole possession of 4th place in the West. They scored four unanswered goals to win the game and that's a character builder for the young team. They will now travel to nearby Rockford for Friday's game against the 8th place IceHogs.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Gagnon-Segal
Brunnstrom-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Roman-Vincour

Fortunus-Benn
Lukowich-Monast
Spang-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Stephenson, Backman, Chupp (scratched)
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)
Larsen (call up)

Tonight's attendance was 11,626.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - January 12 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at Chicago Wolves

Texas Stars
21-13-2-2, 46 pts
#4 West Division
v.Chicago Wolves
21-17-2-2, 46 pts
#5 West Division
January 12th at 11:00 AM
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL

After a previously planned day game against the Chicago Wolves in Cedar Park was moved to the evening, Texas will take the ice for their first day game in team history. Chicago's day game is due to school field trips to see the game. Expect a loud and rowdy crowd full of screechy voices.

The Wolves and Stars have faced each other three times so far this season with Texas winning each match. In today's game, both teams come in with two game losing streaks in hand with Chicago falling at home to Hamilton and Toronto over the weekend.

Texas and Chicago are tied in the West Division standing at 46 points as of today, but the Stars hold the edge with four games in hand. The two teams' records are identical save for Chicago's four extra regulation losses. Texas will do a lot for their chances in the standings if they can hand Chicago another regulation loss, avoiding giving a point to a West Division competitor. With things stacked up so tightly in the West, Texas must win to hold on to fourth place. After tonight's game between Houston and Rockford, which has to favor the Aeros, Texas could fall as far as 6th place in the West with a loss and an Aeros win.

This year's Chicago squad gets it done with offense, ranking #9 in the league with 3.29 goals per game. The top 5 scorers for Chicago have all individually outscored the #1 scorer on the Stars. However, Chicago's penchant for offense has consequences: their goals against numbers are abysmal. The Wolves rank 28th in the league in goals against with 3.38 per game.

Additionally, two of the Wolves' top scorers will be missing in tomorrow's game with both Tim Stapleton and Spencer Machacek called up to Atlanta. Still in the lineup though will be top scorer Darren Haydar, who is a point per game player for Chicago. Another storyline is the wide variance of plus minus on the team. Jason Krog sports a minus-16 despite 39 points. Andrew Deveaux is similarly challenged at minus-14 with 22 points. Bright spots include Ryan Garbutt and Mark Matheson at plus-15 and plus-12, respectively

In nets, the familiar duo of MacIntyre (4-3-1, 3.39 GAA, .888 SV%) and Mannino (12-9-1, 3.10, .896) still remains from last year. Early surprise star Ed Pasquale (5-6-0, 3.16, .892) lost his shine and has been assigned to the ECHL.

Stars injury/call up report:
Blindenbacher (upper body)
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)
Larsen (call up)

Website: chicagowolves.com
Blog (official): UnMic'd with Jason Shaver
Message Board: Wolves Forum
Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves
Twitter: @theshaves (Wolves PxP)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Texas' Morin Selected to Start AHL All-Star Game

Morin in a game against Oklahoma City this year. (Credit: Byrd/Texas Stars)
Texas Stars center Travis Morin has been selected to start the AHL All-Star Game for the Western Conference. The Minnesota native, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, will be on a line with Alexandre Giroux and David Deshairnais to start the game.

Morin is having a career year with 13-17-30 through 38 games, leading all Texas scorers. His skill and execution have mostly been under the radar for Stars fans, however. Quietly, he has put together one of the most complete games in the Stars lineup. Luckily, he was appropriately recognized by the league today for his excellent play this year.

Morin was signed to a one-year two-way contract with Dallas this summer. The All-Star game will take place January 31st at 6:00 PM CST. Television plans have not yet been announced.

Full roster announcement can be found on TheAHL.com.

Brandon Segal Clears Waivers, Heads to Texas

As we discussed yesterday, Brandon Segal's two-way contract made him an easy decision to send down to the minors. With the addition of Jamie Langenbrunner, Dallas decided to put the winger on waivers.

Today, he cleared and has been assigned to the Texas Stars. I am assuming he will meet the team in Illinois for the Chicago game. Segal is a right wing, which is a position that Texas is not short at (unlike Dallas). I have no idea who this knocks out of the lineup for Texas. Sean Backman or Cody Chupp, who are on the bubble between the AHL and ECHL, could be the one to go to Idaho or Allen. Chupp is not Dallas's property, so he might be more likely to make the jump than Backman, who is.

Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D: Point Streak Snapped

The Texas Stars Report on Defending Big D...
It was a tough week for your Texas Stars (21-13-2-2, #4 West) to say the least. Coming into the week with a seven game point streak, expectations were high for the club. Winger Fabian Brunnstrom had a 3 game goal scoring streak going and two teams that were easily beatable were up next on the schedule.

Instead, Texas failed to gain points in either contest and has fallen from #2 in the West to #4 in the West in a matter of 7 days. The West Division of the AHL is the most competitive by far. For example, if you were to take any team, first through eighth, and place them in the North Division, they would all qualify for the playoffs. At one point this week, only five points separated the first place team from the fifth place team.
Read more at Defending Big D...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Segal on Waivers for Dallas; Possible Texas Assignment

ESPN Dallas is now reporting that Brandon Segal has been placed on waivers following the acquisition of Jamie Langenbrunner. Segal is on a two-way contract and, should he clear waivers, would likely be assigned to Texas.

Segal was a waiver wire pickup for the Stars on February 11th of last year. He has previously played at the AHL level with the Norfolk and Milwuakee Admirals, Pirates, and Monarchs. The 27 year old Richmond, BC, native is a right shooting right winger had career highs in points in the AHL during the 08-09 campaign with Norfolk, garnering 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points with 95 PIMs to boot.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stars Outmatched By Lake Erie, Lose 3-1

After a seven game point streak came crashing down last night in San Antonio, Texas sent home a sellout crowd unhappy after falling for a second consecutive night, this time to the Lake Erie Monsters. Aaron Gagnon, who had the Stars' lone goal, felt that it was a lack of execution that led to the loss. "We've got to find our hands, we've got to make plays," said the center. "We're paid to execute."

The Monsters came into the game sporting an 8 game road losing streak and broke that streak tonight with the win. Texas's Fabian Brunnstrom also broke his goal scoring streak at 4 games.

Texas came out in the first ready to roll, but the period still ended at a 0-0 tie. The Monsters and Stars traded early power plays but neither produced. Shots were mostly even at 9-7 for Lake Erie.

Ben Walter broke open the scoreless tie early in the second, scoring on a one-timer from the inside edge of the left wing circle. It was the only scoring action in the period. Shots were well in Lake Erie's favor in the second, however, going 10-4 that way.

The game broke open in the third. With Texas needing to hunker down and generate some offense, the Stars took back-to-back penalties, Fortunus for delay of game and Lukowich for interference, to setup a 71 second long 5-on-3. The Lukowich penalty was ill-advised, as the captain and the Lake Erie forward were half the width of the ice from the puck and below the goal line, certainly not a scoring area.

Lake Erie seized the golden opportunity, scoring a power play goal during the two man
advantage. Patrick Rissmiller's 8th of the year would turn out to be the game winner. The Stars allowed one more on a turnover in the defensive zone, giving Ryan Stoa his third point of the night (1-2-3).

With under 3 minutes left in the game, Texas managed a goal off the stick of Aaron Gagnon, but it was too late. The Stars tried feverishly to finish off attempts at the net with the 6-on-5 advantage, but a night of turnovers and missed passes could not be overcome.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Gagnon-Vincour
Brunnstrom-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Roman-Backman

Lukowich-Stephenson
Fortunus-Benn
Spang-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Monast, Chupp (scratched)
Blindenbacher (upper body)
McCulloch, Krahn (lower body)
Larsen (call up)

Texas recalled defenseman Guillaume Monast from Idaho before the game.

Tonight's attendance was 6,863.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Lake Erie - January 8 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Lake Erie Monsters

Texas Stars
21-12-2-2, 46 pts
#4 West Division
v.Lake Erie Monsters
15-17-3-4, 5 pts
#7 North Division
January 8th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas welcomes the Lake Erie Monsters into the Cedar Park Center for the first AHL hockey game the arena has hosted since December 20th. With all of that build-up, the Texas Stars are expecting a sellout with fewer than 100 tickets left as of 4:00 PM yesterday. There is a possibility of doing standing room only though.

Lake Erie hails from the North Division but is not one of the division's elite teams. The Monsters, who feed the Colorado Avalanche, are currently in last place in the North and last place overall in the conference. The Stars hold a 3-1-1-0 all time record against the Monsters, including a win this year in Cedar Park on October 22. In that game, Texas was down late in the third and came back on a penalty shot from Colton Sceviour and a Francis Wathier tally on a wraparound with 41 seconds left in the game to win it 3-2.

Lake Erie comes in having lost their last two and 3-6-1 in their last ten. The squad played last night in Houston and fell by a 3-0 decision. Jason Bacashihua took the loss. The Monsters will continue to Oklahoma City on Sunday so it is possible we could see either goaltender. Bacashihua (9-11-2, 2.51, .905) has played the majority of LE's games at 22. John Grahame (4-6-2, 2.41, .917) has played in 13 and ranks in the top 15 of goaltenders league wide.

A bright spot for the Monsters has been the play of rookie Mark Olver. Olver scored in their game against Texas and has racked up a total of 11 goals and 10 assists on the season to rank him 12th among rookie scorers in the league. Despite Hockey Future's assessment as a "fringe NHLer", the rookie has already played in 4 games for the Avs, collecting 2 assists and 2 PIMs.

Stars injury/call up report:
Blindenbacher (upper body)
Krahn, McCulloch (lower body)
Larsen (call up)

Website: lakeeriemonsters.com/
Blog (unofficial): Cleveland Plain Dealer
Twitter: @monstershockey

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rampage Halt Texas' Point Streak at 7, Beat Stars 5-1

The Rampage really needed a win tonight. After losing four straight games, San Antonio had dropped from #1 in the West and was poised to drop to #4 if they fell tonight to the Stars. Meanwhile, Texas's point streak had to come to an end at some point. The Stars could not stretch the streak to eight games and fell in regulation for the first time since December 14th. Texas had five goals scored on them for the first time since the 8-5 dismantling in Rockford.

Texas started things out on the nice foot with an early goal by Fabian Brunnstrom. The winger took the puck in alone after getting past the Rampage's point men. His slapshot from the top of the left wing circle beat Climie on the blocker side for a 1-0 lead at the 4:10 mark of the first. The goal stretched Brunnstrom's scoring streak to four games.

The Stars continued to pour it on in the shot count but couldn't kill off a Travis Morin holding call in the past four minutes of the period. Andrew Ebbett tapped home a power play tally from the back door after a pass from the point ticked off a Stars defenseman and right to his stick. The Stars outshot San Antonio 12-4 in the period.

Things went backwards for the Stars in the second period. At one point, the Stars were being outshot 11-3 in the period. Matt Watkins got things started early with a goal at the 1:44 mark. Watkins came off the boards behind the net and beat Bachman at the pipe. The rookie netminder couldn't hug the iron tight enough and it was 2-1 Rampage.

San Antonio scored their 3rd goal in 6:41 of game time just 80 seconds later. Tyler Mosienko, a one-time Wrangler under Glen Gulutzan, scored on a one-timer from the low left-wing circle. Texas continued to look out of it until after a Mathieu Tousignant "fight" toward the end of the second. Tousignant was only given double roughing minors instead of a major. Texas finished out with the last 4 shots of the period to lead 19-16 but was down 3-1.

If the second period was bad, the third period was worse for the Stars. Texas continued to hemorrhage goals in the period at an unusual pace for the team. Garrett Stafford scored five-hole coming around the net at the halfway point of the period. Mikkel Boedker beat Bachman clean blocker side high from the high slot two and a half minutes later to salt it away. Texas and San Antonio tied up on shots in the period with 7 a side. Texas led overall 27-23.

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Gagnon-Vincour
Brunnstrom-Morin-Rallo
Sceviour-Tousignant-Sawada
Gazdic-Roman-Backman

Lukowich-Stephenson
Fortunus-Benn
Spang-Ludwig

Bachman

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Chupp (scratched)
Blindenbacher (unspecified injury)
McCulloch (upper body)
Krahn (lower body)
Larsen (call up)

Tonight's attendance was 7,701.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - January 7 2011

Gameday Preview: Stars at San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
21-11-2-2, 46 pts
#4 West Division
atSan Antonio Rampage
23-13-1-0, 47 pts
#3 West Division
January 7th at 7:00 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

The Texas Stars have yet to suit up for a game in 2011 so far, but that will change tonight in San Antonio against the familiar Rampage. While Texas was idle, the West Division continued to play around them. Peoria picked up two wins to claim the first spot in the standings while the Rampage are currently on a four game losing streak, meaning the Stars still trail them by one point. Milwaukee crushed the Griffins last night to earn second place. If Texas wins tonight, it has the opportunity to surpass the Rampage in the standings for the first time all season and tie Milwaukee for 2nd.

Texas holds a 4-0-0-1 record against the Rampage this season and is riding a seven game point streak dating back to the Stars' last game against San Antonio on December 17th. That evening, Richard Bachman returned from his stint in Dallas to backstop the Stars to a 3-0 shutout victory at the AT&T Center. Since then, Bachman has started five of Texas's six games, allowing three goals on four occasions but coming out with a 3-1-1 record thanks to Texas' offensive support. The Stars are averaging 3.29 goals per game during their current point streak, which has pushed them close to three goals per game on the season, currently sitting at 2.97.

Fabian Brunnstrom is finally finding his offensive touch as well, with a 3 game goal streak currently. Travis Morin is a point-a-game player against the Rampage this season, with 2 goals and 3 assists in the 5 games played. Wathier, Rallo and Larsen all have 4 points in the 5 games played. Scott McCulloch, who has only played in two games against the Rampage, has four points.

Former Star Matt Climie will be available for tonight's game, despite a visit to Phoenix with the Coyotes last night. Climie has started 4 of the 5 games against the Stars this year, going 1-3-0 with a 2.95 GAA. Joe Fallon, currently with the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers, started the remaining game. Richard Bachman must love playing these Rampage because his stats are fantastic against them. The AHL rookie sports a 0.97 GAA and .968 SV% against the club in 3 games played.

The Stars will be without Philip Larsen tonight, one of the leading scorers against the Rampage. Larsen has been called up to Dallas to play tonight against the Rangers and possibly Sunday against the Wild.

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn (lower body)
McCulloch (upper body)
Blindenbacher, Stephenson (undisclosed)
Larsen (call up)

Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @SARampage_Voice (play-by-play for SA)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

As Expected, Dallas Calls Up Larsen

Philip Larsen in a December 3rd game against the San Antonio Rampage. (Credit: Byrd/Texas Stars)

Texas is down to bare bones on defense as Dallas called up Philip Larsen today. The young Dane is coming up to fill in following a freak accident during third period warmups. Matt Niskanen and Karlis Skrastins collided during warmups and both are pretty banged up. Dallas plays tomorrow against the Rangers at home and at Minnesota on Sunday.

This may necessitate the call up of someone from Idaho. Monast is under contract in the ECHL and is a potential callup. Additionally, with 6 days off, Blindenbacher or Stephenson could be available.

Texas Stars "On The Ice" report on ESPN Austin: Greg Rallo

Texas Stars forward Greg Rallo joined ESPN 104.9 The Horn after a lengthy delay. The Adams Theory delayed Greg's appearance by 40 minutes to discuss Vince Young's release from the Titans, a story which had no breaking news at the time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Texas Stars "On The Ice" report on ESPN Austin: GM Scott White

The "On The Ice" report has moved and duplicated for this 2010-2011 season. Texas Stars coaches, staff, and players join ESPN Austin 104.9 The Horn on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 AM and Thursdays afternoons around 2:45 PM. Here's today's Wednesday chat with Scott White.