Friday, January 6, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars at San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
14-16-0-1, 29 pts
#14 Western Conference
atSan Antonio Rampage
16-16-2-0, 34 pts
#11 Western Conference
January 6th at 7:00 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

After what seems like a very long layoff, especially for this blog's coverage, the Stars are back in action tonight down the road in the Alamo City. Since we last previewed a game, the Stars have dropped two of three. After a strong win at home against San Antonio in OT, Texas fell to the excellent Abbotsford Heat in a back-to-back games before the New Year.

San Antonio is a team experiencing a positive surge of their own. Among the bottom ranked teams in the league for the first few months of the season, the Rampage are now up to #11 in the West thanks to a 6-2-2-0 record over the last ten games. San Antonio is 1-2-2-0 against Texas so far this season, however.

The Rampage are currently sporting a goaltending tandem of Dov Grumet-Morris and Brian Foster, following Jacob Markstrom's callup to Florida earlier this week. Bracken Kearns leads the Rampage on offense with 10-12-22 in 29 games. Recently named All-Star Colby Robak chips in 5-14-19 in 34 games with a gaudy plus-12 rating, the best on the team. Mark Cullen rounds out the top 3 in scoring with 4-15-19 in 23 games with a plus-9 rating. Former Star Greg Rallo has picked up his offense with an 8-4-12 in 30 games and an even rating.

In Texas, there are two new players on the ice for the Stars. Ian Lowe has already gotten into a few games for Texas but we haven't discussed him in this space yet. He is one of the top scorers for the Idaho Steelheads. Wearing #39, he has played fourth line minutes in three games, recording no points and a minus-1. Mike Berube is the other new addition, coming from Allen. The defenseman may or may not get into a game this weekend.

The other new player is Andrew Raycroft. Raycroft is on the roster for Texas, but at the same time, Texas has not sent down Jimmy Spratt to Idaho. The thing that Texas wants to guarantee now is that Beskorowany gets starts. He is a prospect and Raycroft is not. Raycroft's value to the organization is limited to trades or injury callups. There is likely no future for him in the organization after this year. What does Texas do with Raycroft in terms of starts? If they want him to be any kind of valuable for either of his potential uses, they would have to at least give him backup type starts. Beskorowany can't start all three games this weekend, so it will be very interesting to see who gets the third start.

Stars injury/call up report:
Larsen, Vincour, Benn, Bachman (callup)
Sawada, Tousignant (unspecified injury)

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)

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