Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
14-16-0-2, 30 pts
#14 Western Conference
v.Rockford IceHogs
12-18-1-3, 28 pts
#15 Western Conference
January 7th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The Rockford IceHogs come to town this weekend for a two-game set starting tonight. It will be Rockford's only visit to Cedar Park Center, as the IceHogs have moved to the Midwest division and the teams only meet four times this season. That is unfortunate for Texas, as they hold a 10-5-0-0 record all-time against the Hogs in the regular season. Add in the 4-0 playoff blanking of Rockford in 2010 and it's clear that Texas plays well against the Hogs.

The IceHogs are not doing as well this year as in previous ones. They find themselves at the bottom of the standings, looking up at the Texas Stars, who have two points on them but two games in hand as well. It's just been a forgettable season so far. However, they did win last night over the Houston Aeros, a tough task for any club. This isn't a set of games to look past, but it would be disappointing if Texas did not take at least 4 points on the weekend's three games.

This would be a good chance for Texas to get their power play back on line as the IceHogs are 30th in the league on the PK at 76.1%. Their power play is slightly more threatening at #20 (17%).

Top scorers in Rockford include Brandon Pirri (14-19-33) and former Star Brandon Segal (11-9-20). In the pipes, Rockford is rolling three-deep, like Texas. Alexander Salak is 3-6-0 with a 3.06 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. Carton Hutton is 3-4-1 with a 3.39 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. Alec Richards is 6-9-2 with a 3.65 goals against average and a .893 save percentage.

As to Texas's "three-deep" arrangement, expect either Jimmy Spratt or Tyler Beskorowany to start tonight, in my opinion. Whoever doesn't start tonight will probably start tomorrow afternoon.

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

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

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