Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
22-25-2-2, 48 pts
#14 Western Conference
v.San Antonio Rampage
27-21-2-1, 57 pts
#7 Western Conference
February 18th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Another game between these two comes tonight, and both teams need two points in the match. Texas is looking to crawl out of the cellar in the West Conference and make a run at the playoffs while San Antonio is looking to keep up its torrid win percentage from the first two months of the calendar year.

As we discussed yesterday, the big pieces for San Antonio's turnaround were Dov Grumet-Morris (aka DGM) and Jon Matsumoto. In last night's game, Matsumoto generated two goals with primary assists and DGM stopped 40 of 44 in the loss. Solving these two players again tonight will be key to a Texas win.

The biggest story from last night's game, however, was the Bracken Kearns hit on Stephen Schultz. Schultz immediately left the ice, bleeding from his eye, and was later diagnosed with a broken wrist. In my personal opinion, the broken wrist is the least of his worries at the moment. With the coming so high from Kearns, Schultz is likely under watch for concussion symptoms at the moment. Typical heal time for a wrist injury is going to be 4-6 weeks anyways, so we will not see him in a Texas Stars jersey for a while. There is no word as of noon today on possible PTO replacements, so Texas may have to roll eleven forwards.

For San Antonio, losing Kearns to the automatic suspension from the match penalty and later likely league discipline is a big blow. The 31 year old forward is second on the team in points behind only Matsumoto (14-23-37). Kearns will remain suspended under the league office can rule on his hit and further discipline from it.

In other news, Nolan Yonkman, who had two fights and an assist last night, is on his way to Florida as Colby Robak returns. According to Coach Weber, Robak will play in for tonight's game; he is an AHL All-Star guy who has 7-18-25 in 48 games played this season.

Stars injury/call up report:
Larsen, Vincour, Garbutt (callup)
Sawada, Labrie, Spang, Schultz (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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