Friday, November 30, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars at Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
8-7-1-1, 18 pts
#11 Western Conference
atGrand Rapids Griffins
10-5-1-1, 22 pts
#3 Western Conference
November 30th at 6:00 PM
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

The Stars continue their six game road trip with a three-in-three this weekend, starting tonight in Grand Rapids. The home team Griffins just had an eight-game winning streak snapped with a 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday. That streak, by the way, started with a 4-1 win at Texas on November 3rd. After four days off, the Griffins are surely ready to start back up on their winning ways.

Obviously an eight-game win streak is going to be good for the statistics. Gustav Nyquist, who should be in Detroit, is 8-11-19. Tomas Tatar is 10-8-18. Rookie D-man Chad Billins comes in third at 1-15-16 but is minus-8.

One hero of the streak was Petr Mrazek. The rookie goalie had his first professional start against the Stars and rattled off six wins before his first loss. He's sporting a 2.53 GAA and .910 SV%. Tom McCollum got two start in their, winning against Peoria both times. On the season, he's 4-2-1 with a 2.80 GAA and .894 SV%.

The Griffins get it done on the power play at #4 in the league (23.1%). They are #14 on the PK at 83.1%. Texas's numbers are swinging upward in both regards. Starting the season at the bottom in both categories, Texas has moved to #18 (15.8%). A 3/3 effort in Rockford certainly helped a bit. The Stars are still stuck at second-to-last on the penalty kill though. An abysmal start to the season (64% early in the season) drags their recent success downward.

The big win that Texas had on Tuesday could be a catapult for the rest of the road trip and the rest of the season. They are 5-3-1-1 in their last ten and on a three game point streak. The only blemish in the last six is the 6-4 loss to Oklahoma City.

Colton Sceviour, who scored his first goal of the season against Grand Rapids in his first game back from injury, has been the consistent player that he needs to be for the Stars. In just ten games, he has nine points. He has scored the last two game-winning goals for Texas and assisted on the game winner against the Aeros in Houston. He's an important contributor for Texas that has come back into the lineup just as the fortunes of the Stars started to turn upwards.

Stars injury/call up report:
None.

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

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