Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars at Rochester Americans

Texas Stars
30-13-4-4, 68 pts
#1 Western Conference
atRochester Americans
27-18-2-1, 57 pts
#7 Western Conference
February 19th at 6:05 PM
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY

The Americans and Stars have only placed twice in team history. Last season was the first opportunity for these Western Conference foes to battle it out on the ice rather than by proxy through the standings. Across just two games, each team won their home matchup by a lopsided score. Texas spotted Rochester a two goal lead at home and then scored six straight to win. In the rematch at Blue Cross Arena, the Stars got throttled. After giving up two in the first, Texas allowed five in the second and took a 9-4 loss.

The Stars surely are looking to be a little more composed in their play this time around in New York. The Americans are led by Kevin Porter on offense, the former San Antonio forward has 15-29-44 in 48 games. Just behind him is RW Mark Mancari (15-28-43), a veteran presence returning to Rochester in his eighth professional season. He had previous played his first three years as a pro in Rochester. Other notables include rookie RW Brian Flynn at 16-16-32 and top defenseman Brayden McNabb at 4-24-28.

In net, the Amerks have pretty much been a one-man shop. David Leggio has started 40 of the 48 Amerks games this season. He has a 2.68 GAA and .919 SV% to equal a 26-13-1 record. His backups have not faired so well. Connor Knapp (1-6-0) and Nathan Lieuwen (0-1-0) have proven why Leggio has gotten so many starts.

Texas is facing some issues of its own right now as injuries have ravaged the lineup. Over the weekend, Texas lost Patrik Nemeth, Tyler Sloan, Travis Morin and Alex Chiasson in two games against the Barons. The Stars have the forward numbers to go on without a callup as Tom Wandell was assigned as an extra body for a conditioning stint. However, Texas needed to sign another defenseman to fill in after Jordie Benn was recalled to Dallas. William Wrenn will likely not play tonight but can act as the safety valve in case of injury on the road trip.

Stars injury/call up report:
Benn, Fraser, R. Smith, Roussel, Nilstorp (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Sloan, Chiasson, Morin (injured)

Website: amerks.com
Americans Social Media: Social Media
Blog (beat): Democrat and Chronicle
Blog (amateur): Let's Go Amerks
Twitter: @AmerksHockey
Twitter (beat): @kevinoDandC
Twitter (amateur): @LetsGoAmerks

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