Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Abbotsford Heat

Texas Stars
8-4-2-0, 18 pts
#4 Western Conference
v.Abbotsford Heat
11-4-0-1, 23 pts
#1 Western Conference
November 13th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Cristopher Nilstorp to start. Expected forward lines after morning skate added to post.

First of all, let's get this out of the way: the last time the Texas Stars saw the Abbotsford Heat was clearly an anomaly. Road-weary from an overnight bus ride from OKC and with many callup players on the roster, the Stars shellacked the Heat in their last visit to Texas with a 9-3 score. That team is not the same team that will enter the Cedar Park Center tonight.

Having arrived Monday, the club will be well-rested and ready to defend their current seven-game winning streak. In fact, since playing Texas on October 20th, the Heat have lost just once, a 3-1 decision against Lake Erie in British Columbia. They have scored 32 goals in those nine games and allowed 23. Laurent Brossoit, the goalie in that 9-3 game, isn't even with the organization anymore.

So let's just get that out of our heads. This is far from a cakewalk.

Players to watch for include Corban Knight, leading scorer for the Heat, with 5-9-14 in 16 games. Former Grand Rapids Griffins defender Chad Billins has picked it up with the Heat, scoring six goals to lead the team and a plus-7 rating.

One area of weakness for the Heat is special teams. Texas ranks in the top 10 in power play and penalty kill. Abbotsford is middle pack on power play and bottom-five on the PK. Fortunately for the Stars, the Heat are one of the teams that has been shorthanded more often than Texas.

Finally, with Cristopher Nilstorp being in 'could have played' type condition this past weekend, it is entirely possible that he plays tonight, but we will have to wait for morning skate to see. Nilstorp is expected to start.

Here are the expected forward lines based on the morning skate:

McKenzie-Mueller-Sceviour
Hedden-Glennie-Ranford
Petersen-Dowling-Ritchie
Wathier-Peters-Smith

Stransky will be the scratch.

Stars injury/call up report:
Morin (call up)
Campbell, Nilstorp (injured)

Website: abbotsfordheat.com
Blog (unofficial): BC Local News: Abby News
Newspaper: Abbotsford Times
Twitter: @abbotsfordheat

5 comments:

  1. Texas 8-4-2- is 18 points not 14

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  2. Excellent points Steven. I really enjoyed that 9-3 game at CPC but I am not counting on the same score tonight. The Heat will be a real contender tonight. I hope after the last game against the Admirals that saw a few Texas Stars penalties in the 3rd period we don't give up any unnecessary power plays and we score on the ones the Heat gives us. I will be in Section 103 cheering them on tonight. Good luck and Go Stars!

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  3. Hey Stephen,
    Thanks for the great information! I've been following the Stars while away at college and keeping my parents back in Austin up to date on all matters Stars. Your blog is a blessing and a wealth of information.
    Hopefully we can stay out of the penalty box tonight. I'm curious to see who the top line center will be, my dad thinks Glennie, but I think Mueller. Go Stars!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you can keep up with the Stars through the blog!

      I would say Mueller. Glennie hasn't played center in a while. Last time Morin went up it was Dowling, but he really hasn't done much since the start of the season to warrant such an assignment.

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