Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Hamilton Bulldogs

Texas Stars
41-17-3-5, 90 pts
#1 Western Conference
v.Hamilton Bulldogs
28-31-1-4, 61 pts
#13 Western Conference
March 25th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Having just sealed up a playoff bid, Texas will close out their season series with the Hamilton Bulldogs with two games this week at the Cedar Park Center. Originally those games were to be uninterrupted, giving Texas three days off between contests. Thanks to the bad ice condition game in San Antonio, the Stars will travel to the AT&T Center on Thursday to finish up that game.

The Bulldogs come to town on a season-high nine game road stretch. The stint will see them play in Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan and Newfoundland before returning home on April 12th. It's a tough road to hoe if the Bulldogs have their eyes set on the playoffs. With 12 games left to play, it looks like they will need 22 points to get into the dance. That's an 11-1-0 record. They won't be eliminated this week officially, but wins by Texas (twice) and San Antonio this week would probably put the second to last nail in the coffin.

Texas is in an interesting spot as they approach the playoffs. Last year the team clinched a playoff berth on April 7th thanks to a win by the Chicago Wolves. After that date, the Stars went 3-3-0. Among those two wins were an OT win against playoff-bound Charlotte and a shootout win against non-playoff bound San Antonio. Just before clinching, the Stars had two bad losses to OKC and Hamilton. In both games, the Stars lost on goals scored in the last minute of the game. Many Texas fans remember those two.

Eventual playoff starter Cristopher Nilstorp had a 3.23 GAA and .893 SV% in the month of April last year. The team just seemed out of sorts. It was not a good combination for Texas, which stumbled into the playoffs with a pair of home losses. Now that the playoff bid is secure, there's no time to let up.

Stars injury/call up report:
Sceviour, Jeffrey (call up)
Petersen (injury)

Website: hamiltonbulldogs.com
Twitter: @dogsplaybyplay

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