Saturday, October 4, 2014

Former and Current Texas Stars Shine in Dallas Stars Scrimmage in Cedar Park

Former Texas Stars Brenden Dillon and Colton Sceviour head to the net in today's scriimmage.
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
While Victory Green might have won the scrimmage at Cedar Park Center this afternoon, the real winner was the depth of the Dallas Stars organization, which was on full display in the intrasquad scrimmage. Minus the empty net tallies, a former or current Texas Stars played a part in scoring each goal on the afternoon.

"The Texas Stars players were really good in the game," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff, whose White squad lost 6-2. "It was a good showing from top to bottom."

Colton Sceviour, Curtis McKenzie, Antoine Roussel, and Jyrki Jokipakka were among the former and current Texas Stars who scored. Jordie Benn, Julius Honka and Travis Morin had assists.

Jason Spezza, who won the AHL MVP award back in the lockout year of 2004-05, commented positively on the depth of the Dallas system on display in Cedar Park.

"The margin of error between NHL and AHL is pretty small now. Some of those guys had good camps, and they played well today. To stay in the NHL, it's a fine line, and there's always guys nipping at your heels."

Coach Ruff agreed that the third and fourth line players in the scrimmage, many expected to play for Texas this season, played well. He called out Branden Troock's line specifically.

"They weren't getting a lot of ice time, but for limited action, [Troock] held his own out there."

Some of those former Texas Stars who have now cemented their NHL roles were back and very glad to be. Antoine Roussel said, "It's where my career stepped up, and it's good to be back. I loved it."

Justin Dowling had the best chance of the early going for Green as he rang one off the post behind White's Kari Lehtonen. Scoring opened peoperly in the second half of the first period. Last season's AHL Rookie of the Year, Curtis McKenzie connected for Green on a nice pass from the right wing half wall by Patrick Eaves. His frequent partner in crime, Travis Morin, picked up the second assist after he sent the puck into the zone and to Eaves at the blue line.

White evened things up five minutes later on a play that showcased young Julius Honka's speed. The team White defender pressed low and forced a turnover by Maxime Fortunus. Tyler Seguin picked up the puck and sent it to an uncovered Antoine Roussel in front of the net. He deposited it behind Anders Lindback for a 1-1 tie.

It didn't take long for another former Texas Star to make an impact on the game though. Colton Sceviour was the recipient of a breakout pass by Shawn Horcoff in neutral ice. He skated in and beat Kari Lehtonen clean for the 2-1 Green lead. That would be the score after twenty with shots even at 13 a piece.

Victory Green continued the onslaught in the second period, aided by some power play time. Ales Hemsky figured into both goals. On the first, he managed to get Kari Lehtonen swimming out to the left of his net and popped the puck in from behind the goal line off the back of the Finnish netminder. Erik Cole and Jordie Benn assisted on the play. Hemsky assisted on the second power play goal of the frame. His pass out to Jyrki Jokipakka, who was sneaking down from the right point, was the primary assist on the goal that made it 4-1 Victory Green after 40. Shots were 21-20 Green.

To start the third, Jack Campbell spelled Kari Lehtonen for White and Jussi Rynnas came in for Green's Anders Lindback. Lehtonen stopped 17 of 21 shots; Lindback got 19 of 20.

The White squad would get one back in the third period. Branden Troock, who impressed all day on a line with Derek Hulak and Taylor Peters, got a lucky bounce off the foot of Ales Hemsky to cut the lead to 4-2.

From there, it was all empty netters. Jack Campbell tried to make his way off the ice late in the third and got cuaght in no-man's land as his team turned the puck over up ice. Erik Cole finished the play for the 5-2 lead. With less than a minute to go, Vern Fiddler would cap the scoring at 6-2 on a proper empty net tally.

Despite the score, the teams went to a five round shootout for the benefit of the fans. Green's Ales Hemsky was the only player to score for either team in the skills competition. Spezza, Sceviour, Travis Morin and Jordie Benn shot for Green. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Antoine Roussel, Brendan Ranford and Brett Ritchie all shot for White.

Tonight's lines:
Green
Hemsky-Spezza-Cole
McKenzie-Morin-Eaves
Smith-Dowling-Stransky
Horcoff-Fiddler-Sceviour

Jo. Benn-Nemeth
Gaunce-Fortunus
Jokipakka-Oleksiak

Lindback
Rynnas

White
Ja. Benn-Seguin-Ritchie
Hulak-Peters-Troock
Roussel-Eakin-Garbutt
Faksa-Ranford

Honka-Dillon
Daley-Goligoski
Klingberg-Connauton

Lehtonen
Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scratches and injuries will return for the regular season.

3 comments:

  1. To me it was painful to watch, rather boring and sloppy. Yeah I know it's just a scrimmage with a mixed bag of players. I really hate when hockey is played minus it's physical element, to much rides on those "displays of skill" but when that isn't delivered it just about always looks like a men's league game at Northcross Mall

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, men's league is MUCH more antagonistic! It looked like the guys were having a blast, though. Most of the Texas team will not get to play with the Dallas players any time soon, if ever again. They also knew that the GMs were watching and making notes for the future, so the "prospects" were working especially hard. It was a fun game for most of us fans who don't get to see the Dallas Stars live very often (only twice ever for me).

      Delete
  2. There were more people than I expected there today. Did they release a head count?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. Using a name will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.