Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars at Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
6-3-4-0, 16 pts
#7 Western Conference
atRockford IceHogs
10-4-0-1, 21 pts
#4 Western Conference
November 16th at 4:00 PM
BMO Harris Arena, Rockford, IL

The last game of this three in three stand is probably the toughest of all of them. One of the hottest teams in the AHL, the Rockford IceHogs, are the final opponent of the five-game road trip today in Illinois. Before this weekend, the Rockford IceHogs were enjoying an eight game winning streak. A home and home against Magnus Hellberg and the Milwaukee Admirals yielded two losses. In the contests combined, the Hogs only scored two goals.

Rockford is usually having no trouble scoring, ranking in the top ten of all teams in offense. However, they are pairing that with phenomenal goaltending and defense. The Hogs rank 4th in the league in goals against at 2.27 per game. A big reason for that has been the emergence of Scott Darling, who has a 1.83 GAA and .935 SV% this year. He won't be playing today though after getting the last two starts and then a callup to Chicago for their game against Dallas today.

The Stars were slated to be a team that used its defense as an offensive weapon this year. For Rockford, that is also true. T.J. Brennan, formerly of the Marlies and the reigning Defenseman of the Year, leads all D-men in scoring on the club with 2-7=9 and a plus-11. Adam Clendening is also a terribly tricky d-man to watch for as well. Others to watch for include top pick center Teuvo Teravainen, who is a rookie many are anxiously awaiting in the NHL.

For Texas, the storylines are simple. Can they get out of their weekend funk against one of the best teams in the league? They had two chances for two points slip through their fingers this weekend against arguably easier competition. Can they get two in Illinois?

Stars injury/call up report:
Faksa (questionable)
Ritchie (questionable)

As reported by Brien Rea on last night's broadcast, Faksa took a puck to the left knee in the first period. He returned briefly in the second but did not play in the third period. It remains to be seen if he can play today.

Brett Ritchie missed Saturday's game. As also reported by Rea last night on the Stars' broadcast, there is some illness going around the room. Ritchie could be one of those under the weather.

Website: icehogs.com
Blog (unofficial): Rockford IceHogs Fan Blog
Twitter: @goicehogs

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