Friday, February 27, 2015

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
25-17-11-1, 62 pts
#7 Western Conference
v.Rockford IceHogs
30-18-4-2, 66 pts
#5 Western Conference
February 27th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

After a blistering start to the year, the Rockford IceHogs come to Cedar Park for their only visit with designs on the top spot in the Midwest. They've held it for most of the season until this month. Grand Rapids, which was in last place in the Midwest, holds it now, and Milwaukee had it before that.

The IceHogs have had success this season thanks to three goalies who are all NHL calibre or will be soon. Michael Leighton, who went to the Stanley Cup Finals with Philadelphia, was the man in the mask early. His recall put Scott Darling and Antti Raanta in the spotlight. Raanta went up to Chicago and Darling and Leighton have been holding it down since then. Overall, Rockford has the fourth best goals against in the league at 2.31 per game. Goals will be at a premium against this group, so Texas will need to get their scoring game up to get the two points.

Former Marlie TJ Brennan leads the team in scoring as a defenseman. Leading scorer TJ Brennan was traded to the Marlies yesterday for Spencer Abbott. LW Garret Ross is the leader among forwards. Big-time prospect Teuvo Teravainen had a hot start as well and looked like he'd made his place in the NHL with a recall in January. He was back briefly but now is in Chicago again. At least that's not Texas' problem for the night.

On the Stars' side, Patrik Nemeth will play his first AHL home game of the year. It'll be the first time he'll lace them up in front of the home fans since scoring the game-winner in OT for the Cup last June. Nemeth has been uneven so far in his few games with Texas. He is minus-4 in three games in which Texas went 2-0-1.

Stars injury/call up report:
Jokipakka, McKenzie, Ritchie (call up)
Fortunus, Faksa (injury)

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

2 comments:

  1. Time is finally here for the home stand we've all been waiting for. The next 7 games will go along way in deciding our playoff fate and seeding. I'm still hopeful we can make a big run and get ourselves in the top four of the conference . Certainly a tough pair of games to get things started but we need to extend our stellar road play to our home ice. Let's go Stars show us what you got.

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  2. Shame we couldn't figure a way to get Abbott.

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