Saturday, December 16, 2017

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Cleveland Monsters

       Texas Stars                        Cleveland Monsters
16-10-0-1, 33 pts, .611      v.      8-10-2-2, 20 pts, .455
#3 Pacific Division                    #4 Central Division

December 16th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Jason Dickinson has been reassigned to the Texas Stars.

The last time the Texas Stars squared off against the Cleveland Monsters, the two teams appeared to be superficially similar in trajectory in their respective divisions. Though it was late November, it seemed like an eternity ago. In terms of the playoff picture, the Monsters are on the outside looking in with a 3-7 record in their last 10 games, including two losses against the Stars. By comparison, the Stars are looking to continue to rise in the standings and improve upon their 8-2 record in their last 10. 

A huge reason the Stars are playing well of late is their power play, which was stuck in the mud early in the season. Lately they've managed to tow it out of the ditch to bring bring their season power play percentage to about average. They'll have to keep it clicking without Jason Dickinson, as he is still helping the Dallas Stars deal with their various nicks and bruises to forwards on their four game road trip. Greg Rallo and Brent Regner are also nursing injuries of their own. Regner is possible for tonight, but Rallo is unlikely.

Seeing that he has grabbed the number one slot over the past month, this is likely a Landon Bow game. Though they'll be without Dickinson, long time Texas Star and former captain Travis Morin has drawn into the top three in AHL scoring. Look for him to carry the water, along with Curtis McKenzie and Roope Hintz. Recently called up from the Idaho Steelheads, Shane Hanna may slot in but is likely to be the 7th defenseman with Mangene sliding back to defense as he did on Wednesday.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST. 

Stars injury/call-up report:
Elie, Honka, Dickinson (call-up)
Rallo, Regner (injured)

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