Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dallas Stars Expected to Recall Curtis McKenzie

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
UPDATE: Dallas made it official at 11:30 AM.

The captain, Curtis McKenzie, is expected to be recalled from Texas to the NHL this morning. An injury to Jason Spezza has necessitated the recall. He is expected to be in Washington in time for tonight's game against the Capitals.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled left wing Curtis McKenzie from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

McKenzie, 27, has recorded one assist (0-1=1), a +2 plus/minus rating and nine penalty minutes in four games played for Dallas this season. With Texas, he has posted 45 points (24-21=45) in 45 games played thus far. His 13 power play goals are second in the AHL and lead the team, and he paces the Texas Stars in goals (24).

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Golden, British Columbia was originally selected by Dallas in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Dallas Stars Recall Goalie Mike McKenna For At Least Two Weeks

(Credit: Derek Sparta/Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars recalled Mike McKenna this morning following injury to starter Ben Bishop last night in Winnipeg. The injury is expected to be re-evaluated in two weeks, so the recall will last at least that long.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled goaltender Mike McKenna from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

McKenna, 34, has posted a 15-9-4 record with a .907 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average with one shutout in 30 appearances with Texas during the 2017-18 season.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of St. Louis, Mo. was signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 1, 2017. McKenna was originally selected by Nashville in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stars Lead Start to Finish, Topping Moose 6-4

Dries, Kelleher and Markison combine for seven points in win
(Credit: Derek Sparta/Texas Stars)
After last night's rough loss, Texas found itself facing the top team in the West at home in their third game in four nights. It was a recipe for a let down, but the Stars gutted out a strong performance. They scored first and led the entire contest, potting six goals and chasing starting goalie Jamie Phillips.

"We tried to keep it simple from the get go," said Colin Markison, who had three assists on the night. "Our plan was to get on the forecheck and play in their zone as much as possible."

Markison's line was a key driver of the Stars' success. Tyler Kelleher slotted in on the wing of Sheldon Dries, and the trio put in a pair of goals and combined for seven points with each having a multipoint evening.

"[Kelleher] came off an injury in Milwaukee and hadn't played a bunch," said Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal. "He fit in [on that line] and has found himself a spot. He's been a good find for us."

The contest, combined with last week's win in Tucson, was a real confidence boost for the fourth-place Stars. Markison noted that the two games proved Texas could "100% without a doubt" compete with the best in the West.

The game had a chance to get out of hand through the first half. Texas showed a lack of discipline and took several penalties, including tripping, high-sticking and an attempted spear by Matt Mangene.

"We weren't as disciplined as I would have liked tonight. We took a spearing penalty, just a retaliation that wasn't very positive. We have to manage our emotions. Every game is a playoff mindset so you have to have that controlled emotion."

Roope Hintz managed to find the back of the net on a Texas power play off the dish from Tyler Kelleher, who had opened the scoring himself in the first period.

"Sheldon and I have played together before," said Markison. "But that was our first time playing with Tyler. He adds confidence and presence. He's shifty and a good passer. Just a good all-around player.

After Mangene's spear, Sheldon Dries jetted down the ice with Colin Markison to score 4-on-4 and make it a 3-0 game. Manitoba would break up the shutout with a power play goal on that spearing call, however. The Stars got it back on a point shot by Andrew O'Brien that had eyes through traffic to the top corner, making it 4-1.

Manitoba answered with Charles-David Beaudoin's first AHL goal just over a minute later, and the score was 4-2 after forty.

Texas extended their lead to 6-2 with goals from Denis Gurianov on the backhand and Curtis McKenzie in tight on the power play. Manitoba had a response, scoring twice in 90 seconds late in the game to make it a 6-4 game. Their own lack of discipline put them down a man, then two, with under three minutes to go and ended their chances at a comeback.

It was a physical game, but Texas did well, for the most part, to not get goaded into taking extra penalties or getting into their own heads about the referees not calling things that they felt should have been called. They took care of business on the scoreboard, which is what ultimately counts.

The Stars now get an extended break, not playing again until Friday versus San Antonio. It will be a solid break to focus on some systems and heal bumps and bruises. Texas has several more three-day breaks in their schedule, but this is their last of more than three days.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
French, Rallo, Thompson, Paliotta, Desrosiers (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 5,512.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Manitoba - March 17 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Manitoba Moose

      Texas Stars                           Manitoba Moose
  32-22-7-3, 75 pts, .578      v.     37-17-4-4, 82 pts, .661
#4 Pacific Division                    #1 Central Division

March 17th at 7:00 PM CST
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Last night against Cleveland was not great for the Stars. The worst team in the league played fast and loose at the H-E-B Center and came away with two points. Now Texas must turn around and play the best team in the west less than 24 hours later.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Coach Laxdal was brutally aware of how difficult the turnaround would be in last night's postgame. He noted as always that the team needed to fix their mistakes from last night and otherwise forget the game. One of those big mistakes that they fixed in the game, but need to not repeat tonight, is the penalty trouble.

During this home stand, Texas has been particularly bad on the disciplinary ledger, especially in the second period. Starting at 18:09 of the first, Texas went to the penalty box four straight times and gave up two power play goals on those chances.

Laxdal called it discipline, plain and simple. "It’s discipline and emotion. When [McKenzie] gets taken to the net, he ends up taking a penalty, and you can’t have that. Nothing else is going to work, your system, your structure, your details if you don’t have that controlled emotion."

The Stars will look to control their emotions tonight against a team that beat the Rampage last night in San Antonio. It was a come from behind victory for the Moose as Mason Appleton scored with the extra attacker to tie things 2-2 with 67 seconds left in the third.

Stars injury/call-up report:
Dickinson, Heatherington (call-up)

Moose Web Resources
Website: moosehockey.com
Twitter: @ManitobaMoose
Beat writer: @PwilliamsNHL

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stars Come Up Short in 6-5 Overtime Loss to Monsters

Nathan Gerbe beats Landon Bow in overtime
(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars squandered a must-win game against the league worst Cleveland Monsters, losing 6-5 in overtime. The Stars had a one goal lead in the first period and came back to tie at the end of regulation, but left with only one point in the standings with the season winding down. Alex Broadhurst and Nathan Gerbe both had three point games with Gerbe netting the game winner.

Sheldon Dries, who finished the game with a goal and an assist pointed to special teams as a culprit in the loss. “On the PK we need to get those kills and on the power play we need to score goals. It didn’t happen tonight and they got the result.”

The first period featured an abundance of scoring from the first shift. Gerbe ripped his team’s first shot by Landon Bow short side just after a minute into the game. Stars head coach Derek Laxdal weighed in on the flow of the game. “Both teams played a little loose, a little shinny at times. That’s a team over there that’s not going to make the playoffs so there’s no pressure on them.”

The Stars responded a few minutes later when Kelleher cleaned up a rebound that skimmed out to the slot for his first goal in a Texas uniform. The play was initiated by a slick drop pass on the zone entry which led to the initial shot on net.

With half the period gone, the two teams traded shorthanded goals. Dries entombed a puck high into the back of the net where it stayed buried in the twine for his fourth shorthanded goal of the season. “We try to pressure in all situations that we can,” said Dries. “I saw him trying to go far side, and I put my stick in the lane and got a lucky bounce. We capitalized there but let a goal in so it kind of cancels out.”

Cleveland responded with one from winger Jordan Schroeder coming after the Stars had over 30 seconds of 5-on-3. Schroeder finished the game with a goal and a helper. “Our power play has got to score,” said Laxdal of the sequence of play. “When you get a look on the 5-on-3, you’ve got to bury it.”

Alex Broadhurst, assisted by his brother Terry, scored a power play goal with a little over a minute left in the first period to give the Monsters the lead heading into the first intermission.

The Stars couldn’t stay out of penalty trouble in the game, and had amassed six minor penalties with ten minutes left in the second period. They paid the price as Paul Bittner scored after driving the net hard three minutes into the frame. “You could see our guys grasping when we were down 4-2,” opined Laxdal. “We’re taking way too many penalties now and it’s taxing our players on the penalty kill and other players aren’t playing.”

Coming out of second intermission, the Stars played with more of a sense of urgency. Defenseman Reece Scarlett crashed the net net on a chance from Dries and swatted in the rebound to bring the Stars within one. All the good vibes and positive momentum were momentarily dashed by a deflection goal from Hayden Hodgson. The Stars quickly drew a penalty and setup up Travis Morin, who leads the team with 54 points, for a goal on the power play and a chance to tie once again with 14 minutes left in the game.

The Stars drew their fifth penalty of the game with two and a half minutes to go and emptied the chamber on Kivlenieks, putting up several shots when they pulled Bow for the extra attacker. With six seconds left, Roope Hintz scored with his backhand in the top corner.

The teams were tied in shots at 41 at the end of regulation. Gerbe scored his overtime game winner, and second goal of the game, after Hintz and Denis Gurianov’s rush was stymied by Kivlenieks, leading to an easy breakaway for Gerbe. “We talked about staying out of the box in the third period, and we battled back in the third to get the point. We would have liked to grab the second point. It’s a frustrating loss.”

The Stars stay at home for the Manitoba Moose on Saturday evening. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
French, Rallo, Thompson, Paliotta, McKenna (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 4,852.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Cleveland - March 16 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Cleveland Monsters

      Texas Stars                          Cleveland Monsters
 32-22-6-3, 73 pts, .579      v.      20-32-5-3, 48 pts, .400
 #5 Pacific Division                     #7 Central Division

March 16th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Mike McKenna has been reassigned to the Texas Stars.

Roope Hintz squares off with Zac Dalpe
(credit: Texas Stars)
After enduring a loss to the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday and floundering in the standings, the Texas Stars have a premium chance to bag two points tonight against the Cleveland Monsters. The Monsters sit dead last in the AHL in terms of points percentage and have especially struggled after trading their leading scorer Carter Camper away at the trade deadline.

The Stars can ill afford to give away points to inferior teams during this time of year. Expect to see them play with a sense of urgency in front of their home crowd and look to pounce on Cleveland early. A positive sign from Wednesday's game was Curtis McKenzie clicking on two power play goals to get him back on track after a lengthy stay on the injured list. 

Landon Bow did not have a great showing against Manitoba and was replaced by Phillipe Desrosiers mid-game. We could see Desrosiers get the start tonight, if not tomorrow against Manitoba again on the second night of a back-to-back (All subject to change with this afternoon's reassignment of Mike McKenna). The Stars will be without Dillon Heatherington due to a call-up, which will mean Reece Scarlett or Michael Paliotta slotting in on the blue line. 

Alex and Terry Broadhurst are the leading scorers for the Monsters with with 34 and 27 points respectively. Cleveland is near the bottom of the league in just about any category on special teams, and the Stars need to maintain the power play momentum they created against Manitoba. If the Stars can't pull out the victory, it won't be time to panic. But perhaps it would be ideal to locate the button.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM CST. 

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson, McKenna, Heatherington (call-up)

Monsters Web Resources

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Texas Falls Flat Against Manitoba, Loses Ground in Division

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
After an initial burst from Texas, Manitoba controlled the pace and tempo of most of tonight's game in Cedar Park, ultimately upending the home side 6-3. Curtis McKenzie had two power play goals in his first home game since returning from a six-week injury. It wasn't enough to overcome a balanced 5-on-5 attack and heavy physicality from the Moose.

"They showed us that if you play like a team you're probably going win more nights than not," said Coach Laxdal. "5-on-5 we didn't establish a forecheck or enough offensive zone time. They looked like a team that wanted it more than we did."

Texas had bright spots in the game, including their early power plays and the late, extended 6-on-5 sequence to end the game.

Laxdal noted that this game was creeping up on the Stars in a way. They got away with a low shot count, highly defensive game in Tucson thanks to Landon Bow, but the rookie goalie couldn't save them tonight. The two clubs were evenly matched on shots in the first at 13-13 but Texas only managed 4 and 8 in the ensuing periods. Bow was pierced for six before giving way to Philippe Desrosiers. The Stars hung Bow out to dry tonight, according to Laxdal.

"We're defending too much, Physically, we don't have the energy to go on offense. We have to defend quicker and harder and not get stuck in the D zone. We can't rely on our goaltender as much."

That bright spot of the power play was moving pucks with aplomb early. Curtis McKenzie was on the receiving end of a nice pass from Justin Dowling for the game's first goal.

"We talked before the game that we wanted more out of the power play unit," said McKenzie. As a five man unit we were moving well today, zipping the puck, and I was on the backend of some nice plays tonight. We need a little more urgency 5-on-5 and that will keep us away from games like this."

Manitoba answered back fast with two goals in 30 seconds around the eight minute mark. Both came off the sticks of low scoring defensemen.

Peter Stoykewych, another defenseman, potted the 3-1 goal before Texas halted the bleeding a bit. Again on the power play, McKenzie found twine off the backdoor feed of Travis Morin. The active period ended at 3-2 Moose.

Texas got into a decent amount of penalty trouble in the second with three consecutive calls for interference. JC Lipon would make Texas pay on McKenzie's interference call with his twelfth of the year. Texas wasn't able to establish much in that second period and it put them behind the eight ball in the third.

Pushing the pace to get back into it, Texas had two more end up in the back of their net. Sam Laberge would score late, but it wasn't of consequence. The Stars pulled Desrosiers for the extra man with 3:46 left in the third period and Manitoba's Jamie Phillips pulled out some of his best saves of the night, including point blank chances on back to back plays within two minutes of the end.

The Stars rerack and play Cleveland on Friday before facing these same Moose on Saturday to end the season series. With the loss, Texas dips to fifth place in the division, outside the playoff picture, and could stay there by morning depending on the outcome of west coast games.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Kelleher, French, Rallo, O'Brien (scratch)
Dickinson, McKenna, Heatherington (call-up)

Tonight's attendance was 5,067.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Manitoba - March 14 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Manitoba Moose

      Texas Stars                           Manitoba Moose
  32-21-6-3, 73 pts, .589      v.     36-17-4-4, 80 pts, .656
#3 Pacific Division                    #1 Central Division

March 14th at 7:30 PM CST
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Dillon Heatherington has been recalled to Dallas.

We can start this preview by stating the obvious. The Moose are a very, very good team. They've got the best record in the West and will likely be the first team to clinch a playoff berth in the Conference.

(Credit: Texas Stars)

Manitoba is not such an unstoppable force as of late, and Texas has a real chance to pounce on some points here this week with the season series closing between tonight's game and Saturday's. In their past ten games, the Moose are showing some potential of being human with a 4-5-0-1 record. Since rattling off a five game winning streak to start February, they are 5-7-1-2. Chicago, Iowa, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee, all contending for playoff positioning, knocked off the Moose during that time.

The Stars have something of a confidence boost on their side of the equation as well. When Texas visited Winnipeg earlier this year, they emerged with two wins, each by a four goal margin. Landon Bow picked up his first AHL shutout in that set as well. The leading scorer in those wins was Curtis McKenzie with 3-2=5. The captain will be playing his 3rd game back from injury tonight and first at home.

Stars injury/call-up report:
Dickinson, McKenna, Heatherington (call-up)

Moose Web Resources
Website: moosehockey.com
Twitter: @ManitobaMoose
Beat writer: @PwilliamsNHL

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Texas Stars Win in Tucson, Scoring Four on Ten Shots

(Credit: Tucson Roadrunners)
Winless in the season series coming into the game, the Texas Stars broke that streak with a 4-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners. The second period was the key to the night for Texas. In the frame, Justin Dowling and Roope Hintz scored in the first minute, and Gavin Bayreuther added his sixth of the year.

Landon Bow stopped 24 of 27 shots against him. He came up especially big in the first period when Texas was outshot 11-1. In the second, the Stars scored their three goals on just six shots and added their game-winning goal in the third while sending just three shots on net.

With five shots saved among nine total, Texas chased Hunter Miska from the Tucson net when Sheldon Dries scored what would become the game-winner.

Curtis McKenzie had his first point since returning from injury, a secondary assist on Dowling's goal in the second.

The Stars return home to play another hot club, Manitoba, on Wednesday.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Kelleher, Scarlett, French, Rallo, O'Brien (scratch)
Dickinson, McKenna (call-up)

Today's attendance was 4,602.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Tucson - March 10 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Tucson Roadrunners

           Texas Stars                         Tucson Roadrunners
     31-21-6-3, 71 pts, .582      at      31-17-4-1, 67 pts, .632
   #4 Pacific Division                       #1 Pacific Division

March 10th at 8:05 PM
Tucson Arena, Tucson, AZ

If the playoffs started tonight, this would be your round one matchup. And if those playoffs started tonight, this would be pretty close to the team Texas would be fielding.

(Credit: Tucson Roadrunners)
With Martin Hanzal's season ending back surgery, it went from very unlikely to basically impossible that Texas would get Jason Dickinson back in the fold this season. While both he and Remi Elie are playoff eligible in Texas, the Dallas Stars hope to be competing in playoffs of their own when the AHL playoffs kickoff. Mike McKenna would likely be back in Cedar Park at that point, but this is the team.

This was not true earlier this week, however, because of one glaring gap in the lineup, Curtis McKenzie. The captain played his first game since January 27th when a bizarre collision with one of his own defensemen took him out of the lineup. Last night he had two shots and a minor penalty but before his departure, he was set to be Texas's representative in the AHL All-Star game. His absence from the lineup has dropped him out of the top points scorer list in the AHL, but he is still a point per game player at this level and extremely important to have back.

Tonight's contest is the last in the season series between these two teams, none of which have gone Texas's way. With this shaping up to be a potential playoff matchup, tonight's game is important to show that the Stars can beat this team and give them that confidence when the matchup begins in April.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson, McKenna (call-up)

Roadrunners Web Resources
Website: tucsonroadrunners.com
Twitter: @RoadrunnersAHL
Coverage: @CallahanOnAir (Tucson PBP)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Mike Sislo's OT Winner Lifts Roadrunners Over Stars 2-1

Carter Camper tees off on his opening power play goal
(credit: Tucson Roadrunners)
The Texas Stars collected a point in the standings in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Pacific division leading Tucson Roadrunners. It was a familiar result with an identical score to the last game these two teams played in February. Uncannily, winger Mike Sislo scored the game winner in both games.

In a stroke of good fortune, the Stars got their captain back with Curtis McKenzie drawing into the lineup after weeks of nursing a leg injury. Though he did not have much of an impact, his presence had to be a welcome sight to a team jostling for playoff positioning.

The player who did have an impact for the Stars was Landon Bow (25 saves). He was the sole reason the Stars were competitive throughout their penalty riddled night as his team was heavily outshot 27-16.

The Stars flirted with disaster too many times on special teams, spending 12 minutes shorthanded against Tucson's sixth ranked power play unit led by their dangerous forward group. Due to Bow's effort, the Stars did kill off five of those penalties, but Travis Morin's double minor for high sticking in the second period was too much to overcome.

On the back half of the four minute span, recent acquisition Carter Camper broke open the scoring on a shot that hit the crossbar and went in six minutes into the middle frame. It was Camper's first goal in a Roadrunners uniform.

With six minutes left in the second period, Samuel Laberge scored the equalizer for his fifth goal of the year when he deflected Dillon Heatherington's shot from the point. Early in the third period, the Stars endured a bit of a scare when Morin was cross checked into the boards by Lawson Crouse. He stayed on the ice for a few moments but quickly joined the ensuing power play.

Sislo's goal came two minutes into overtime and underwent a lengthy review. The shot rang off the post, hit Bow's back and trickled into the net. It was initially unclear if the puck crossed the line, but the call on the ice was upheld.

The Stars wrap up the back-to-back set against the Roadrunners on Saturday. The puck drops at 8:05 PM CST.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Kelleher, Scarlett, French, Rallo, Paliotta (scratch)
Dickinson, McKenna (call-up)

Today's attendance was 4,231.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Tucson - March 9 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Tucson Roadrunners

           Texas Stars                         Tucson Roadrunners
     31-21-5-3, 70 pts, .583      at      30-17-4-1, 65 pts, .625
   #4 Pacific Division                       #1 Pacific Division

March 9th at 8:05 PM
Tucson Arena, Tucson, AZ

Brian Flynn 1-on-1 with Dysin Mayo (credit: Texas Stars)
Heading into the first game of a back-to-back weekend set against the Tucson Roadrunners, the Texas Stars have only played their Pacific division leading rivals twice this season and lost both times. Though they did collect a point with an overtime loss in the second game, this pair of games in the desert could go a long way in determining the fate of the Stars as the regular season winds down.

There are a couple of key positives to note about the Stars at the moment. They are coming off a recent win over the Iowa Wild on Wednesday in a game that had Brian Flynn and Justin Dowling back in the lineup after sustaining minor injuries. Dowling chipped in with a goal, which was a welcome sight considering the Stars will need secondary players to emerge down the stretch. Brian Flynn is a pro that contributes in all three zones and does all the little things to help win games.

The situation in net will be interesting this weekend. With Mike McKenna still up with the parent club, Landon Bow and Phillipe Desrosiers may split the games. Desrosiers has done much in his stint with the Idaho Steelheads to elicit confidence from the Texas coaching staff. 

The Roadrunners possess a sixth ranked power play unit with elite prospect Dylan Strome (49 pts) leading the way. Recently acquired from the Cleveland Monsters, Carter Camper rounds out a dynamic forward group that can score on anyone. Rookie winger Nick Merkley (37 pts) is also a ton of fun to watch. Tucson struggles on the penalty kill at 80.7%--just above the Stars. If the Stars can stay out of the box and capitalize on their power play, they can have success against Adin Hill (.911 SP) and Hunter Miska (.899 SP). 

The puck drops at 8:05 PM CST. 

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson, McKenna (call-up)
McKenzie (injured)

Roadrunners Web Resources
Website: tucsonroadrunners.com
Twitter: @RoadrunnersAHL
Coverage: @CallahanOnAir (Tucson PBP)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Colin Markison Leads Texas's Second Period Surge, Drives 4-2 Win

Colin Markison (Credit: Texas Stars)
After a strong first period from Iowa, the Texas Stars rebounded in the second to push past the visiting Wild 4-2 at H-E-B Center tonight. Colin Markison was at the center of it all, collecting the game tying goal and assisting on the go-ahead and insurance tallies.

"He's a motor, a guy who can drive any line," said Coach Laxdal of Markison. "He drove some offense tonight just with some great forechecks. Pressure and speed kills."

Markison was everywhere in the second as he scored just 34 seconds into the frame, generated a shorthanded tally with his speed and then found open man Justin Dowling late in the frame.

Dowling find that playing with Markison gives him more confidence in his game, "He eliminates a lot of mistakes. I like to take a few chances when i'm out there and make the skill play. If I turn it over, sometimes it's not in a good spot and it seems like Markison is always there to cover for me with his legs."

Iowa opened the scoring just under a minute into the contest. It was their first shot of the game, coming on a partial breakaway by Kurtis Gabriel.

"They started quick on us and we got caught just off the change," said Laxdal. "We were back on our feet in the first period."

Sheldon Dries evened things up with a bizarre shot from the corner that rode the goal line and was ultimately knocked in by a butterflying Niklas Svedberg in net.

The Wild scored on a power play late in the period to regain the lead, but it would be their last tally of the game.

Markison's goal came just 34 seconds into the second and put some life back into the Texas bench and fans alike. The initial shot by Bayreuther came to Markison at the net and may have been played with a high stick. The call was a good goal on the ice, but the play went to a review before the final goal call.

Later, Markison's legs made a play as he broke in alone on Svedberg on the PK. Svedberg smothered his initial chance but sent a rebound out to the stick of trailing Austin Fyten, who made no mistake for the 3-2 go-ahead goal.

The period ended with Markison finding Dowling after streaking down the ice to establish the zone. Coach Laxdal commented on the "great effort" that Markison put in on the play to generate the goal.

Iowa came after Texas in the third but was continually rebuffed. The Stars only allowed six shots in the frame and grabbed a late period power play to help stem the tide of momentum from the Wild. Roope Hintz, who has been back and forth to Dallas twice in the last 72 hours, drew that penalty.

"I liked his urgency. He drew a penalty late with his play down the wall. When he's playing like that, he's a tough player to stop."

Even with a later power play for the Wild leading to a 6-on-4, Texas would not budge. Landon Bow stopped 20 of 22 as he must now take the reins from Mike McKenna with the vet in Dallas.

Texas hits the road tomorrow to play a weekend pair in Tucson starting Friday at 8:05 PM CT.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
French, Heatherington, Scarlett, Kelleher (scratch)
McKenzie (injured)
Dickinson (call up)

Tonight's attendance was 4,750.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - March 7 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
30-21-5-3, 68 pts, 0.576
#5 Pacific Division
v.Iowa Wild
27-12-8-4, 66 pts, 0.589
#3 Central Division
March 5th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

The Texas Stars close out their season series with the Iowa Wild this evening in Cedar Park. Texas is 2-1 against the Wild this season with an OT win at home and a split in Iowa last month.

Depth will be the challenge of the night. Texas catches a break in that Roope Hintz was not needed on his emergency recall last night and will be with the team this evening. However, depending on injury recovery timelines, Justin Dowling, Brian Flynn and Curtis McKenzie could all still be out of the lineup.

Sheldon Dries (Credit: Texas Stars)
The good news for Texas is that their depth forwards have had success against Iowa this year. Sheldon Dries, Greg Rallo and Matt Mangene all have three points in the season series. Dries has a quarter of the Stars' goals in the season series with three.

Another interesting stat here for the matchup is that it's a good bet whatever the score is after two periods will tell us the final result. Iowa is 18-0-6-2 when leading after two periods and 1-16-1-0 when trailing after two periods.

With Mike McKenna in Dallas, it's a good time to drop Philippe Desrosiers into the starting role. Landon Bow is 0-4-1 in his last five. At some point, Bow will break out of his funk, but why wouldn't you give Desrosiers a shot now?

Stars injury/call up report:
McKenna, Hintz, Dickinson (call up)
McKenzie, Dowling, Flynn (injury, day-to-day)

Wild Web Resources:
Website: iowawild.com
Blog (Official): I Wild Blog
Twitter: @IAWild

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Texas Stars Recall Philippe Desrosiers for At Least Next Two Games

(Credit: Texas Stars)
With Mike McKenna in the NHL for at least two games, Texas has recalled Philippe Desrosiers from Idaho. Desrosiers has started the last ten games in a row for the Steelheads. His lone AHL appearance this year was a one-goal win. It only makes sense that he gets a start this week as Landon Bow is 0-4-1 in his last five decisions.

Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced Tuesday rookie goaltender Phil Desrosiers has been recalled from the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads.

Desrosiers, 22, is 23-9-3 with Idaho this season with a 2.51 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound netminder made his season debut and stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 5-1 win over the San Antonio Rampage on February 3rd.

Desrosiers (deh-ROH-see-ay) was a second-round pick of Dallas in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Emergency Recalls Send Mike McKenna, Roope Hintz to Dallas

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Forward Roope Hintz and goalie Mike McKenna have both been recalled to the Dallas Stars this morning. Hintz was with Dallas last night and may not have ever physically left. He was an emergency recall last night to deal with an unspecified injury in the Dallas lineup. He took warmups but did not play. Meanwhile, Ben Bishop left last night's game against the Senators and McKenna is likely needed to back up Kari Lehtonen tonight.

It's expected that McKenna will be backing up Lehtonen for at least the next two games. Hintz may be assigned back to Texas just as quickly as yesterday.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled forward Roope Hintz and goaltender Mike McKenna from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hintz, 21, ranks fourth on Texas with 15 goals and is tied for fifth on the team with 27 points (15-12=27) in 55 AHL games this season. Hintz also ranks third on the team with five power play goals and is tied for fourth with two game-winning goals in 2017-18.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound native of Tampere, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the second round (49th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

McKenna, 34, has posted a 14-9-4 record with a .908 save percentage and a 2.64 goals against average with one shutout in 29 appearances with Texas during the 2017-18 season.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of St. Louis, Mo. was signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 1, 2017. McKenna was originally selected by Nashville in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Texas Stars Welcome Roope Hintz Back After Short Recall

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars reassigned Roope Hintz to the Texas Stars this evening. Hintz took warmups but did not put him in the lineup. He was an emergency recall, and he was the 13th man. Since it was an emergency circumstance, the recall does not count against Dallas's four recall limit.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned forward Roope Hintz to the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hintz, 21, ranks fourth on Texas with 15 goals and is tied for fifth on the team with 27 points (15-12=27) in 55 AHL games this season. Hintz also ranks third on the team with five power play goals and is tied for fourth with two game-winning goals in 2017-18.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound native of Tampere, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the second round (49th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Dallas Recalls Roope Hintz, Making Texas Even Thinner Up Front

(Credit: Texas Stars)
An already thin Texas roster got even thinner this morning as the Dallas Stars recalled Roope Hintz to the NHL. It's the first NHL recall for the forward, who is in his first year in North America. The recall could be of the emergency variety, which means it wouldn't count against the four recall limit post trade deadline. More information on that will be available after Dallas morning skate.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled forward Roope Hintz from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Hintz, 21, ranks fourth on Texas with 15 goals and is tied for fifth on the team with 27 points (15-12=27) in 55 AHL games this season. Hintz also ranks third on the team with five power play goals and is tied for fourth with two game-winning goals in 2017-18.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound native of Tampere, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the second round (49th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mike McKenna's 33 Saves Will the Stars to 2-1 OT Win Over Rampage

(credit: Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars snapped their three game skid with a 2-1 overtime win against the division rival San Antonio Rampage on Sunday afternoon. The game was a grueling goaltender battle with veteran Mike McKenna getting the best of rookie Ville Husso, stopping 33 of 34 shots. With the win, the Stars slide back into the fourth spot in the Central division with a chance to move up to third should the Stockton Heat lose in regulation on Sunday night.

Among the challenges to overcome in the game were the Stars being without several top players due to injuries or call-ups. In what should be considered a stolen game, the Stars were had a perfect day of sorts on special teams, going 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and 1-for-1 on the power play. The Rampage ended up heavily outshooting the Stars 34-21.

The only scoring in regulation occurred in the first period with both teams splitting a pair of goals. The Rampage struck first when former Star Brendan Ranford shot from center ice and the rebound was tipped in by Adam Musil. The Stars answered late in the period with a power play goal from Matt Mangene. Mangene redirected Greg Rallo's one timer in front of the net to even things up.

McKenna's brilliance led the Stars to an opportunity to seal the game in overtime. With 31 seconds left, and with a shootout potentially looming, the Stars created a 3-on-1 rush. Defenseman Brent Regner beat Husso to give the Stars their third win over the Rampage in 10 match-ups this season.

The Stars return to Cedar Park to take on the Iowa Wild on Wednesday. The puck drops at 7:30 PM CST.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Hansson, Scarlett, Kelleher (scratch)
McKenzie, Flynn, Dowling (injured)
Dickinson (call-up)

Today's attendance was 4,896.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - March 4 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at San Antonio Rampage

            Texas Stars                         San Antonio Rampage
    29-21-5-3, 66 pts, .569      at      27-23-8-0, 62 pts, .534
    #5 Pacific Division                       #6 Pacific Division

March 4th at 3:00 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

(credit: Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars have a chance to quickly course correct their recent skid in a matter of hours. Coming off their 4-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night, they make a quick jaunt to San Antonio to take on the Rampage in a late afternoon tilt. 

The going won't be any easier as the Stars have a paltry 2-4-2-1 record against their in-state rivals this season. 

Practically neck and neck with the Stars in the division standings, the Rampage will have the fresher legs, having last played in a loss to the Wolves on Friday. Winger Andrew Agozzino leads the team in points with 30, and rookie net minder Ville Husso is in the top three in the AHL with a sparkling .929 save percentage. Right winger Rocco Grimaldi (25 pts) has been a thorn in Texas' side this season with two game winning goals against the Stars.

Meanwhile, the Stars have picked a bad time to string some losses together as they have been hanging onto a playoff slot by the skin of their teeth. If they do not take care of business against a team that has had their number all season, they could find theirselves on the outside looking in before the weekend is over.

Stars coach Derek Laxdal said last week that the goaltending situation was going to be a meritocracy until the end of the season, so the decision for who starts on Sunday will be a toss-up between Landon Bow or Mike McKenna. 

To make matters more challenging, the Stars will continue to be without key players in captain Curtis McKenzie, who is still nursing his injured leg, and Jason Dickinson. Only scoring two goals total in their last two games, the Stars will have to dig deep to manufacture some offense and stave off fatigue if they are going to begin the month of March on a positive note. 

The puck drops at 3:00 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson (call-up)
McKenzie (injured)

Rampage Web Resources
Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With the Herd
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @DanWeissPBP (play-by-play for SA)

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chicago Wolves Smother Thin Texas Stars Lineup 4-1

Max French (Credit: Texas Stars)
The Stars had the first one, but the Wolves had all the rest as Chicago topped Texas 4-1 in Cedar Park. Playing without four of their top scorers due to injury and callups, the Stars had to keep it close to have a chance in the game this evening.

"When you take out McKenzie, Dickinson, and [Brian Flynn and Justin Dowling], you're on an island offensively," said Coach Laxdal. "Bow gave us a chance. We had some looks. The guys worked hard for the thin group that we had. It was as tough loss because our guys battled hard."

The Stars were not happy with the officiating in game, primarily a disallowed goal in the second period that would have put them up 2-1. The no-goal call came after Texas had been the only team called for any penalties up to that point.

"That disallowed goal should have been a goal. Laberge got cross checked into the net. If it's a disallowed goal, why isn't there a penalty call on the play for the cross check? And if there's no penalty, then it should be an allowed goal. There was no sign on the ice. I'm not sure what the ruling on the ice was."

The Stars also didn't get any power play calls late in the game when they felt they were working hard to earn them with their skating.

"That's something we really have no control over," said Max French, who scored the lone Texas goal in his return to the lineup. "Yes, we didn't get the calls we wanted tonight, but we have to take everything in stride and continue to play hard."

Texas opened the scoring midway through the first period after a series of frenetic play that went end to end. Max French, playing in his first game since being recalled from Idaho, stole the puck from a Wolves defender at the Stars blueline and took off running. A deft pass found Austin Fyten, who dished it back to French for the goal.

"Fyten made a great play. We had a good rush, and Laberge was driving the net. Fyten made a good move and was able to hit me backdoor."

The joy was short-lived as Brandon Pirri tied things up less than a minute later. He waited out a play at the end and collected the rebound on a shot by TJ Tynan. Landon Bow had committed hard to following Tynan on the play and when the puck came out to Pirri, Bow had no chance on it. After the first period, the teams were tied with the shots in Chicago's favor 11-9.

The Stars appeared to have a go-ahead goal shortly thereafter on the aforementioned disallowed goal. Sam Laberge ended up on top of Kasimir Kaskisuo, and the Stars rifled it into the empty net. There was no signal on the ice, but it was called no goal after review.

For Chicago, Brandon Pirri wasn't done yet, as the Stars took their fifth penalty of the game late in the middle frame. Pirri whipped the puck in past Bow on the ensuing power play.

"[Playoff hockey] doesn't mean the whistles are put away," said Laxdal, upset with the lack of penalty calls on the Wolves. "If a team is working hard for a call, you have to reward them for putting the work in. It was 1-1 and they got a power play and the penalty was a horrible call. It was a counterbump in the corner. Their bench yelled, and the referee got intimidated by them."

The Stars took a 2-1 deficit to the third period.

Chicago went into a shell and only had one shot on Landon Bow in the period. Texas pulled Bow and allowed two empty net goals to set the score at 4-1. The third period's three shots ties the lowest ever in a period against the Stars, set earlier this year against San Antonio.

Texas is in San Antonio tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Dickinson (call up)
McParland, Scarlett, O'Brien (scratch)
Flynn, Dowling, McKenzie (injured)

Tonight's attendance was 6,513.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - March 3 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Chicago Wolves

Texas Stars
29-20-5-3, 66 pts, 0.579
#5 Pacific Division
v.Chicago Wolves
30-18-6-2, 68 pts, 0.607
#2 Central Division
March 3rd at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Chicago and Texas continue their season series as the Stars return home to Cedar Park after a lackluster road trip. Playing in Chicago and Rockford this week, the Stars pulled out a single point, losing in a shootout to Chicago in a day game on Tuesday. The losses dropped the Stars down to fifth place in the packed Pacific. Even with a .579 points percentage, the Stars would only make the playoffs in one of the four AHL divisions as of today.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The original timeline for Curtis McKenzie's injury was 4-6 weeks. We've just entered that timeframe, so Texas may have their captain back any time now.

The Wolves come in on a mini-hot streak that included their win over Texas this week. They've also beat Manitoba and San Antonio in the stretch, two teams that are no pushovers indeed. Last night's win in San Antonio was a 3-0 shutout win for Oscar Dansk. That means it might be time for Kasimir Kaskisuo in net for the Wolves.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson (call up)
McKenzie (injury)

Website: chicagowolves.com
Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves
Twitter: @theshaves (Wolves PxP)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Texas Stars PA Man Rob Mason Retires, Looks Forward to Being a Fan

(Credit: Texas Stars)
If you've been to a Texas Stars game, you know who Rob Mason is. The venerable public address man has been the only one Stars fans have known for eight and a half years. But now, it's time for him to step down and hand over the mic.

"I've had a lot of things going on in my life and a lot of changes in the last eight and a half years," said Mason via phone last week. "It was just time to go."

He never planned to get into a PA gig and certainly not for a hockey team. His day job is on a morning radio show on 98.1 KVET here in Austin. He got started in radio at 15, and it was always a passion for him. Announcing at Texas Stars games was almost a fluke. Mason headed out to the then-Cedar Park Center for the ribbon cutting and announcement of the first event, a George Strait concert.

On a lark, he asked a Stars' front office member if they'd selected a PA guy yet, and the answer was no.

"He asked me to cut a tape so they could see what I sounded like. I had no idea what a hockey PA guy sounded like. I put together a tape of me doing silly stuff because I just had no idea what it was going to be. I sent it to them, and they had me do a tryout on site."

Rob got to put his unique spin on player names as he announced goals and starting lineups each night. Some of his favorites were Greg Rallo (Greeeeeeeeeg) and Maxime Fortunus (Fortooooooonus) for the fun emphasis he could put on their names.

"Also, I got a lot of people who would comment on the Plucker's power play [announcement]. When we first started doing it, my script said, 'It's another Plucker's power play!' I just decided saying 'another Plucker's' was too dangerous and might come out as something else completely."

The intermission host role was also in Mason's purview for 8 plus years.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
"Given that I do a morning show, I kind of have a warped sense of humor. My favorite games are the ones where people can get hurt because that's just fun.

"Human bowling was always my favorite. They had the interns who worked for the team stand at the far end, and they said, 'Oh, you just stand there and make sure everything goes alright' but really they were there as human battering rams in case things didn't go well!

"One of the times the guy went shooting down the ice and got one of the interns. I announced, "You got six pins and an intern!'. For me it's more fun when something goes wrong. Saturday nights are more fun because the contestants have more lubrication, you might say."

With a morning show, late night overtime games and shootouts were always a time crunch but Mason makes his home in Cedar Park, so it wasn't as much of a hassle to get into bed after those games.

"The arena wasn't that far away so that was good. But it seems like these past two seasons there have been a lot of weekend games. It meant I didn't have to get up for work but it meant that I would work five days a week and then there were weekend games too so it seemed like I never got a weekend."

The thing he'll miss most are the fans and his fellow off-ice officials, who are locked in the space between the penalty box with the PA guy for up to 4 hours. " I have to get in the booth before warmups and I'm stuck there until the end of the game, so we spend a lot of time together!"

He added, "When I was leaving, the fans have said such nice things. Unfortunately I didn't get to know the players, but the fans are my favorite part. They've had such nice things to say and so many of them I've been seeing since the very beginning."

And speaking of fans, he's looking forward to being one. Even as a PA hype man for goals and starting lineups, Mason was an AHL employee and there is a strict no cheering policy that comes with that role.

"The thing I'm looking forward to now is going back as a fan. Sitting in the stands, eating some pizza, having an adult beverage and cheering! So it will be great to scream and yell and cheer!"

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Rockford Bests Texas in Close 2-1 Contest

(Credit: Rockford IceHogs)
Texas went down 2-0 and could not recover this evening as they fell to Rockford IceHogs in Illinois tonight by a 2-1 final. Greg Rallo had the game's only goal for Texas. The Illinois native has four points in his last seven games as he's been getting more consistent ice time after the Mark McNeill trade.

The IceHogs opened the scoring on the power play in the first period as Cody Franson beat Mike McKenna. Early in the second, Luc Snuggerud pushed the lead to 2-0 with his fourth of the year. Both tallies were assisted by new addition to the Rockford roster Chris DiDomenico. The Blackhawks acquired DiDomenico from Ottawa in exchange for Ville Pokka two weeks ago.

Texas would get one back but could not come up with the tying tally late in the third. Rookie Collin Delia stopped 38 of 39 Texas shots in the contest to earn the win. Mike McKenna suffered the loss with 27 saves to his name.

The Stars return home to play Chicago on Saturday night.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Dickinson (call up)
Dowling, McParland, French, Scarlett, O'Brien (scratch)
McKenzie (injured)

Today's attendance was 2,861.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Rockford - February 28 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Rockford IceHogs

      Texas Stars                        Rockford IceHogs
29-19-5-3, 66 pts, .589      at      27-23-3-3, 60 pts, .536
#3 Pacific Division               #5 Central Division

February 28th at 7:00 PM
BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, IL

Following yesterday's shootout loss, Texas rolls into Rockford this evening for only their second game of the season against the Hogs. The Stars will host Rockford in the last week of the season for a back-to-back set. Their previous matchup was a 6-2 loss for Texas that was an aberration, as it was surrounded by five wins coming in and three wins thereafter.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The Stars will have to continue getting things done without Jason Dickinson, as it looks like the forward has cemented himself in the NHL for the rest of the season. He is still AHL playoff eligible, as is Remi Elie, but no one else is from Dallas at this moment. That includes Julius Honka.

The Hogs just took a little Eastern Conference swing, which is rare for Central Division teams and unheard of for the Pacific. They did a Pennsylvania two-step, losing in Wilkes-Barre 6-3 but defeating the ailing Bears 4-3 in overtime. Prior to that win, they had just one victory in their past six games, sliding them to fifth in the Central and out of the playoff picture.

Rookie Collin Delia has been working the crease more frequently recently for the Hogs with a 9-6-2 record and .887 SV%. Jeff Glass is their other netminder, and he sports only slightly better stats.

For the Hogs, many of their top players from the season as a whole are unavailable. Matthew Highmore, Tomas Jurco, Carl Dahlstrom and Vinnie Hinostroza are all in Chicago and rank in the top six of scoring for Rockford. Remaining top scorers include plenty of rookies, including Anthony Louis (10-22=32) and Tyler Sikura (16-7=23).

Stars injury/call-up report:
Dickinson (call up)
McKenzie (injury)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Chicago Takes Two Points in Shootout Victory Over Texas

(Credit: Chicago Wolves)
The Chicago Wolves picked up their first win over the Texas Stars this season with a 4-3 shootout victory in Rosemont, Illinois this afternoon. Each game this season between these two teams has been decided by a single goal and three of them now in overtime. Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz each had a goal and assisted on the other's tally in the game. Hintz returned from injury with a strong effort.

The Wolves got on the board first and quite early. Bryce Gervais scored just 24 seconds into the game to take the 1-0 lead. Things got no easier for Texas in the period as Austin Fyten took a five minute major and game misconduct for boarding. Texas killed the major power play and another minor in the period. At the end of twenty though, Texas was outshot 21-6. At one point during the frame, they trailed 18-1 on shots.

The Stars answered back in the second period on consecutive shifts. Roope Hintz put a rebound through the legs of a Wolves defender for the tie at 4:16 and Brent Regner blasted one from the top of the right wing circle for the 2-1 lead just 13 seconds later. Brandon Pirri would score to tie things back up, however, before the end of the frame.

The teams traded goals in the third period with Chicago reclaiming their lead early on. Keegan Kolesar collected a homerun pass from Pirri and beat Bow for the 3-2 lead. Denis Gurianov continued his strong play with a goal off the pass from Andrew Bodnarchuk. It was Gurianov's 12th point in the last 11 games.

Both teams looked to break through in the third period late, but overtime was unavoidable. With no score in the extra period, a shootout ensued. Tyler Kelleher was the lone goal scorer for Texas as Brandon Pirri and TJ Tynan both netted goals for Chicago to win 2-1 in the shootout.

Landon Bow had a busy day, stopping 41 of 44 shots. Oscar Dansk only saw 23 shots by comparison.

Texas now heads to Rockford for a game there tomorrow night.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Dickinson (call up)
Dowling, McParland, French, Scarlett, Paliotta (scratch)
McKenzie (injured)

Today's attendance was 15,426.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - February 27 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Chicago Wolves

Texas Stars
29-19-5-2, 65 pts, 0.591
#3 Pacific Division
atChicago Wolves
28-18-6-2, 64 pts, 0.593
#3 Central Division
February 27th at 11:00 AM
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL

The spaced out schedule against the Chicago Wolves concludes today with a day game in Rosemont. After taking two games against the Wolves to open the season in Cedar Park, Texas also claimed a mid-November OT game in Chicago. Texas has three more games against the Wolves including today's.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The last time these two teams played, however, Chicago was in a very different place. The Wolves were five games below .500 and in last place in the division. Since losing to Texas, they've rebounded with a 24-9-5-1 record. It's good enough for 3rd place in the division. The past weekend they traded wins with division-leading Manitoba. Texas has been the winner in four of its last five.

Speaking of trades, the Wolves fanbase is breathing a sigh of relief that parent club Vegas didn't get anything done for Erik Karlsson yesterday. Surely that trade would have come by way of prospects in the AHL among many other assets.

A few interesting lines to watch here include:
  • Mike McKenna has started five of the last six. Will Laxdal ride the hot hand or mix in Landon Bow?
  • Roope Hintz oculd return to the lineup today. He was 50/50 on Saturday and didn't go.
  • Steve McParland was added to the Stars' roster last night after Texas lost Jason Dickinson to NHL call up. Max French was also recalled.
Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson (call up)
McKenzie (injury)
Hintz (questionable)

Website: chicagowolves.com
Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves
Twitter: @theshaves (Wolves PxP)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Jason Dickinson Returns to Dallas Stars; Max French Recalled to Texas

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars have recalled Jason Dickinson from the AHL. With Remi Elie, Dallas has now used two of its allowance of four post-deadline callups. The Texas Stars have also recalled Max French from Idaho in a transaction they posted on Twitter.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled forward Jason Dickinson from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Dickinson, 22, has appeared in 13 games with Dallas this season registering 12 shots and ten penalty minutes. In 36 games played with Texas this season, he has produced 24 points (16-8=24) and his 16 goals are tied for second on the team.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of Georgetown, Ont. was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Dallas Silent on Deadline Day; Remi Elie Papered to Texas for Playoff Eligibility

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill stood pat on Trade Deadline day. The only transaction at all for the Stars today was a paper transaction to put Remi Elie on the Texas Stars roster at 3 PM Eastern, making him eligible for the rest of the AHL season and the playoffs.

Notably, this means Julius Honka cannot play in the AHL the rest of the season.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Four-Goal Second Period Puts Texas Past Milwaukee 5-2

(Credit: Derek Sparta/Texas Stars)
It was tight playoff hockey against Milwaukee for a third game in a row. That is, until it wasn't. In just 56 seconds in the second period, the Admirals saw their 1-0 lead evaporate into a 3-1 deficit as Texas roared to life offensively against usually stingy Anders Lindback.

"Huge weekend for us," said defenseman Andrew O'Brien, who scored the game winner and added an assist. "And it's nice to get two wins against a team that traded you away."

Milwaukee scored first, but the Stars had tons of chances in the period.

"Lindback did a great job keeping the score 0-0," said Texas coach Derek Laxdal. "We had four grade A scoring chances we should have buried on him. He did what he had to do."

However, Texas got even quickly and without mercy in the second period. Petter Granberg kneed one of the Stars, and Brian Flynn stepped up and took exception. It wasn't a full-on fight, but the pair got two each for roughing, setting the stage for 4-on-4.

"Give Brian Flynn a lot of credit because he sparked our team, He stood up for his team and that gave us a bit of a spark in the 4-on-4. It was a huge turning point in the game."

Brent Regner went first with a good keep on the left point, a walk of the blue line and a floating slapper to beat Lindback and tie things at one. With the goal not yet announced in the building, the Stars went again, just 14 seconds later. Sheldon Dries got the rebound on a Tommy Thompson shot for the 2-1 lead. Milwaukee took their timeout, but it didn't stop the bleeding.

Andrew O'Brien scored his aforementioned game-winner on another rebound, his first of the year, just 42 seconds later. In all, Milwaukee saw their lead turn around in less than a minute.

Three minutes later, Travis Morin scored from a sharp angle off the right wing side, and it was pretty clear the game was over. Texas and Milwaukee traded goals in the final frame, but those few minutes in the second put the Ads in too much of a hole to recover.

"[Lindback's] a great goalie," noted O'Brien. "He doesn't let many in like that, so I'm a little bit surprised."

Texas didn't need the goaltending as much tonight, but they got it anyways. Mike McKenna took sole possession of the 10th spot in all-time AHL wins with 35 stops of 37 shots. "He's in a really good groove right now. He's know what that second half is all about. We've been relying on him a bit and he's been giving us great performance."

Texas could have easily won the game by an even wider margin as the offense was clicking all over the ice. Colin Markison had at least three solid chances at a goal, including a scintillating shorthanded opportunity he just missed on.

"He's got great speed," said Laxdal. "Probably one of the fastest guys in the league. The feedback on Markison is that you'll get 9 or 10 breakaways a game, and he'll probably score on one. He's creating with his speed and pushing defense back. He's been a great find. He's been the unsung hero for our team this year."

Dillon Heatherington, who later got an assist on Dowling's third period goal, missed a tough backdoor play by just a few inches in the early third. Every line had chances.

"I'm happy with how the team is responding. It's just simple plays. When we try and get cute, we don't get the chances. The group we have now has done a good job of playing simple hockey, checking well and staying above the puck. When we get [Hintz and McKenzie] back, it will be like getting a player at the trade deadline."

The NHL trade deadline, by the way, is Monday. Texas plays in Chicago on Tuesday for a rare day game.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Kelleher, Scarlett, Paliotta (scratch)
McKenzie, Hintz (injured)

Roope Hintz is day-to-day. The Stars tried to get him in today, but he wasn't ready this morning. He will try again Tuesday in Chicago.

Tonight's attendance was 6,110.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - February 24 2018