Wednesday, 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)

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