Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Manitoba Moose

Texas Stars
6-5-1-1, 14 pts
#5 Central Division
v.Manitoba Moose
7-7-0-0, 14 pts
#6 Central Division
November 14th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX
(credit: Andy Nietupski)
The Manitoba Moose head into Cedar Park on Wednesday to take on the Texas Stars for the first time this season, having just experienced a 5-0 trouncing at the hands of the San Antonio Rampage on Tuesday. These Moose aren't quite the same team that took the AHL by storm last season en route to an abbreviated postseason run in which they were swept by the Rockford IceHogs in the second round.

They do still employ point per game winger Mason Appleton, though. They also have the luxury of icing 2017-18 Eddie Shore Award winning defenseman Sami Niku, though he will be unavailable against the Stars due to a call-up. The Moose goaltending situation appears to be in flux with Eric Comrie garnering most of the starts at a respectable .913 save percentage.

The Stars did receive some recent reprieve in the midst of their successful four point parlay over San Antonio, receiving Denis Gurianov and Dillon Heatherington back into the fold. Defenseman Ben Gleason was also sent down from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Although another call-up is expected with Devin Shore going down in Dallas, the Texas Stars should be able to ice their heavy hitters on Wednesday. We will keep an eye on it regardless.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Gleason, Hanley (call-up)

Note: Elgin Pearce was assigned to the Idaho Steelheads yesterday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Texas Stars Shuffle on D as Gleason Returns, Vala Heads to Idaho

Ben Gleason (Credit: Texas Stars)
Just two roster notes today as things become a bit more settled on the system-wide defense. With Roman Polak back to health and no Dallas games until Friday, Dallas has returned Ben Gleason to the Texas Stars. He played in two games while in Dallas and picked up his first NHL point in his first NHL game on Saturday.

Ondrej Vala was sent back to Idaho yesterday in anticipation of the move. If Dallas still needs someone on Friday, all signs indicate Gavin Bayreuther would be the most likely callup. In the meantime, Texas has a game tomorrow against Manitoba at home.

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

Gleason, 20, recorded one assist (0-1=1) in two NHL contests with Dallas. Gleason has registered six points (2-4=6) in 11 AHL games this season with Texas. He is tied for first among Texas defensemen in both goals (2) and points (6).

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound native of Ortonville, Michigan was originally undrafted and signed with Dallas as a free agent on Sept. 13, 2018. Gleason has recorded 125 points (22-103=125) in 236 career regular-season OHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs and London Knights.

Here's the Vala release:
The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced today that defenseman Ondrej Vala has been reassigned by Dallas to the club’s ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads.

Vala, 20, began the season with the Steelheads after skating in a pair of preseason games with the Stars. The blue liner earned his first ECHL point, an assist, two penalty minutes and a plus two rating in six games of action. Vala has played two games with the Stars this season and recorded two shots. The Czech Republic native made his AHL Debut two seasons ago, tallying an assist in three games with Texas.

The WHL product played 191 games in junior hockey from 2015 to 2018 and recorded 74 points (21-53=74) with Kamloops and Everett.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Stars Finish Four-Point Weekend with 4-2 Win in San Antonio

The Stars got it done in the first period on Saturday night and in the third period today to complete a four-point weekend over the San Antonio Rampage. Trailing 2-1 heading into the final frame, Texas scored three times, including twice on the power play, to vault past the home side.

Denis Gurianov, who was just returned from Dallas, continued his hot streak unabated. He tallied a goal and an assist in the contest. Taylor Fedun, playing in his first game as a Texas Star, marked off a second assist on the Stars' first goal of the night. Brady Norrish acquitted himself nicely in last night's game and earned the call over Ondrej Vala and Niklas Hansson, who were both scratched today. Norrish earned his first AHL assist on Travis Morin's first goal of the season.

Colton Hargrove had the Stars' only first period tally, and Roope Hintz collected the ultimate game-winning goal in the third period.

Landon Bow had a lighter night, stopping 19 of 21 shots against for his fifth win of the season. The Stars will play at home again on Wednesday against Manitoba.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Gleason, Hanley (callup)
Pearce, Vala, Hansson (scratch)

Taylor Fedun played his first game as a Texas Stars, wearing #28.

Today’s attendance was 5,195.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - November 11 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
5-5-1-1, 12 pts
#7 Central Division
atSan Antonio Rampage
3-11-0-0, 6 pts
#8 Central Division
November 11th at 3:00 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

Last night's win put Texas back at .500, but a competitive division race means that they are still in 7th for the moment. Another matchup against the ailing Rampage could help to remedy that.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The big news since last night is the return of Denis Gurianov and Dillon Heatherington to the Texas roster from Dallas. Gurianov collected his first NHL goal yesterday afternoon against Nashville. In addition, Taylor Fedun should be available for the contest. In just a few days, Texas went from big trouble on defense to having Bayreuther, Heatherington and now Fedun all in the lineup as veteran options. Goes to show how quickly things can change in the AHL.

Obviously the Stars aren't going to replicate an 8-1 win (but they wouldn't mind if they did). San Antonio, on their home ice, will have a push back.

Michael Mersch missed last night's game and was in a walking boot postgame.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Hanley (call up)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Texas Stars Crush Rampage 8-1 with Balanced Attack

Erik Condra scores again (Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
If you start strong, you’re going to have a much easier night. Texas took to that playbook in a ig way this evening with a four-goal opening frame en route to an 8-1 final over the visiting San Antonio Rampage. Erik Condra netted a hat trick, and Justin Dowling had a four-point night in the win.

“We had a good week of practice,” said Coach Laxdal. “We had a tough last couple weeks, and it was good to see our guys respond and implement the things we worked on.

Before the game, the Stars were hurting for defensemen with the recall of Ben Gleason to Dallas being the third of their blue liners to head up I-35. The return of Gavin Bayreuther was a welcome sight for the club, and he made his presence known on the evening, generating a goal and an assist, both with his cannon of a shot from the blue line. He joked before the game to his teammates that he was the vet on defense, despite only being in his second season.

“I was hurt, but you learn a lot watching,” he noted. “It was awesome to come out today and have that punch right away. It was a great feeling and got my confidence up early on.”

Landon Bow might have had a cushion, but he still came up with some stellar saves in the contest. He had one of the best save sequences of the game in the second period as Jordan Nolan broke in alone shorthanded. Bow stoned Nolan on the initial shot and his rebound to keep the score at 5-1 at the time. He finished with 30 saves on 31 shots.

Bayreuther’s aforementioned cannon got things started in the first period. Just 51 seconds in, Erik Condra tipped his shot for the 1-0 score. Colton Hargrove went next, the beneficiary of a lifted stick sending the puck unexpectedly away from the control of Joel L’Esperance.

In short order late in the frame, the Stars made their 6th-ranked power play sing with a pair of tallies. L’Esperance lifted one over Ville Husso first, off the assist of Roope Hintz and Justin Dowling. Then, Bayreuther got one of his own from the point. Ville Husso’s night was done after the period, stopping 9 of 13.

“We have a pretty experienced group, two [power play] units we can put out there,” said Laxdal. “Having Dowling back settles our group down. It gives us three centers down the middle. It’s nice to have parts to continue to plug and play.”

The Rampage got one back to start the second period on a slick play. Cross ice and through traffic, Jordan Nolan found Jakub Jerabek sneaking down from the point. The defenseman hit the corner for the 4-1 mark. Justin Dowling would not let that stand long, tipping John Nyberg’s casual shot past Binnington.

In a game that was already 5-1, it’s hard to believe that you could say things got more out of hand in the third period, but indeed they did. Erik Condra potted two more to complete a hat trick, and it was clear the wheels had completely come off the bus when Colin Markison wrapped around for the 8-1 marker. Binnington seemed resigned to his fate that it would be a goal almost before Markison collected the rebound to head around the net.

Condra, who last netted a hat trick in Syracuse in February 2017, noted that the veterans were key to the victory in terms of doing the little things right. “It started with us. We weren’t playing the right way. No one is going to do the right thing if the leaders aren’t doing that. It’s about us leading them to do the right thing.”

The veteran line of Morin, Dowling and Condra combined for nine points on the evening, so the right thing paid off this evening.

Texas hits the road, literally, tomorrow to play the Rampage in San Antonio with a matinee start time of 3 PM.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Markison-Hintz-Caamano
Mascherin-L’Esperance-Hargrove
Laberge-Phelan-Payne

Nyberg-Bayreuther
Norrish-Hanna
Vala-Hansson

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Gleason, Gurianov, Heatherington, Hanley (callup)
Pearce, Fedun (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 6,863, a sellout.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - November 10 2018

Texas Stars Shuffle Defense With Trade, Signing and Recall

Ben Gleason
(Credit: Texas Stars)
Three big moves for Texas today. First, the Dallas Stars made a trade, acquiring Taylor Fedun from Buffalo in exchange for a conditional draft pick. Fedun was immediately assigned to the Texas Stars. He's a veteran of 346 games played in the AHL, including some time in Oklahoma City from 2011-14.

Ben Gleason got his first NHL recall as Dallas had Roman Polak under the weather. Polak ultimately could not play, and Gleason is making his NHL debut this afternoon against Nashville.

Finally, to backfill Gleason, the Stars signed D Brady Norrish from ECHL Idaho.

With two new defensemen on the roster with no time to practice, it should be an interesting night regardless. It will be very interesting to see the power play units that Texas rolls out. With Heatherington, Hanley and Gleason in Dallas, someone is going to get a tryout on the point.

Here is the Fedun release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Taylor Fedun from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. Following the trade, Dallas has assigned Fedun to the Texas Stars.

Fedun, 30, has recorded five assists (0-5=5) in nine games this season with the Rochester Americans (AHL). Among Rochester defensemen, he ranks third in assists (5) and fourth in points (5). Last season in seven regular-season NHL games with Buffalo, Fedun recorded one assist (0-1=1).

The blueliner has appeared in 46 regular-season NHL contests over five seasons with Edmonton, San Jose, Vancouver and Buffalo, registering 15 points (2-13=15). Fedun has amassed 176 points (40-136=176) in 346 AHL regular-season contests and posted eight points (4-4=8) in 31 Calder Cup Playoff contests.

The 6-foot, 200-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta was originally undrafted and signed as a free agent by Buffalo on July 1, 2016.

Here is the Gleason/Norrish release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Ben Gleason from the Texas Stars. Gleason is now the fifth Texas player to be recalled by Dallas and joins Dillon Heatherington, Denis Gurianov, and Joel Hanley on the roster.

In an additional transaction, Texas has signed defenseman Brady Norrish from the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads.

Gleason, 20, is tied for fifth among all Texas Stars players and leads Texas defensemen with six points (2-4=6) in 11 AHL games so far in his first professional campaign. Gleason also leads club defensemen and shares fifth among all Texas skaters with two goals this season.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound native of Ortonville, Mich. was originally undrafted and signed with Dallas as a free agent on Sept. 13, 2018. Gleason has recorded 125 points (22-103=125) in 236 career regular-season OHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs and London Knights.

Norrish, 25, has played 13 games for the Steelheads as a rookie. The blue liner has earned 11 points (4-7=11) and is tied for second in scoring on the roster. Norrish is second among all ECHL defensemen in scoring and sixth among all rookie skaters in the league. The Strongfield, Saskatchewan native played four seasons at RIT before turning pro, earning 55 points (11-44=55) in 100 NCAA games.

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
4-5-1-1, 10 pts
#7 Central Division
v.San Antonio Rampage
3-10-0-0, 6 pts
#8 Central Division
November 10th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Big moves for Texas today. Taylor Fedun was acquired via trade and assigned to Texas while Ben Gleason was recalled to Dallas. Brady Norrish was signed to an AHL PTO and recalled from Idaho.

Somehow we made it more than ten games into the season without a game against the in-state rival San Antonio Rampage. Texas will remedy that tonight as they begin a two-game weekend set against the Alamo City club.

It has been a very unkind start to the season for the Rampage. They opened the season with a 4-0 win against the Griffins on home ice but didn't win again for three weeks, a stretch of eight games. With Ville Husso and Jordan Binnington in net, the issue hasn't been stopping goals. The Rampage rank 9th in the league in goals against at 2.85. Husso has regressed quite a bit in his second season, however, with a 1-7 record and a .890 SV%.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
However, San Antonio just can't score. They're 31st in the league and by a wide margin. Hershey is 30th at 2.29 goals per game and San Antonio is all the way down at a flat 2.0. Former Texas Star Brian Flynn leads the scoring with 1-7=8.

Texas won't complain about facing a club that isn't lighting the lamp. They are missing defensemen all over and just swapped Colton Point down to Idaho for Philippe Desrosiers with hopes of sparking stronger play from the net out. Unless Gavin Bayreuther is ready for tonight's game, Texas will need another defenseman just to get to six healthy D on the roster.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury), Bayreuther (undisclosed)
Gurianov, Heatherington, Hanley (call up)