Gameday Preview: Stars v. Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
1-0-0-0, 0 pts
#-- West Division
v.Oklahoma City Barons
0-0-0-0, 0 pts
#-- West Division
October 2nd at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Hockey has arrived back in Central Texas. The Stars will open their home preseason schedule this weekend with two games against West Division opponents, one familiar one not. The Oklahoma City Barons are up first. The Barons are the farm team for the Edmonton Oilers and will compete in the West Division with Texas this year. The Oilers previously used the Springfield Falcons as their farm team (now the Blue Jackets farm team).

The Oilers struggled last year in the NHL and got a great draft pick, Taylor Hall, at #1. However, Hall is of course expected to play in the NHL this year. You can take a look at what the Barons have listed for their roster here. One name that you may recognize, if he dresses tonight, is Alexandre Giroux. Giroux played for the Hershey Bears for the last two years and total 110 points over that time. Others to watch for include top defensive prospects Jeff Petry and Alex Plante.

Texas Stars fans should recognize more of the players that they see on the ice tonight. Thursday's game at the Northwoods Ice Center was designed to figure out which tryout players were up to snuff. With only three contract players on the ice in that game, I'm sure many of you were confused with the names you saw on my postgame report. More veterans should creep into the line-up tonight.

However, at practice this morning, a group of veterans participated in a drill after practice was over. Often when players continue to work after the practice is officially over, it indicates that they may not be in the lineup for that night. Players in the extended work included Fortunus, Wathier, Rallo, Krahn, Bachman, and Lukowich. Coach Gulutzan already knows what he has with these players and has to use the preseason to determine what he has in some of their new linemates.

Tyler Beskorowany was first off the ice among the netminders. He is a massive presence in the net at 6 foot 5 inches. This will be his first full profeessional season, and he is likely to get the lion's share of starts in Idaho. Again, often the first netminder off the ice is the one getting the start. See you at the rink!

Stars injury/call up report:

Many players are still with the big club and will not join Texas until later in the preseason.

Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey
Blog (unofficial): Oil Field Hockey
Twitter: @OKCBaronsHockey