Gameday Preview: Stars at Lake Erie Monsters

Texas Stars
29-17-3-3, 64 pts
#5 West Division
atLake Erie Monsters
26-22-3-5, 60 pts
#4 North Division
February 14th at 6:00 PM
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

The Stars begin their road trip tonight in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters. Texas has already played the Monsters twice this season, both in Texas, and split the two games. Texas will play the Monsters twice this week to close the season series.

Lake Erie has been a positive story recently for the city of Cleveland, unlike say the basketball team, for example, crawling from last place in the North Division the last time Texas played them, to 4th place and playoff contention. Since beating Texas in early January, Lake Erie is 10-5-0-1.

Much like Texas, however, the Monsters have been spread thin by injuries recently. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer breaks it down:
Just when Lake Erie coach David Quinn thought things were settling down this season, three players -- Greg Mauldin, Julian Talbot and Jonas Holos -- went down last Friday in a loss to San Antonio. Two days later, Ben Walter suffered an upper-body injury in the final seconds of a victory over Abbotsford.
A big part of Lake Erie's success has been the play of goaltender John Grahame, who went 9-3-0-1 in the last 13 games and was named AHL Goalie of the Month for January. Grahame was recalled to Colorado late last week but has been returned ahead of tonight's game. Grahame was in the pipes for their win over Texas on January 8th.

Ryan Stoa and Ben Walter, who is injured, lead the season scoring against Texas, both with 1-2-3. Francis Wathier is the only active Star with more than one point on the season against Lake Erie at 1-1-2.

Stars injury/call up report:
Morin, Larsen, McCulloch (lower body)
Gagnon, Sawada, Vincour (call up)

Blog (unofficial): Cleveland Plain Dealer
Twitter: @monstershockey