Gameday Preview: Stars v. Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
27-17-3-3, 60 pts
#6 West Division
v.Rockford IceHogs
20-22-2-4, 46 pts
#8 West Division
February 11th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Feeling like you haven't seen the Rockford IceHogs in a while? You would be right. The AHL scheduler put together a curious season series for Texas and the IceHogs with all 3 games in Rockford coming before the Hogs make their first trip to Austin.

The last time we saw Rockford in the flesh was April 17th, 2010, when Brent Krahn and the Texas Stars were two games away from their series sweep of the IceHogs in the opening round of the 2010 Calder Cup playoffs. This year, Rockford is about the only team in the West Division who cannot, at this point, make a legitimate argument that they are a playoff bound team.

With the only losing record in the West and 12 points behind 7th place Chicago, Rockford is a team that Texas should indeed beat twice this weekend. If Texas does not garner four points this weekend in the two games against Rockford, this weekend will be a massive disappointment. With Rockford so low in the standings, it doesn't matter if they are OT or SO victories even, all that matters is the "W".

Winning over Rockford this year is not a given, however. In eight regular season games last year, Texas had a 5-3 record over Rockford with one of those losses coming in the garbage time just before the playoffs began with both teams resting their best players. This year, Texas is 1-2 against the IceHogs. Each Texas goaltender has one start; Krahn won, and Bachman and Beskorowany lost.

The top players for Rockford on the season have been the top players in the series with Jeff Taffe, Ryan Potulny and Shawn Lalonde topping scoring at 6, 5 and 4, points respectively. For Texas, the scoring has come from defensive players with Colton Sceviour being closely followed by Dan Spang and Maxime Fortunus in scoring in the series.

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

Blog (unofficial): Rockford IceHogs Fan Blog
Twitter: @goicehogs