32-21-4-5, 73 pts
#4 West Division
|San Antonio Rampage
35-23-2-0, 72 pts
#5 West Division
March 4th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
The last time the Texas Stars notched a "W" was 12 days ago in Milwaukee. Since then, Texas is 0-2-1-2 and barely keeping themselves afloat via loser points in the West Division. Coach Gulutzan and GM Scott White both publicly called out player effort in postgame and radio interviews since the debacle Tuesday night against Abbotsford. While Texas lost 5-3 with the fifth being an ENG, the score was no indication of the Stars being flat outplayed for long stretches of the game, including the first half of the first period.
The Stars got Wednesday off, their first true day off in some time, and practiced on Thursday. With undertones of player movement from Scott White, players should come out motivated if they want to prove why they deserve a spot on the playoff roster come Monday.
San Antonio comes into Cedar Park Center winners in their last two games, against Texas and Abbotsford. Overall, the Stars have performed well against the Rampage this year at 5-1-0-2. However, the Rampage are finally getting healthy and starting to build a rhythm towards the playoffs. Despite their 5th place standing, their points percentage puts them in 3rd place and a guaranteed playoff spot. Texas, meanwhile, is tied with Peoria for 5th place, and Peoria has the tie breaker with a 3-2 record on the season.
The Stars will hope for the return of Travis Morin and Philip Larsen to the lineup to help them power through to the playoffs. Larsen was expecting to be ready for Tuesday's game against Abbotsford but did not play. No word on Morin's progress though both players have been skating since last week separately from morning skate.
Not to look ahead too much, but Houston is tomorrow night's dance partner. Texas is 1-6-1-2 against the Aeros this year so two points are not a given against them. The Stars need to win tonight to make sure they continue to gain ground in the West. From the two games, you'd expect two points total, and this is the game you'd expect them from.
Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn, Morin, Larsen (lower body)
Vincour (call up)
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @SARampage_Voice (play-by-play for SA)