Gameday Preview: Stars v. Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
10-11-0-1, 21 pts
#12 Western Conference
v.Oklahoma City Barons
18-6-0-1, 37 pts
#1 Western Conference
December 10th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

After getting two of three from the #2 team in the conference and Midwest division leading Charlotte Checkers, the Stars' reward is the league leader, the Oklahoma City Barons. "I think we have a little bit of a grudge matching coming against Oklahoma City," said Beskorowany. "They're obviously looking to keep going in first place and they don't want to back down."

The grudge match that Beskorowany refers to has to do with the lopsided contests already in the books in the season series between these two. Texas smashed Oklahoma City in the home opener 7-0, scoring four power play goals, stopping six power plays against and earning a shutout for Richard Bachman. OKC returned the favor six days later in Cox Convention Center, blowing Texas away 10-1. Beskorowany officially took the loss, but both tenders allowed five goals each.

The two teams haven't played since October 15th, taking much different paths since then. Even just in the last ten, OKC is 8-2-0 and Texas is 4-6-0. Both teams come in on two game winning streaks. Luckily for Texas, OKC is on the last night of a 3-in-3 that saw them in Houston on Thursday morning (kid's game) and back in OKC last night.

Ryan Keller leads the Barons in scoring with 9-11-20. Philippe Cormet is just behind with 15-3-18; his 15 goals are #2 in the league for goal scoring. The two are tied for the most game-winners in the league at four each.

David LeNeveu ranks #4 in the league in goaltending with a 6-2-1 record 1.87 GAA and .933 SV%. Yann Danis has gotten more starts though and sports an 11-4-0 record, 2.33 GAA and .924 SV%. They are a goaltending tandem that rivals the Charlotte duo for tops in the league and has veteran experience as well. Both broke into the pro ranks eight years ago (03-04) and have played in the double digits of NHL games.

Expect Texas to start Tyler Beskorowany again, coming off his shutout performance last night. As far as his move to the starter role is concerned, he is ready. "It's a little bit of a change mentally, but I have to prepare the same way whether [Bachman]'s here or not." Coach Pyle points to Beskorowany as well, "We want Besko to run with it, and we told Spratt may be we give him a start [next week]. Besko's earned it though."

Coach Pyle broke down the Stars success against Charlotte, saying that they had a chance to win every game. "I thought we'd been playing really good. We just needed a few saves at times. We needed a timely goal. Timely scoring, good defense."

Texas hopes for a little bit of both and some more magic in nets from Beskorowany to post a third consecutive win tonight against the Barons.

Stars injury/call up report:
Larsen, Vincour, Bachman (callup)

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