Gameday Preview: Stars at Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
17-17-1-2, 37 pts
#13 Western Conference
atRockford IceHogs
14-21-1-3, 32 pts
#15 Western Conference
January 16th at 1:05 PM
BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, IL

It's a 1 o'clock game, so if you'll excuse references to "today" and "yesterday", I'm publishing a little early to make sure everyone can read before the game.

It's only January and yet the Texas Stars are already starting to finish out the season series against some teams. Today, they will close the book on their series with the Rockford IceHogs in a matinee game between the two in Illinois.

These two teams tangled last weekend in Cedar Park with Texas winning one in regulation and Rockford taking the second in OT. Both games were imminently winnable for the Stars. Texas has claimed five of six points available against the Hogs and needs to make it seven out of eight to keep themselves afloat in the playoff race. After idling on Sunday, Texas was leapfrogged by several teams to drop them from #10 to #13 in the conference.

And just as they were beginning to pick up steam, Dallas's injury woes got worse. Mike Ribeiro's "nothing" injury turned into a knee problem that will keep him out until after the All-Star break, and Jamie Benn had an emergency appendectomy that will keep him out for at least ten days. Francis Wathier has already been recalled and another forward, mostly likely a center like Travis Morin, should be expected to be called. Dallas has only playing 12 forwards tomorrow in St. Louis.

Since last weekend, Rockford has been on a road swing, losing to Chicago and San Antonio but defeating the league leaders, OKC, in overtime 2-1. That shows how dangerous this team is, and they cannot be looked past. Luckily for the Stars, they traveled overnight on Saturday and spent Sunday resting up and watching some football to make sure they have fresh legs for their game today.

The continued success of Colton Sceviour and Scott Glennie could be affected by the Stars' callup of Wathier. It will remain to be seen. Additionally, Texas could welcome Angelo Esposito to the team for his first game. Esposito will wear #16. Other Stars to wear #16 include Michael Neal, Fabian Brunnstrom and Sean Backman.

Stars injury/call up report:
Sawada, Tousignant (upper body)
Larsen, Vincour, Wathier (callup)

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