Gameday Preview: Stars v. Houston Aeros

Texas Stars
0-0-0-0, 0 pts
#-- West Division
v.Houston Aeros
0-0-0-0, 0 pts
#-- West Division
October 3rd at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas kicks off the 2012-13 season with preseason action against Houston tonight at the Cedar Park Center. The summer was much longer than many Stars had hoped for with the early exit of no playoffs and the late start due to the CBA issues. Nevertheless, hockey is back again in the AHL.

Texas has yet to make any cuts to its 37-man training camp roster. Half of that roster will be scratched by necessity to make it down to the 18 that usually lace them up for any given game. As with most preseason games, you're going to see a wide variety of players in the game. Don't be alarmed if the goaltenders change at some point during the game no matter the score. Coaches only get 3 games to evaluate that talent and there are four goalies on the roster.

Preseason is about tryout players making their mark and either getting PTOs or making a strong case that they should be the call-up when injury strikes. Houston is in the same boat. "The approach is simple," Aeros forward David McIntyre told Josh Fisher. "Everyone is fighting for a job. We're going to do the things that will get us a job."

Among those things that might get different people jobs are fighting, which is probably going to be up overall this year in the league. PIMs from major penalties jumped over 50% in the last lockout year and then returned to normal immediately in 05-06. Between players trying to prove they have some value and the overall higher anticipated fight count, it could be the start of a rough and tumble year.

As a final note, remember that the AHL has implemented a few rule changes this season. The most notable is the hybrid icing model. From the league:
The Board has also approved a test of a variation on Rule 81 (“Icing”) at the request of the National Hockey League, that will, in the event of a potential icing violation, complete the play should a defending player be the first to reach the end zone face-off dots and provided the puck has crossed the goal line at that point. This rule will be in effect until Nov. 19, 2012, at which time its continued use will be determined by the Board.
The headline change for AHL fans, however, is the addition of video review to the league. According to Kevin Oklobjiza of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, "[one] camera, above net, referee is judge, replay controls at ice level, monitor in penalty box (as in college). #AHL video review is totally referee's discretion. Coaches can't demand review. Likely won't be able to use TV/in-arena cams for extra view."

It's a start.

Stars injury/call up report:

Blog (official): Pilot to Gunner
Blog (unofficial): The Third Intermission
Twitter: @Houston_Aeros
Twitter: @aero_joe (play-by-play)
Twitter: @TheJoshFisher (media)


  1. Glad to have you back, thank you for running this site!


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