Gameday Preview: Stars at Peoria Rivermen

Texas Stars
9-8-1-1, 20 pts
#12 Western Conference
atPeoria Rivermen
6-10-2-1, 15 pts
#14 Western Conference
December 2nd at 5:00 PM
Carver Arena, Peoria, IL

Texas travels overnight to Peoria, Illinois, to play their third game in three days. They will be looking to get back their winning ways after having a three game winning streak snapped by the Griffins last night. This is the first of four meetings between Texas and Peoria, which will all happen in the next month and a half.

Traditionally, Peoria is a team that has given Texas fits; the Stars are 8-9-1-0 against the Rivs all-time. Peoria, however, is on a bit of a skid this season with a 6-10-2-1 record. They are only ahead of San Antonio for #15 by virtue of games played. They come into this afternoon's game having lost in Chicago last night. Prior to that, they had seven days off. Peoria has lost three of their last four games.

Pivot-man T.J. Hensick is the far and away points leader for the Rivs with 5-14-19 in 19 GP. Derek Nesbitt is the goals leader and next in points at 6-5-11. Anthony Peluso is tied in points at 5-6-11.

Other players to watch for include defenseman Jaden Schwartz, the highly touted 14th overall pick in 2010. Schwartz is 5-3-8 but carries a ghastly minus-11 rating. He is joined in that regard by a few other players. Phil McRae, who scored a hat trick against Texas last year, is minus-12; Taylor Chorney is minus-16.

In net, the Rivs return Jake Allen from last year's club. He is 5-9-1 with a 3.37 GAA and .896SV%. Mike McKenna is the other masked man. McKenna has played most of his career in the AHL's Eastern Conference and sports a 1-3-0 record with a 3.40 GAA and .902 SV%.

Expect Nilstorp in net for Texas since Campbell started last night. Given previous history with Coach Desjardins, I imagine that Taylor Vause will shuffle out of the lineup. Desjardins has shown a penchant for going with what is winning.

Stars injury/call up report:

Blog (beat writer): Cleve's World
Blog (unofficial): The Peoria Rivermen Blog
Twitter: @peoria_rivermen
Twitter (beat writer): @icetimecleve
Twitter (blog writer): @LetsGoRivs