4-1-1-0, 9 pts
#6 Western Conference
|at||Lake Erie Monsters|
2-4-0-1, 5 pts
#13 Western Conference
October 31st at 6:30 PM
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
The Texas Stars hit the road for their first true road trip of the season, a jaunt to northern Ohio to face the Lake Erie Monsters. Back-to-back contests starting tonight against the Monsters will be the only visit to Cleveland for the Stars this year.
The Stars come in having won a game in overtime against the Barons after dropping two in a row against the same squad. Their four wins are not good enough for tops in the division, but most of that is due to the number of games played. The Stars have the best win percentage in the division right now at .750. Travis Morin leads the entire league in points with five goals and seven assists.
Lake Erie is having a rough start to the season. After winning their opening game against Grand Rapids by a 4-0 score, they dropped their next three by a combined score of 14-4. Part of that floundering was due to the recall of top goalie Calvin Pickard to Colorado. Roman Will took two losses in his absence, allowing 11 goals on 58 shots against. The Monsters got another win against Grand Rapids but come into tonight's game on a two-game skid. They lost in Milwaukee and Rockford last weekend. The team finished a five game road trip with those losses and will play just their second home game of the year against Texas today.
Returning vet Mike Sgarbossa leads the team in points with six assists. Undrafted forward Andrew Agozzino is chief among five players tied at four points. No Monster has more than two goals on the season so far.
One interesting note for longtime Texas Stars fans is the inclusion of Maxim Noreau on the roster. Noreau, of course, played in Houston for four years, including two overlapping with the Stars franchise in Cedar Park. He was not re-signed by the Wild and headed to Europe for several years. Rather oddly, the Avalanche signed the defenseman to a one-way, two-year deal this summer. He is making $625,000 a year in Lake Erie or Colorado and currently has three points in five games for the Monsters.
Last point to note is that this could be the AHL debut of Valeri Nichushkin, who was assigned on conditioning yesterday. We will have to wait for morning skate to learn more.
Stars injury/call up report:
Blog (unofficial): Cleveland Plain Dealer