Gameday Preview: Stars v. Charlotte Checkers

Texas Stars
9-7-7-0, 25 pts
#11 Western Conference
v.Charlotte Checkers
8-13-2-0, 18 pts
#14 Western Conference
December 12th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas did themselves a huge favor on Wednesday night with a big win. With three home games this week and a pretty middle of the road record, it was time to get on a hot streak and do some damage in the division with this week's contests. Enter the Charlotte Checkers. With just 18 points on the year, the Checkers have the third worst points percentage in the league and sit in 14th place in the West. If there was ever a golden opportunity to pick up 100% of the points in a week, this is it for Texas.

These two clubs last faced off in Charlotte in early November. The Stars won 8-2 in the first game but then lost 3-1 in the second to set off their eight-game losing streak. Since that win, Charlotte is 4-6-2-0. They dropped division contests against San Antonio and Oklahoma City but got two wins over Milwaukee in the middle of the run. Familiar names such as Greg Nemisz, Justin Shugg and Brendan Woods make up the top scorer list. Other familiar names are absent, off to Carolina, including Chris Terry, Michal Jordan and Zach Boychuk.

In net, Drew MacIntyre continues to shoulder most of the load. He's 7-9-1 with a .909 SV%. John Muse is just behind at .903 SV% but with a disappointing 1-4-1 record.

On the Texas Stars player side, Ryan Garbutt's suspension and some illness issues in the locker room have shuffled things a bit. Texas signed Taylor Stefishen to a PTO yesterday and lost leading scorer Travis Morin to call up to the Dallas Stars. They will get Jamie Oleksiak in the lineup for at least tonight as the burly defenseman was assigned to the AHL late yesterday.

Gemel Smith was among players under the weather this week. He missed the last game as a late scratch. Will those issues continue to plague the Stars tonight?

Stars injury/call up report:
Rynnas, McKenzie, Jokipakka. Morin (call up)
Henderson (out, hand infection)
Smith (questionable, illness)

Checkers Social Media: Social Media
Blog (unofficial): Chasing Checkers
Twitter: @checkershockey
Twitter: @N_Niedzielski (former Texas Stars intern, now Checkers Communications)
Twitter: @PaulBranecky