Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Charlotte Checkers

Texas Stars
32-34-1-4, 69 pts, 0.486
#6 Pacific Division
v.Charlotte Checkers
37-29-5-0, 79 pts, 0.556
#4 Central Division
April 8th at 5:00 PM
Bojangles Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

UPDATE: Texas has added Brandon Alderson on a PTO to supplement their forward corps.

In a bizarre scheduling oddity, the Stars and Checkers opened the season against each other and now don't play again until today, the second to last weekend of the season. In between, the two teams have gone in very different directions. Charlotte is in a heck of a playoff fight with defending champs Cleveland while Texas is looking to play spoiler for the Checkers.

The Stars have exactly 19 skaters available for tonight's game and the balance of forwards versus defenseman is not great. 10 of those 19 are defensemen, including the recently assigned Ondrej Vala. The rookie 18-year old was assigned last night from Dallas and could play in a few games. He'll head back to juniors next season though.

Excepting Matt Mangene, Texas has to choose two more defensemen to play forward in tonight's game, barring a late PTO from one of the surrounding ECHL clubs that isn't making the playoffs (Norfolk) or doesn't have to worry about the standings this weekend (Greenville). All of this will be moot after tomorrow as Dallas is likely to send down enough forwards to make the team whole again for the final three games against San Antonio.

So who do you pick? If I were to guess, I'd say you put together a line with two defensemen on the wing and a center like Austin Fyten in the middle. Probably Dustin Stevenson and Ludwig Bystrom, if I had to bet.

Stars injury/call up report:
Elie, Dickinson, Honka, Smith, Dowling, Gurianov, McNeill (call up)
Stransky (face injury)

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Twitter: @nickski15 (former Texas Stars intern, now Checkers Communications)