Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
13-9-0-1, 27 pts, 0.587
#3 Pacific Division
v.Iowa Wild
11-8-3-0, 25 pts, 0.568
#3 Central Division
December 5th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Coming off a very successful road trip, the Stars host the Iowa Wild, who are also having good success this season in the Central Division. At three above .500, the Wild are 3rd in the division and come to town having just snatched 3 of 4 points from two games with the Rampage down the road. It has been a marked turnaround for the Wild, who entered the month of November at 2-5-2-0 and now sit at 11-8-3. During that stretch, they went 9-3-1.

(Credit: Texas Stars)

In the early season, the Wild were scoring enough but they were also letting in too many. Niklas Svedberg started the first 8 games of the season but gave way to Steve Michalek in early November after Svedberg was recalled to Minnesota. Since that point, Michalek has started more games than Svedberg by nearly a 2:1 margin... and he's winning them too. Michalek is 5-1-1 and Svedberg is 6-7-1. Rookie Adam Vay has one decision, an overtime loss.

Iowa has some reliable elements up front in Pat Cannone (9-7=16 in 22 GP) and Cal O'Reilly (5-9=14 in 21 GP). Rookie Justin Kloos is a player to watch with 4-8=12 in 22 GP. Also, be on the lookout for defenseman Kyle Quincey. The veteran has struggled this year with Minnesota and was assigned to the AHL yesterday for the first time since 2008.

Texas's homestand will take them through the next two weeks and one of the top storylines has to be the emergence of Landon Bow as a legitimate starter in the AHL. The road trip was a huge turning point, and if this team makes the playoffs, this is probably the turning point you look at as saving the season.

The Stars did not do so well against Iowa last season (1-3) but have a fantastic record overall against the club extending back to Aeros days (36-25-6-3).

Stars injury/call up report:
Elie, McKenzie (call up)

Wild Web Resources:
Blog (Official): I Wild Blog
Twitter: @IAWild