Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Wolves Blows Out Texas 6-1 in Chicago Day Game

(Credit: Chicago Wolves)
Right from the drop of the puck, today's game was in the hands of the Wolves. In the first six minutes, Chicago delighted the home crowd with three straight goals. The second and third came just nine seconds apart and truly set Texas on its heels. The final, almost predestined score, was 6-1.

Texas and Chicago both feature some of the top scorers in the league, and those players were on display today. Brandon Pirri extended his AHL scoring lead with three points. Daniel Carr notched a power play goal and even-strength assist, and Texas's Erik Condra had a deft setup on the Stars first period power play goal. Former Star Curtis McKenzie had a pair of assists to his name.

Being completely honest, the game lacked highlights for Texas in a big way. The score was indeed indicative of the play, which isn't always the case. The Stars did not seem to have their game with them as they got started. Landon Bow came out after the first three goals to attempt a kickstart or reset. Bow came back in after just 77 seconds but then was pulled for good after Chicago scored two more in the second frame.

Desrosiers would let up one more in the final frame to set the final at 6-1. The Stars will play again on Friday at home against San Antonio.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-L'Esperance-Condra
Hargrove-Hintz-Mersch
Caamano-Dowling-Mascherin
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Vala

Bow
Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Norrish, Point, Naas (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 12,632 screaming children.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - December 18 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Chicago Wolves

Texas Stars
14-9-2-1, 31 pts
#6 Central Division
atChicago Wolves
15-9-2-1, 33 pts
#4 Central Division
December 18th at 11:00 AM
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL

Ed. Note: "Gameday" preview coming at you a bit earlier than usual with the morning puck drop.

Oh, the kids game, an AHL tradition. Load the stands with school kids on a field trip and get the Spongebob jumbotron hits ready. In its history, Texas has only played host to a single kids game, an 11 AM affair against the Syracuse Crunch. Texas lost to a dazzling performance from the now-departed Ray Emery, who was on a conditioning stint from Anaheim recovering from avascular necrosis.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The Stars have played plenty of 'kids' games in Chicago over the years, it seems. The Stars are coming into this one hot, as are the Wolves. After dipping to one game below .500 the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Texas has only one regulation loss since. They're on a strong 7-1-1-0 streak that is going to be tested this morning in the Windy City.

Chicago and Texas have already tangled twice on the season with the last one being a spicy affair. Texas rolled to a 7-4 win but not before Maxime Lagace took a slash at James Phelan late in the contest and Alex Gallant came flying into the scene with a sucker punch that earned him a one-game suspension.


Chicago has a five-game win streak in tact as they hit today's game. They haven't lost since the aforementioned spicy game. Their conquests include two in Iowa, one of the best in the division, and two at home against Tucson, who is currently second in the Pacific.

The Wolves have two players scoring at better than a point-per-game pace, Brandon Pirri and Daniel Carr, at 38 and 31 points each. Today's contest will also feature the league's top three scorers with Erik Condra also checking in at 31 points. Texas catches a break with Erik Brannstrom off the Chicago roster today. The rookie defenseman was reassigned to his native Sweden's World Junior roster on Sunday. Brannstrom has 20 points in 24 games.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Gurianov, Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun (call up)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Adam Mascherin Scores in OT to Give Texas 3-2 Win Over Rockford

The Texas Stars didn't allow the full two points to elude them a second time in as many nights as they beat the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 in overtime. Adam Mascherin had the game winning goal, while Erik Condra and Joel L'Esperance both chipped in with a tally.
(credit: Rockford IceHogs)
The Stars went 1-for-4 on the power play against Rockford's third ranked penalty kill unit with Condra getting the marker. Travis Morin set Condra up nicely in the slot for his fourteenth goal of the season to put the Stars up 1-0 in the opening minutes of the middle frame.

James Phelan was called for goaltender interference with a minute left before first intermission, and the IceHogs cashed in with only four ticks left as Jordan Schroeder got a stick on a rebound to swat it in past Phillippe Desrosiers. The potential was there for that play to become one that deflates a team, but Desrosiers played strong throughout the contest and matched Rockford tender Anton Forsberg save for save.

Desrosiers battled through two big breakaways in the second and third periods, which he confidently snuffed out. He also was the recipient of a reckless play by Rockford winger Nathan Noel as he came barreling into the crease unimpeded in the third period. There was no call, which could have been frustrating considering Phelan was called for far less an infraction. No matter. Desrosiers finished with a sparkling 32 saves on 34 shots.

The IceHogs pulled ahead by one eight minutes into the third period. The Stars were caught up ice with no help on the back end, and it led to a goal from Lucas Carlsson who finished from the high slot. L'Esperance went top shelf for the equalizer three minutes later.

The Stars possessed the puck for the majority of overtime play, and it paid off. Though several chances were generated by the likes of L'Esperance, Morin, and Condra, a loose dribbler left in front of the crease by Nick Caamano was all Mascherin needed to secure the victory. He nudged the rebound in for his twelfth goal of the year as Forsberg lost sight of the puck. Just like that, the Stars have picked up eleven out of twelve points in the past six games.

The Stars close out their road trip in a Tuesday matinee against the Chicago Wolves. The puck drops at 11:00 AM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Caamano-Hintz-Mersch
Hargrove-L'Esperance-Mascherin
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Vala

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Norrish, Point, Naas (scratch)

Spencer Naas was recalled from Idaho prior to tonight's game in Rockford.

Tonight’s attendance was 3,457

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Rockford - December 15 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
13-9-2-1, 29 pts
#4 Central Division
atRockford IceHogs
12-10-1-4, 29 pts
#6 Central Division
December 15th at 6:00 PM
BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, IL

Playing their third game in four nights, Texas rolls into Rockford with a five-game point streak in tact. With a humming power play that eventually got them a goal last night, Texas comes in with the second-ranked power play in the league (28.4%).

The loss of Denis Gurianov for last night's game, and potentially for a while longer, takes a potent offensive weapon out of the lineup. This Texas Stars team is showing its mettle by filling in when their top players get recalled. Rookie Joel L'Esperance and veteran captain Justin Dowling stepped up last night. Rookie Adam Mascherin has been in the mix these past two weeks as well.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The IceHogs are coming to the game with a win last night in Grand Rapids. Curiously over the last six games for Rockford dating back to Thanksgiving, the club has either won 3-2 or been shutout entirely.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Gurianov, Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun (call up)

Friday, December 14, 2018

Texas Stars Earn Point But See Win Streak End in Milwaukee

(Credit: Milwaukee Admirals)
[Ed. Note: Denis Gurianov was recalled just before the game.]

The Texas Stars staged a revival of their 2017-18 season in Milwaukee this evening, trailing for most of the contest only to come back in the final period and earn an overtime point. Ultimately, they would fall in the extra frame 3-2 but not before a frantic comeback that saw them score twice in less than two minutes to set the Admirals on their heels.

With the loss, the Stars broke up their winning streak at four but continued a point streak for the fifth straight game. Erik Condra was on the ice for the Stars' second goal of the game but did not pick up a point, ending his personal point streak at 11 games, tied for the franchise record.

Milwaukee opened the scoring on a bad luck play down low. The puck ricocheted off the skates of Adam Mascherin and ended up on the stick of an uncovered Anthony Richard. Richard's ninth of the year came in the second minute of the game, putting Texas down early. In the second period, Frederic Allard added another goal to set the score at 0-2.

The Texas power play had a mess of chances and has a bit less focus on it with the overtime point. However, down 2-0 and with five chances in the game at that point, it was starting to look like a sore spot. Joel L'Esperance made the power play count in the final frame, scoring his 13th of the year. Milwaukee was incensed as they were miffed at the initial penalty call on Brian Cooper, who made head contact with Colin Markison on a clear boarding call.

Justin Dowling completed the comeback with a snipe from the left-wing side off a slick pass from Travis Morin. From there, both teams poured it on. Landon Bow had the best play of the remainder of regulation, sprawling to his right to block a point-blank chance with just over a minute left.

The overtime period wouldn't last long. Just 21 seconds in, Richard collected his second of the game. The Stars were off balance to start the frame as they were unable to get the change they wanted, Ben Gleason coming off for Dillon Heatherington.

Landon Bow stopped 19 of 22 in the loss, his first in two weeks. Texas picks up and heads out to Rockford tomorrow.

Tonight's lines:
Hargrove-Dowling-Mascherin
Caamano-Hintz-Mersch
Morin-L'Esperance-Condra
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Norrish

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Gurianov, Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun (recall)
Vala, Point (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 9,307.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Milwaukee - December 14 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Milwaukee Admirals

Texas Stars
13-9-1-1, 28 pts
#5 Central Division
atMilwaukee Admirals
15-9-4-0, 34 pts
#2 Central Division
December 14th at 7:00 PM
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, Milwaukee, WI

Heading into Friday's game against the Milwaukee Admirals, the Texas Stars are in the midst of a well-timed four game winning streak, each coming against division opponents ahead of them in the standings. If you ask head coach Derek Laxdal to weigh in on what that does for a team, he's far more concerned about taking each game as it comes rather than focusing on the big picture.
(credit: Andy Nietupski)
"Every game you play galvanizes your team," he said. "They’re getting rewarded for their hard work. If you know our dressing room, we’ve got a great group of guys and they play hard for each other. I think that’s important as a team. And they want to win for each other. So you see that in their game and there’s a lot of pride on that bench."

After Wednesday night's win over Iowa, Laxdal did specifically mention how recent back to back wins over the Milwaukee Admirals has had their team feeling confident in what they can achieve. If the Stars can go up into their barn and eke out another win, it will be another signature win in a season that got off to somewhat of a rocky start. Rather than worrying about that, Laxdal just wants to make sure their A game translates away from Cedar Park.

"As we go along in the season I think the galvanization of our club will get better even in losses. If you grind one out and lose a game, you’re going to be stronger as a team moving forward. We’ve just gotta make sure we take this show on the road."

Coming off his two-goal performance on Wednesday, veteran winger Michael Mersch likes what he sees from his team heading into Friday's tilt in Wisconsin. "It’s just a really good group," he said. "Good leadership and good young guys. It’s a lot of fun, especially when you’re winning. We’re looking forward to going [on the road] this weekend. When you win on the road, it’s a lot of fun."

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST. 

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun (call up)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

High-End Offense Pushes Texas to Fourth Straight Win in 6-3 Victory Over Iowa

The Texas Stars knocked off the Central division-leading Iowa Wild on Wednesday night 6-3, running their current win streak to four games. The offense once again came in spades, with Texas receiving scoring from all over the lineup.

Veteran forward Erik Condra scored two goals, extending his point streak to eleven games and tying Matthew Fraser’s team record set in 2012-13. Winger Michael Mersch also notched two goals in the effort. Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov were strong with two helpers each, while Adam Mascherin scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the third period. A successive power play goal from Mersch salted the game away.

I think we were playing hard all night in [Iowa’s] zone,” said Mersch about his team’s offensive output. “We were cycling pucks and getting them up to the point, crashing the net. When you’re doing that and pucks are going to the net, you’re going to get opportunities. All four lines played really well tonight and generated offense.”
(credit: Andy Nietupski)
Iowa made their presence felt in the opening minutes of the contest, showing why they currently lead the division. Two minutes in, Gerry Fitzgerald cleaned up a loose puck with his backhand to break scoreless play after a flurry of chances in front of Landon Bow. Bow finished the game with 25 saves on 28 shots.

“We were kind of chasing our tails a little bit in the first period,” said head coach Derek Laxdal. “When they’re coming with that much speed at us--we’ve got a real young back end there without our veteran guys in the lineup. Teams do pre-scouts and they understand that, so they came real hard on the forecheck.”

The Stars got things under control as the period moved along and answered with Mersch’s first goal right as their first power play expired to knot the score at one. Mersch’s 218 lb frame was unmovable in the crease as Gurianov found him for the deflection.

The second power play unit generating the goal led to a strategic move by Laxdal as the game progressed. “Our second unit is really good. They snapped the puck around, and they scored just at the end of a power play in the first period. So they basically had three power play goals. And so I gave them the 5-on-3 [at the end]. I gave em a little cookie and they rewarded us for it.”

The Wild regained the lead five minutes into the second period when Colton Beck went high glove on Bow after catching the Stars on a change. “[Iowa] is trying to win too, and they’re a good hockey club. They’ve got 14 or 15 wins and they’re their for a reason.”

Once the game moved past the halfway point, the Stars tilted the ice in their favor permanently. Condra crashed the net hard about eleven minutes through the middle frame and was cleaned up the rebound created by Samuel Laberge. “I thought we made a real good push in the second. I think we only gave up three 5-on-5 scoring chances in the second.”

The second period push concluded with a Colin Markison goal with a minute left. Initially, he beat everyone down ice for a loose puck and missed on a backhand chance. Colton Hargrove was there to force a turnover on the forecheck a second later and found Markison wide open on the back door. Hargrove notched his hundredth career point in the AHL with his helper on a Colin Markison goal.

“You look at everybody’s stat lines, everybody’s got a lot of points,” said Mersch of the depth contributions.

The Wild couldn’t get out of their own way in the third period, costing themselves a chance to get back in the game as they were parading to the penalty box to the tune of eleven total minutes. Laxdal rolled out his second unit during a 5-on-3 and was rewarded with Mascherin’s goal from the left circle. “They took advantage of it and that’s part of the inner competition of your group,” added Laxdal.

Mersch scored the second power play goal for the Stars when he cleaned up a loose rebound after Hintz put a puck on net. “It doesn’t matter if its the other unit or our unit going out,” said Mersch of the big third period. “It’s nice to have that confidence to score the goal. We get put out there and get rewarded.”

Then the Stars opened the door a bit for the Wild with successive penalties to give Iowa some 5-on-3 time. Dmitry Sokolov found the top shelf from the right circle to cut into the Stars lead near the halfway marker of the period. “They’ve got some shooters,” offered Laxdal. “The Sokolov kid’s a shooter, and he buried one to make it 5-3.”

Condra’s empty net goal with sixteen ticks left of regulation removed all doubt, giving the Stars plenty to build on with their recent success against stellar competition. “For us to beat Milwaukee back to back, and then to beat Iowa in our building says a lot about the growth of our hockey club,” said Laxdal. “We’ve just gotta make sure we take this show on the road.”

The Stars begin a three-game road trip on Friday against the Milwaukee Admirals. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Gurianov-Dowling-Mascherin
Morin-L'Esperance-Condra
Caamano-Hintz-Mersch
Laberge-Hargrove-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Norrish

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Vala, Point, Phelan (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 4,671.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - December 12 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
12-9-1-1, 26 pts
#6 Central Division
v.Iowa Wild
14-5-4-2, 34 pts
#1 Central Division
December 12th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX
(credit: Andy Nietupski)
Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal mentioned last week how these division games are essentially worth four points and that his team is looking to move up the standings. Recently putting together an impressive three-game win streak within their division was a great start toward that goal but nothing more. Getting it done against the Iowa Wild, who currently sit atop the Central, is going to be a tall task, yet almost manditory if these Stars are who they think they can be. 

Usually, measuring stick games don't come this early in the season. But with the Stars offense, even more potent with the return of Roope Hintz, clicking at an elite level, the time to make their push could be now. They're simply playing their best hockey and rising to the occasion while they await the return of key blue-line reinforcements. 

The Stars have to be confident heading into Wednesday evening, as they went 2-0-0-1 in their first three match-ups against the Wild in October. Even so, they're going to need every bit of offense they can muster with Iowa icing arguably one of the top goaltender tandems in the AHL in rookie Kaapo Kahkonen (.933 SP) and savvy vet Andrew Hammond (.911 SP). Kahkonen's save percentage and 1.94 goals against are both tops in the AHL. He's no ordinary rookie. 

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST. 

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun (call up)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Texas Extends Winning Streak to Three, Wins 3-2 Over Ads

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars
The Texas Stars continued their recent streak of hot play, winning their third straight by a 3-2 mark over the visiting Milwaukee Admirals. Erik Condra extended his point streak to ten with an assist in the first period, one away from the franchise record. Roope Hintz had the game-winner in his first game back from NHL recall.

“I think we’re coming together as a team,” said Coach Laxdal. “That’s the kind of [tight] game where your young guys are going to grow.”

Hintz added, “It’s a good group here. They are playing really well, so it’s easy to hop in.”

It was a great start as the Stars hit the ice like they'd been shot out of a cannon in the first period. On their first two shots of the game, Texas beat Troy Grosenick to go up 2-0. Justin Dowling scored on a nice cross-crease dish from Denis Gurianov, and Niklas Hansson found twine from the goal line on a pass from Erik Condra.

“We had a really good start to the game,” said Laxdal. “But sometimes when you score early the guys get the mindset that it’s going to be easy.”

Milwaukee took advantage of their power play chances to bring things back to even into the second. After being outshot and outscored 2-0 in the game's opening minutes, they notched a power play goal off the stick of Connor Brickley to make it 2-1 after 20 and took a 16-6 shot advantage to the room. As the second opened, another power play goal put them at 2-2, with Alexandre Carrier being the trigger man. Laxdal added, “Their push came right after we scored the two goals.”

Grosenick was no slouch in the contest, and things could have gotten out of hand without him, especially early in the second period. Big stops on Adam Mascherin and Joel L'Esperance gave Milwaukee the chance to tie things in the middle frame.

“We could have blown the game open at 2-2, Grosenick was really solid for them.”

The recently-assigned Roope Hintz put Texas back on top in the second period with his fifth goal of the season and twelfth point in the ten games he’s had in the AHL. The genesis of the goal came on a heads-up play form Brady Norrish, who spotted an unmarked Michael Mersch at the opposing blue line. Mersch was picked up quickly, but Hintz cleaned up the garbage for the 3-2 score.

Hintz noted, “Mersch just made a good play. I got it and I shot it.”

Texas held on late to close out the game. Landon Bow, who stopped 31 of 33 on the night, was a big part of that. “I like the way Bow is playing right now. He’s getting into his own this year. I think he understands that he’s our #1 goalie right now and he’s playing like it.”

“He was really good today,” Hintz agreed. “There were so many chances to tie the game, especially at the end.”

Milwaukee’s best chance came just as time expired. With the extra attacker, they rang one off the crossbar and stayed on the ice after the horn to see if they would earn a goal review. None came, and Texas skated away with their fourth victory in five contests.

Texas plays again on Wednesday at home against Iowa.

Tonight's lines:
Gurianov-Dowling-Mascherin
Condra-L'Esperance-Morin
Caamano-Hintz-Mersch
Laberge-Hargrove-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Gleason-Hanna
Nyberg-Norrish

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Phelan, Vala, Payne, Point (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 5,410.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - December 7 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Milwaukee Admirals

Texas Stars
11-9-1-1, 24 pts
#6 Central Division
v.Milwaukee Admirals
14-8-3-0, 31 pts
#2 Central Division
December 7th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

The Milwaukee Admirals are doing very well in the standings under first year head coach Karl Taylor and assistant Greg Rallo, both former Texas Stars. They've won five of their last seven, but those two losses have both come at the hands of the Stars, one on the road and one at home. The Ads have another chance at Texas tonight, but the Stars are looking to continue their hot play.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Winners in four of their last five, Texas vaulted over Manitoba to claim 6th in a top-heavy Central Division. Humorously enough, if the Stars were being sorted by points percentage, they would be in much better position, given that they have played the fewest games of any team in the division. The Stars have three games in hand on tonight's opponent, for example.

"We take it at a game-by-game basis, and we’re trying to move up the standings," said Coach Laxdal after last game. "A big thing for us is, any time we play a team ahead of us and if we can beat them, that’s a huge four point game. So now we’ve beaten them back-to-back. That’s five out of six points against them. We not only want to generate points on them, we want to move up our division."

The reinvigorated goalie play from Landon Bow has helped to put them in solid position. He had an off game in Grand Rapids, allowing six, but has only allowed one in both of his other two starts.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun (call up)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Roope Hintz Returns to Texas Stars

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Roope Hintz is on his way back to the Texas Stars. At this point, the young forward has recorded more games in the NHL than AHL on the season.

He is being sent down as part of a series of moves to make room for Martin Hanzal to come off IR. In a related move, Dallas also waived and lost Gemel Smith to the Boston Bruins earlier today. The former Texas Star had 186 AHL games to his name, all in a Texas sweater, and 77 NHL games with Dallas.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned left wing Roope Hintz to the Texas Stars.

Hintz, 22, has recorded three points (2-1=3) in 14 NHL games with Dallas during the 2018-19 campaign. Hintz recorded his first career NHL goal on Nov. 18 against the New York Islanders. The forward has also appeared in nine AHL contests with Texas so far this season, registering 11 points (4-7=11), including two power play goals.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Tampere, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the second round (49th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. In 79 career AHL games, Hintz has recorded 46 points (24-22=46) including nine power play goals.

Denis Gurianov Notches Three Points as Stars Fell Admirals 5-1

The Texas Stars knocked off the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday evening 5-1. Russian winger Denis Gurianov had one goal and two helpers and was the best player on the ice for most of the contest.

“He’s playing at a high level right now and using his assets, which is his speed,” said head coach Derek Laxdal of Gurianov’s game. “He has great skill and a great set of hands and sees the ice well. For him it’s all about maturity, and it’s a process for his game. He’s doing a lot of the little things a lot better now, and obviously he’s getting rewarded for it.”
(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Gurianov’s speed was on display for the Wednesday crowd, which included the Dallas brass, in the first period. With just under seven minutes left Gurianov forced a blue line turnover in the defensive zone, turned on the jets, and went five hole on Milwaukee netminder Tom McCollum to open the scoring. “I’m just trying to use my strong suits,” said Gurianov. “When I get the puck I just try and skate hard.”

Laxdal sees a young player rounding into form. “Give him a lot of credit because he’s starting to understand the asset that he has and how dangerous he is as a forward,” he said. “That first goal that he scored was huge for us.”

Aside from Gurianov, there were several standout players for the Stars. Power forward Joel L’Esperance, defenseman Shane Hanna, and playmaking winger Adam Mascherin all had two points each. Landon Bow put together another strong start, finishing with 29 saves on 30 shots. He credits his recent stint with the Dallas Stars in helping him along.

“I just try to carry what I got in my little half game [against the Penguins] there,” he said. “If I can do that up there and bring it back down here, it’s really beneficial.”

The Stars power play once again got the better of the exchange between two top special teams units. Nearly six minutes into the middle frame, red hot Erik Condra centered a puck to set up L'Esperance in the slot for his first goal of the contest. Condra, who ran his points streak to nine games, is now tied for second in league scoring with 27 points.

The fourth line also pitched in on scoring. In the waning minutes of the second period, Colin Markison kept the puck during a 2-on-1 and beat McCollum over his right shoulder pushing the Texas lead to three. L'Esperance’s second goal came only a minute later when Gurianov sprung him for a breakaway. He currently leads all AHL rookies in scoring with 22 points on the season.

“You saw [L’Esperance] tonight playing a hard, heavy game and scoring off a rush on a breakaway,” said Laxdal. “He was some great speed at the end of a shift. It’s great to see his game taking off and him developing.”

The Stars finished off their offensive surge early in the third period. Near the five minute marker, Mascherin went back door on a feed from Dowling and Gurianov. Gurianov has seen the chemistry developing with their line over the last several games. “[Dowling] and [Mascherin] are smart players,” he offered. “We just understand each other. It’s like hockey language.”

Bow's shutout bid was ended eight minutes into the final frame when Garrett Ross stepped out of the penalty box into a breakaway, finishing with his backhand. Small blemish aside, Bow was deserving of the cowboy hat he donned in the locker room. “I thought Bow was outstanding,” said Laxdal. “I thought he was seeing the puck real well tonight, and he made the big saves when counted upon.”

The Stars will lace them up again on Friday night against the Admirals. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Gurianov-Dowling-Mascherin
Condra-L'Esperance-Morin
Caamano-Hargrove-Mersch
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Norrish

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Vala, Payne, Point (scratch)

Texas assigned Elgin Pearce to Idaho yesterday.

Tonight’s attendance was 3,705.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - December 5 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Milwaukee Admirals

Texas Stars
10-9-1-1, 22 pts
#6 Central Division
v.Milwaukee Admirals
14-7-3-0, 31 pts
#2 Central Division
December 5th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Erik Condra has gone ballistic.
(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars are coming off a 7-4 shellacking of the Chicago Wolves on Sunday evening, a game in which several players stood out. The most prominent was clearly winger Erik Condra, he of the five point game which gave him league-wide notice in the form of an AHL player of the week award.

One major positive to take away from Condra's recent play beyond the five point outing is the consistency with which he is scoring. The Chicago game gave him an eight-game point streak, meaning Texas is getting steady contributions from players other than Justin Dowling, Travis Morin, and Denis Gurianov. That bodes well for a team primed to push up the standings. If Condra maintains his lead in team scoring throughout the season, it will have been an unexpected but welcome story to celebrate.

That consistent scoring will certainly come in handy against the defensive-minded Milwaukee Admirals. The two teams met recently on November 30th with the Stars coming out on top 4-1. In that game, Adam Mascherin pitched in with two goals to go with tallies from Condra and Joel L'Esperance. The Stars befuddled Ads netminder Troy Grosenick in that game. It's a safe bet he'll make it tougher on them this time should he get the start.

Another interesting matchup will be on special teams. The potent power play (2nd in AHL) for the Stars should get some opportunities at home against the third ranked penalty kill for Milwaukee. Last time, the Stars got the better end of that exchange, going 1-for-2 on the man advantage.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz (call up)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Texas's Erik Condra Named CCM/AHL Player of the Week

Erik Condra screens the goalie (Credit: Texas Stars)
Veteran forward Erik Condra is getting in done for Texas and earned some league-wide recognition this afternoon, being named the AHL's Player of the Week. In the weekend 3-in-3, he picked up four goals and four assists and now is tied for third place in league scoring.

When you sign someone like Condra, this is the play that you hope to get. A veteran who puts the puck in the net and helps others do the same. This is the first CCM/AHL Player of the Week recognition for Texas since Devin Shore earned the honor the first week of teh 2015-16 season.

Here's the release:
The American Hockey League announced today that Texas Stars forward Erik Condra has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending December 2, 2018.

Condra extended his scoring streak to eight games by totaling four goals and four assists in three outings during the Stars’ weekend road trip through the Midwest.

On Friday night, Condra opened the scoring in Milwaukee and later chipped in an assist as Texas defeated the Admirals, 4-1. On Saturday, he scored another goal in the Stars’ 6-3 loss at Grand Rapids. And on Sunday evening, Condra set a career high with five points (two goals, three assists) to spark Texas to a 7-4 victory at Chicago, earning first-star honors in the contest.

With 10 goals and 11 assists in his last 12 games, Condra has climbed into a tie for third place in the AHL’s scoring race with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 21 games overall this season. The 10th-year pro from Trenton, Mich., has skated in 259 career AHL contests with Texas, Syracuse and Binghamton, totaling 63 goals and 121 assists for 184 points and winning a Calder Cup championship in 2011. Condra was originally selected by Ottawa in the 2006 NHL Draft and has collected 39 goals and 59 assists for 98 points in 366 NHL games with Ottawa and Tampa Bay. He signed as a free agent with Dallas on July 1, 2018.

In recognition of being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Condra will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Stars home game.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Erik Condra's Five Points Power Texas Stars to 7-4 Win Over Chicago Wolves

(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars finished off their three game in three night road trip with a 7-4 win over the Chicago Wolves. Stars alternate captain Erik Condra was sensational as he paced the team in scoring with two goals and three primary assists. Travis Morin and Nick Caamano both had two goals in the contest, and captain Justin Dowling also found twine.

In his tenth season as a professional, Condra continued his eight game point streak to push his season total to 26, tying him for third in league scoring as of this posting. He got off to a hot start with two points in the first period, giving the Stars an early 2-0 lead. Less than four minutes into the contest, he cleaned up a loosed puck after defenseman Shane Hanna fired it off the back wall behind the net. Condra then set up Morin on the back door for an easy tap-in goal a couple minutes later.

The only fly in the ointment for the Stars on the night was their penalty kill. They went 50% in the game and went to the box six times. Wolves defenseman Dylan Coghlan was the first to make them pay with his one timer from the left circle when the Stars went shorthanded with two minutes left in the opening frame.

Phil Desrosiers got the start in net for the Stars and had a pedestrian night with 18 saves on 22 shots. It was really a weird game for a Stars goaltender as the Wolves didn't crack double digits in shot attempts until late in the second period.

Dowling answered Coghlan's goal four minutes into the second period with a power play one timer of his own. The goal gave Condra his third point for the sweet set up. Condra continued his dazzling display a couple minutes later when Ben Gleason sprung him for a clean breakaway, pushing the Stars lead to three.

Wolves forward Brandon Pirri also had a fine game and now sits tied with Condra's scoring total. His power play came with seven minutes left in the middle frame. Caamano's first goal was the answer on a weird play. Defenseman Brady Norrish set him up for a couple of attempts in Maxime Lagace's crease. The call on the ice was initially ruled in Lagace's favor as it appeared he did just enough to keep the puck from crossing the goal line. After the next whistle, the play was reviewed and Caamano was awarded the goal.

The Wolves weren't finished with their strong showing on the power play, with forward Reid Duke cleaning up a loose puck less than four minutes into the third period. Caamano tallied his second marker on the following shift after a hard working forecheck by Colton Hargrove to force the turnover. Morin's power play goal came about ten minutes later to give the Stars a seven spot and Condra his fifth point.

Frustrations boiled over for the Wolves late in the game when they were down 7-3. Lagace swatted Stars center James Phelan in the back of the head on one play after he was parked in the crease. When Phelan turned around to take issue, Alex Gallant streaked over from center ice and threw a sucker punch on Phelan to give the Stars some time on the power play. Matthew Weis scored with a minute and a half left of play to further muddy Desrosiers' numbers, but the Wolves never truly threatened in this game.

The Stars head home to Cedar Park to take on the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Gurianov-Dowling-Mascherin
Condra-L'Esperance-Morin
Caamano-Hargrove-Mersch
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Gleason-Hanna
Vala-Norrish

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Nyberg, Pearce, Payne (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 3,927.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - December 2 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Chicago Wolves

Texas Stars
9-9-1-1, 20 pts
#7 Central Division
atChicago Wolves
10-8-2-1, 23 pts
#4 Central Division
December 2nd at 4:00 PM
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL

Texas ends their packed weekend with a matinee contest in Rosemont. The Wolves faced off against the Rampage last night, falling 5-3 to the division's last place team. They allowed five goals on just 15 San Antonio shots. Chicago has hit a cold streak recently, going 0-3-1 in their last four and without points since November 24th.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Despite the Wolves general success in the AHL, Texas has had their number more often than not over the last five years. In nine visits, the Stars have walked out of Allstate Arena with no points just once, going 5-1-0-3 in that span.

One key to the Stars success, when they've had it this season, has been their special teams. Most teams shoot for a combined 110 when they add together the PP and PK percentages. With 28.2% on the PP and 84% on the PK, the Stars are beating that 110 by a decent margin. For what it's worth, most don't get close to 110. It's one of those goals that you set as aspirational and you're doing great if you get there. Thirteen teams are above 100 and just five are above 110 as of the current moment. Syracuse leads the league at 114.

Last night was Oscar Dansk's start in net for Chicago, so chances are Texas will see former teammate Max Lagace in the pipes against them. Meanwhile, Texas has started Landon Bow in back-to-back games this weekend and will have to make the choice between Philippe Desrosiers and Colton Point to start in Rosemont. If it gives any hints, Desrosiers backed up both games this weekend.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz (call up)

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Texas Stars Fall to Hot Griffins Squad 6-3

(Credit: Grand Rapids Griffins)
The red-hot Griffins got a challenge from the visiting Stars this evening but ultimately walked away with the 6-3 victory in Grand Rapids this evening. After beating Milwaukee last night, Texas couldn't get ahead of a buzzsaw offensive effort from Colin Campbell and perennial performer Chris Terry. Each had a pair of goals in the contest. It was Grand Rapids' fifth straight victory.

Landon Bow took the loss, finishing with 24 saves on 29 shots. Michael Mersch played his first game since November 3rd, returning from a leg injury that had him in a walking boot for much of the month. He did not have any points in the contest.

Campbell got the first two of the game. The first was an unassisted corner pick over the blocker side of Landon Bow, playing his second game back since NHL recall. On the second goal, Campbell was the beneficiary of a turnover as Texas worked to clear, and the puck ended up right on his stick with the Stars already clearing out of the defensive zone.

The Stars stormed back into the contest with a pair of their own goals within four minutes. Joel L'Esperance scored one from a bad angle off to the right wing side of the net. Travis Morin was in traffic in front to distract Griff's netminder Harry Sateri. At the other end, Landon Bow robbed Wade Megan on a dead-to-rights shot, gloving a puck destined to make it 3-1. On the next shift, Erik Condra collected his own rebound and potted a five-hole tally on Sateri for the tie.

It wouldn't last too long as Chris Terry scored one falling down with under a minute remaining in the frame, setting the score at 3-2 after one.

The teams traded goals in the second period with Texas going first to tie things up once again. It was Adam Macherin's sixth goal in the past three games. Mascherin's recent play earned him a promotion to the top six, sliding up alongside Justin Dowling and Denis Gurianov.

Chris Terry wouldn't allow that tie to last for long with his 14th of the season, a beautiful setup by rookie Filip Zadina. Carter Camper was the benficiary of a deft pass from the same Terry from behind the net for the 5-3 tally midway through the third period.

Texas would pull Bow with just over four minutes to work on the equalizers. Dominik Shine would drain it into the empty cage from his own end with just under three minutes left and end the comeback hopes for Texas.

Texas finishes the 3-in-3 weekend in Chicago tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight's lines:
Condra-L'Esperance-Morin
Gurianov-Dowling-Mascherin
Mersch-Pearce-Payne
Markison-Phelan-Hargrove

Heatherington-Hansson
Gleason-Hanna
Vala-Norrish

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Caamano, Nyberg, Laberge (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 6,146.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Grand Rapids - December 1 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
9-8-1-1, 20 pts
#7 Central Division
atGrand Raids Griffins
12-7-0-2, 26 pts
#3 Central Division
December 1st at 6:00 PM
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

Last night's triumphant return for Landon Bow was a fantastic sign for a Texas Stars club whose weekend gets no easier tonight. Their second and final 3-in-3 of the year takes them this evening to Grand Rapids, a grueling overnight bus trip.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The Griffins seemed to be toast early in the season when Texas first faced them. The Stars defeated them on October 17th to dip their record to 1-4. Things just weren't clicking for the perennially contending Griffs. However, since that point, they've turned it around. Following that night, GRG has gone 11-3-0-2 and is currently riding a four-game win streak after beating San Antonio last night by a 4-3 score.

So what's clicking? First, the Griffins are scoring more consistently now. They averaged just over two goals a game early in the season, but now they've added an entire additional goal to sit at 3.19. Highly touted rookie Filip Zadina wasn't adjusted to the AHL game yet but now has 7-7=14 in 21 games. Top scorer Chris Terry is clipping right along as well with 20 points in 21 games. The dangerous Wade Megan has also been since assigned from Detroit and has 7 points in 13 games as he gets started on the season.

For Texas, it has to be a simple formula. Pressure the GR backend and goaltending, which has a subpar less than .900 save percentage overall. Limit scoring where you can for the Griffins but realize this isn't going to be a clean sheet in all likelihood.

One key to that would be activating on their second-best in the league power play, currently at 28.9%. The Griffins are midpack on the PK and don't allow a ton of PP opportunities to opponents, so Texas has to cash in when they happen.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz (call up)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Landon Bow Strong in Return as Texas Defeats Milwaukee 4-1

(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Another three games in three nights has come for the Texas Stars, and they got off to a positive start this time, knocking off the Milwaukee Admirals 4-1. The recently reassigned Landon Bow locked it down between the pipes with 23 saves on 24 shots.

Winger Adam Mascherin continued his recent scoring onslaught with two goals, giving him five in two games and pushing his total to eight on the season. Erik Condra and Joel L'Esperance also provided needed depth scoring with one goal each. Justin Dowling pitched in three helpers, while Travis Morin and Denis Gurianov each had two.

Make no mistake, Bow was the first star of the game. He seemed to be more confident, having recently spent a lengthy road trip with the Dallas Stars and getting spot duty against the high-octane Pittsburgh Penguins. Bow was sassy with his glove and kept rebounds to a bare minimum. The pucks he did deflect off his pads went well away from the slot and high danger areas.

Texas matched up their second ranked power play unit against Milwaukee's second ranked penalty kill with six minutes left in the first period and won. Condra's buried a slick cross-crease feed from Morin to open the scoring.

Both of Mascherin's goals came in the second period. Near the eight minute marker, Gurianov's offering on net went rolling away from the crease but was found by the crashing Mascherin to push the lead to two. Mascherin's second goal with two minutes left in the middle frame was a beauty that featured a sparkling toe drag after a nice find by Dowling.

L'Esperance effectively ended the game nine minutes into the third period when he whacked away at a loose puck, sending the swimming Troy Grosenick on about the fourth attempt for the Stars. Admirals forward Matt Donavan made the game more respectable with three minutes left in regulation with his power play goal, ending Bow's shutout bid.

The Stars continue their road trip tomorrow night against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The puck drops at 6:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Payne-Dowling-Gurianov
Morin-L'Esperance-Condra
Caamano-Pearce-Mascherin
Hargrove-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Gleason-Hanna
Vala-Norrish

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Nyberg, Laberge (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 4,005.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Milwaukee - November 30 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Milwaukee Admirals

Texas Stars
8-8-1-1, 18 pts
#7 Central Division
atMilwaukee Admirals
13-6-3-0, 29 pts
#1 Central Division
November 30th at 7:00 PM
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, Milwaukee, WI
(credit: Milwaukee Admirals)
A second stretch of three games in three nights awaits the Texas Stars this weekend--this time in the Midwest. Friday's game is against the Central division-leading Milwaukee Admirals, now coached by former Stars assistant Karl Taylor.

The Admirals banked enough points in the first couple weeks of the season to withstand a recent stretch of .500 play and still maintain their tenuous hold on first place. One interesting statistic suggests that the Ads are due for a regression: 9 of their 13 wins have been by one goal, including a 4-3 OT victory over Texas on October 6. They are getting by with balanced scoring, as no singular player pops from the score sheet at the moment.

On the other hand, there is data that suggests the Ads are for real and have some real staying power. They are winning with an elite penalty kill, ranked second in the AHL, and rock solid goaltending from Troy Grosenick (.924 SP) and Tom McCollum (.900 SP). It's as strong of a tandem of tenders that you'll find in the AHL.

Speaking of which, the Stars are getting some help in that department. Landon Bow has be reassigned to Texas after a lengthy road trip with Dallas due to Ben Bishop's injury. Bow barely got any burn during the trip, only third period relief duty in a blowout loss to the Penguins, so he should be good to go for at least a couple starts over the weekend. After a tough weekend series against the San Antonio Rampage in which the Stars only secured two points, they will be looking for a better result, beginning with Milwaukee.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Gleason (questionable; undisclosed)
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz (call up)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Goalie Landon Bow Returns to Texas Stars

(Credit: Texas Stars)
After a brief NHL stint, the Dallas Stars have assigned Landon Bow back to the Texas Stars this morning. Bow did appear in a single game, a relief performance, where he stopped 14/14 shots.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned goaltender Landon Bow to the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Bow, 23, appeared in one game for Dallas, stopping all 14 shots faced in his NHL debut, a relief appearance spanning 31:08 at Pittsburgh on Nov. 21. He has also appeared in 12 AHL games with Texas this season, logging a 6-3-1 record, a 2.81 goals against average and a .896 save percentage.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound native of St. Albert, Alberta was originally signed as an undrafted free agent on March 10, 2017.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Mascherin's First Pro Hat Trick Headlines Heated 7-3 Win for Texas

After last night's game, Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal said that his team needed an effort from all twelve forwards and every facet of the lineup to get a victory. This afternoon in San Antonio, they got that with a hat trick from Adam Mascherin, Elgin Pearce and Brady Norrish's first goals of the season and multi-point nights for several other depth players. The final of 7-3 was a good salve for a tough overall weekend effort against the Rampage.

Mascherin's points this season have come in bunches, but tonight was the ultimate in bunching. The hat trick, with all three goals coming in the first period, was supplmented by an assist in the second for a four-point night for the rookie. Denis Gurianov also had a four-point night, albeit a quieter permutation thereof, with one goal and three assists. Shane Hanna, Nick Caamano and Robbie Payne both had a pair of assists.

The Stars power play continued to be hot this game with two PPGs in the first period. Mascherin's three goals were only broken up by Jordan Kyrou's early goal to tie things at one each. From there, it was all Texas. Mascherin's second and third were supported by Denis Gurianov's eighth of the season in the second period. Jordan Nolan made it a two-goal lead again until Elgin Pearce and Brady Norrish each scored their first, making it 6-2.

The 7-2 goal was a breaking point for the Rampage. Joel L'Esperance scored on a scrum in tight, and the marker broke Jordan Binnington, who lashed out at L'Esperance with a slash to the back of the left leg. He was ejected, and Ville Husso took over in net.

Binnington's slash of L'Esperance and the ensuing fight
The third period was mostly benign as Chris Butler had the only tally of the period for either side, a power play goal that made it 7-3 for the final.

Texas now has rest days until another 3-in-3, all on the road, in the midwest starting Friday.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Mascherin-Pearce-Caamano
Gurianov-L’Esperance-Payne
Hargrove-Phelan-Markison

Nyberg-Norrish
Heatherington-Hansson
Vala-Hanna

Point

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch, Gleason (lower body)
Bayreuther, Hintz, Bow, Fedun, Hanley (callup)
Laberge (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 3,004.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - November 25 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
7-8-1-1, 16 pts
#7 Central Division
atSan Antonio Rampage
8-12-0-0, 16 pts
#8 Central Division
November 25th at 3:00 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

When it rains, it pours. The Stars are below .500 and might be without one of their top defensemen for the final game of the 3-in-3. Ben Gleason could miss today with a lower body injury sustained last night.
(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
That brings it right back to the point made by Laxdal last night, "We need guys to step up and keep it simple until we get healthy and Dallas gets healthy."

Injuries up and down the lineup hurt, but they actually create opportunities. ECHL callups and bottom six guys need to step up. Not much else to say here on the third day against the same team, a stretch that Erik Condra called a playoff series.

Colton Point should get the start today.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Gleason (lower body, questionable)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz, Bow (call up)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

San Antonio Takes Second Game of Weekend Set Against Texas, 4-3

(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
San Antonio came out strong following last night’s big win in the Alamo City, and while there was some back and forth, Texas never led in the contest and ultimately fell 4-3 at home to the Rampage.

“It can’t be six guys every night; it’s gotta be twelve,” said Coach Laxdal, pointing out the top-heavy nature of Texas’s recent scoring. “We’re a little thin in areas, and we’re taxing them. We need guys to step up and keep it simple until we get healthy and Dallas gets healthy.”

Laxdal also pointed to the lack of luck that Texas seems to be getting when mistakes are made. “We seem to make mistakes defensively and pay the price for it,” he said, as opposed to occasionally getting a big save from the goalie or a missed execution from the opposition.

The Stars were being outshot 6-0 to start the game. Adam Musil went first for the Rampage, a backhanded goal from the hashes after a paunchy rebound came out to him and Gurianov didn’t have the backcheck to pick it up. A Texas power play would even things up quickly thereafter. Erik Condra potted his sixth of the year right on the doorstep. It wouldn’t last long as San Antonio reclaimed their lead to close the first period. Nolan Stevens, aided by a power play that had only just ended, whipped one past Philippe Desrosiers, a goal he probably should have had, to close at 2-1 for the first.

The power play was kind to Texas again to start the second period. Justin Dowling was left entirely unmarked just above the hashes, and Joel L’Esperance found him alone for his second primary assist of the night.

Tyler Wotherspoon and Austin Poganski reclaimed and extended the Rampage lead within five minutes of the Dowling goal. Wotherspoon’s was a laser of a point shot to make it 3-2. Poganski collected a rebound on the power play for the 4-2 score, a backdoor play that Niklas Hansson should have picked up.

Texas would make it interesting late with Erik Condra’s second of the night, a power play goal rebounded past Ville Husso.

“The power play before that was sloppy,” said Laxdal. “I challenged the guys to have better execution. Guys defend so well that you have to get second chance opportunities.”

Condra was added to the top group tonight and rewarded that decision with the goal. He said of his lat goal, “You're down two goals, and it can go either way. We ended up getting one on the power play and it gives you some juice to tie it up.”

The Stars would pull Desrosiers with under two minutes remaining, but nothing would come of it. Texas attempts to collect some points on the weekend with the final contest of the 3-in-3 tomorrow in San Antonio at 3 PM. They may be without Ben Gleason in the contest as Laxdal noted he could be out with a lower body injury tomorrow.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Hargrove-Pearce-Caamano
Gurianov-L’Esperance-Mascherin
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Nyberg-Hansson
Heatherington-Gleason
Vala-Hanna

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Bayreuther, Hintz, Bow, Fedun, Hanley (callup)
Payne, Norrish (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 5,601.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Antonio - November 24 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
7-7-1-1, 16 pts
#7 Central Division
v.San Antonio Rampage
7-12-0-0, 14 pts
#8 Central Division
November 24th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

The San Antonio Rampage continued their hot streak last night against Texas and have an opportunity to pull out of their last place doldrums with this weekend's series against a depleted Texas squad.
(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
"A depleted Texas squad"

The adaptation to circumstances such as the above under less than ideal conditions is indeed the story of the AHL. With last night's defense in Dallas looking in many ways at times the way Texas's defense should have looked last night in terms of personnel, the Stars are going to have to find a way to get it done. Dallas has already used almost a team-record number of defensemen this season, 12, with Taylor Fedun making his Dallas debut last night (and scoring his first in victory green to boot).

Depending on how long Ben Bishop is out, this is put up or shut up time for Philippe Desrosiers. He's been bouncing between the ECHL and AHL for several years now and has never caught on with the Texas Stars. If he expects another contract stateside at the end of the season, this may be a do-or-die two week sequence with the two 3-in-3s back-to-back.

San Antonio is doing what desperate teams must, surging at a good time against a vulnerable opponent. On home ice, the Stars need to stop them in their tracks and set up the rubber game on Sunday to be a forgone conclusion of Texas victory.

The Central Division this year appears to be a murder's row of solid teams. You don't make the playoffs in November, but you can surely make it harder to get there with divisional losses.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz, Bow (call up)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Justin Dowling Scores Lone Goal in 4-1 Texas Loss to Rampage

The depleted Texas Stars narrowly avoided a shutout and lost handily to the San Antonio Rampage 4-1 on Friday night. The game was never close, although Justin Dowling's marker late in the third period with the empty Texas net made it more respectable. Phillipe Desrosiers got the start in net in place of recently called-up Landon Bow and finished with 20 saves on 23 shots.

Rampage forward Ryan Olsen broke open the scoring with about seven minutes left in the opening frame during a delayed penalty call. San Antonio emptied their net and took their time to set up Olsen for the goal during 6-on-5 play.

Another forward got on the score sheet for the Rampage five minutes into the middle frame as Charlie Sampair snuck one past Desrosiers. It was the only real blemish in an otherwise solid night for Desrosiers. The Stars had a huge chance to get back in the game after a bevy of penalties was dished out to the Rampage, giving Texas nearly two minutes of 5-on-3. Jordan Binnington got the better of them and finished with 27 saves on 28 shots.

San Antonio winger Austin Poganski put the game away about halfway through the final period with his second goal of the season. Though Dowling's goal four minutes later gave Texas a late surge, they never truly threatened as the Rampage added an empty netter for good measure.

The Stars continue their mini series against the Rampage Saturday night in Cedar Park. The puck drops at 7:00 CST.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Caamano-L'Esperance-Gurianov
Hargrove-Phelan-Mascherin
Laberge-Payne-Markison

Heatherington-Gleason
Nyberg-Hansson
Hanna-Norrish

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Vala, Pearce (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 6,253.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Antonio - November 23 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
7-6-1-1, 16 pts
#7 Central Division
atSan Antonio Rampage
6-12-0-0, 12 pts
#8 Central Division
November 23rd at 7:30 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Note: Texas made a few shuffles yesterday ahead of this weekend's 3-in-3. Taylor Fedun was recalled to Dallas, and Ben Gleason was returned. Ondrej Vala and Elgin Pearce were recalled from Idaho.

The Stars organization as a whole has received few breaks when it comes to injuries this season--or many, depending on your preferred use of the word. A recent slew of call-ups to the parent club comes just before a three games in three days set against the San Antonio Rampage that will test the collective will of the Stars.

One bright spot in the morass of all the ailments has been the play of recently acquired blue liner Taylor Fedun, who was swapped up to Dallas for Ben Gleason yesterday. Since his trade from the Buffalo Sabres organization, he has logged heavy minutes in four games for the Stars while playing in all situations. Head coach Derek Laxdal spoke of him like he was mana from heaven.

"He’s come in here, and he’s fit right in. It’s tough to get traded early in a season like that. He got traded from a good team like Rochester. But he’s been a seasoned, true professional with everything, and he’s going to fit great on our back end. Once we get our D corps back it should be one of the best D corps in the American Hockey League."

The Stars will be forced to deal with some tough realities starting with Friday evening in San Antonio, including not having Fedun. Not only are some of their top players in Roope Hintz and Gavin Bayreuther absent for NHL duty, they are also going without their best option in the crease in Landon Bow while Ben Bishop gets healthy.

The Rampage are mired in a woeful start, but these two teams really aren't that far apart. Like Texas, San Antonio is 5-5-0-0 in their last ten games. They can begin to turn their season around with a successful series against the shorthanded Stars, and you have to think that's the message in the locker room heading into Friday's game.

The puck drops at 7:30 CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Bayreuther, Hanley, Fedun, Hintz, Bow (call up)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Landon Bow Gets NHL Recall with Ben Bishop Injured

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
With Ben Bishop leaving last night's game in New York in the second period, the Dallas Stars need another keeper before tomorrow's tilt in Pittsburgh. Thus, the recall came this afternoon for second-year man Landon Bow. This is Bow's second NHL recall overall. It leaves the Texas Stars with Colton Point and Philippe Desrosiers as they approach a three-in-three weekend where they will definitely have to use both goalies.

With Dallas playing three games in four nights themselves, the Bow recall also sets up a chance at a Landon Bow v. Mike McKenna game in the NHL on Friday.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled goaltender Landon Bow from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Bow, 23, has appeared in 12 AHL games with Texas so far this season, logging a 6-3-1 record. The netminder holds a 2.81 goals against average and a .896 save percentage so far in 2018-19. Bow has amassed a 33-25-11 record with a 2.92 GAA, a .900 SV% and one shutout in 74 career AHL regular-season games.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound native of St. Albert, Alberta was originally signed as an undrafted free agent on March 10, 2017.

In a related move, the Dallas Stars have placed center Devin Shore on Injured Reserve (lower body injury), retroactive to Nov. 12.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Colton Point, Tony Calderone Recalled to Texas for Open Week

(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
With no games until Friday, Colton Point and Tony Calderone have been recalled from Idaho to Texas for the open week of practice. The Stars will play an intense schedule over the next two weekends, their only two three-in-three stretches of the year with 5 of those games coming on the road.

Point got things going in Idaho with a 2-0-0-1 record, 2.32 GAA, and .918 SV%. Calderone had a lone assist in his six games in the ECHL.

Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced today that Dallas has reassigned goaltender Colton Point and forward Tony Calderone from the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, to the Texas Stars.

Point, 20, saw action in five AHL games this year, totaling a 1-3-1 record, 3.96 GAA, and .854 SV%. The rookie made his AHL debut against the Milwaukee Admirals on Oct. 6 and took the game to a 4-3 decision in overtime. After being reassigned to Idaho, the North Bay, Ontario native played four games for the Steelheads earning a 2-0-0-1 record, 2.32 GAA, and .918 SV%.

Calderone, 24, is also skating in his rookie year and scored one goal in six games with the Stars to start the season. The 6-foot Trenton, Michigan native played six games for the Steelheads, earning an assist in those games. The University of Michigan alum recorded 92 points (54-38=92) in 134 NCAA games and a career best 45 points (25-20=45) as a senior before turning pro.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Roope Hintz, Ben Gleason Provide Back Up for Dallas Road Trip

As Dallas starts their road trip today, they'll have some more reinforcements from Texas. Roope Hintz and Ben Gleason were both recalled yesterday for the journey to New York.

This is Hintz's first recall since being sent down after starting the season in the NHL. It's a good sign for his development to get the call again. Since the send down, he's been better than a point per game (4-7=11 in 9 GP) for Texas.

Ben Gleason, who started the season on a tryout to Traverse City, gets his second recall of the season as well. He's 2-6=8 in 13 GP with Texas this season.

Texas doesn't play again until their 3-in-3 this weekend, all against San Antonio.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Four Goals in Third Period Send Texas Stars to 5-1 Win Over Rockford

The Texas Stars rode a four goal third period to a 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night. Recently acquired defenseman Taylor Fedun had the game winning goal early in the final frame to go with an assist. Roope Hintz also notched a two point game.

“I really like our game from start to finish,” said Stars head coach Derek Laxdal. “If you look at the second period, we probably had six or seven grade A chances. [Collin] Delia made some highlight reels. We just talked about keep on pounding pucks to the net and you’re gonna get rewarded. I thought we played one of our most complete games of the year.”
(credit: Andy Nietupski)
The Stars blistered Rockford goaltender Delia with rubber all night, outshooting their opponent 41-16. Though he didn’t see a ton of action, Stars goaltender Landon Bow had an important bounce back from a tough outing on Wednesday. “From Bow on down I thought our guys were solid.”

The urgency that Laxdal was preaching after Wednesday’s loss was there from the drop of the puck for the Stars. It primarily manifested when the Stars were down a man.

Dowling drew a huge penalty to even things up while the Stars were initially on the kill six minutes into the contest. During 4-on-4 play, Gurianov made a perfect read during his 2-on-1 rush, holding up just enough in the offensive zone to find a passing lane. Hintz was the benefactor, finishing the play for his tenth point in nine AHL games.

Confidence continued to surge in the latter half of the opening frame for the Stars, though it didn’t lead to any goals. After they went shorthanded once again, the Stars generated two sparkling chances that would’ve been goals if Delia hadn’t suited up for Rockford. “It’s tough to play in a game like that when a goalie is standing on his head, and you kind of get frustrated.”

Jordan Schroeder’s roofer from in close tied the game with one minute and fifteen seconds left in the second period. It had the potential to be a deflating goal considering the Stars had owned the entire frame, outshooting the opponent 15-4 due to a few power play chances. As is often the case, Delia was the best player for the IceHogs.

“We had so many good looks there in the first two periods,” said Fedun. “The message in the locker room was: stick with it, it’s going to come eventually. [Delia] made some really big saves.”

For the third period, Delia finally looked more man than machine when Fedun scored less than twenty seconds into the third period. The veteran defenseman, who has been logging big minutes in his first three games with the Stars, feathered a softy from the point that just crept by the heavily screened Rockford net-minder.

“Taylor Fedun does a great job getting pucks through,” said Laxdal. “Travis Morin had a great screen on the goal. Once we got that second goal, I thought we took a little pressure off ourselves.”

The IceHogs committed a bad boarding penalty to give the Stars their sixth power play of the game halfway through the period which led to a momentary fracas. Morin cleaned up a loose puck in front of Delia to give the Stars some breathing room and Hintz his second point.

“I think we just stuck with it,” said Fedun. “The quantity of shots that we were throwing on net, we knew that if we kept at it that a couple were going to go in for us.”

Fedun’s second point came on an offering from the point that was redirected in by Laberge to put the Stars up 4-1. Colton Hargrove topped off the four goal frame when he cleaned up his own rebound on the rush with less than five minutes of regulation.

Laxdal was complimentary of both players after the game: “[Fedun’s] a solid vet. I know him from Edmonton when I coached the Oil Kings and he was with the Oilers. That was a great pickup for our group. Once we get our D corps back it should be one of the best D corps in the American Hockey League. [Hargrove’s] done a great job. He’s got six goals for us while playing up and down the lineup. When we need someone to step up, he steps up.”

The Stars head south on I-35 to take on the San Antonio Rampage next Friday. The puck drops at 7:30 CST.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Caamano-Hintz-Gurianov
Hargrove-L’Esperance-Mascherin
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Fedun
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Hansson

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Norrish, Payne (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 5,046.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - November 16 2018