Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Diego Gulls

Texas Stars
18-12-3-1, 40 pts, 0.588
#4 Pacific Division
v.San Diego Gulls
15-13-1-0, 31 pts, 0.534
#6 Pacific Division
January 3rd at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

It's time for quick redemption for the Texas Stars. After rattling off a good number of wins in late November and early December, the club has lost three straight. Uncharacteristically, two of those were OT losses.

However, winning with a banged up lineup is going to be a tall order against an improving San Diego squad. Coach Laxdal noted after last game that the Gulls were a team on the rise with a lot of very strong players entering their lineup since the last time the two teams played in early November. Especially notable on Saturday was Eric Fehr. The veteran of 566 NHL games scored two that night and is knocking in points at nearly a one-per-game pace.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The fact that Texas is no longer bumping up against the veteran rule should give you some indication as to the place they're in with injuries. Regner's injury was supposed to be day-to-day, but he hasn't played in a few weeks. With Hansson also out, Shane Hanna and Gavin Bayreuther have drawn in as regulars and it's rough at time on the back end. The power play has also hit a hiccup with Brian Flynn and Justin Dowling out, putting the aforementioned Bayreuther on the second unit and disrupting chemistry that had been building to make Texas the 8th best power play in the league at the peak. Of course, remember, Texas was the worst power play in the league six weeks ago, so this is pretty fantastic as a turnaround.

Regardless of the injuries, Texas has to find a way to keep the tank full through all three periods tonight. They hung with the Gulls in the first forty on Saturday but faded in the third. Three days worth of rest should help in that regard.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson (call up)
Regner, Dowling, Flynn, Hansson (injury)

Gulls Web Resources:
Twitter: @SDGullsAHL
Twitter: @619sports (PBP)
Twitter: @danarelAHL