Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Cleveland Monsters

      Texas Stars                          Cleveland Monsters
 32-22-6-3, 73 pts, .579      v.      20-32-5-3, 48 pts, .400
 #5 Pacific Division                     #7 Central Division

March 16th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Mike McKenna has been reassigned to the Texas Stars.

Roope Hintz squares off with Zac Dalpe
(credit: Texas Stars)
After enduring a loss to the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday and floundering in the standings, the Texas Stars have a premium chance to bag two points tonight against the Cleveland Monsters. The Monsters sit dead last in the AHL in terms of points percentage and have especially struggled after trading their leading scorer Carter Camper away at the trade deadline.

The Stars can ill afford to give away points to inferior teams during this time of year. Expect to see them play with a sense of urgency in front of their home crowd and look to pounce on Cleveland early. A positive sign from Wednesday's game was Curtis McKenzie clicking on two power play goals to get him back on track after a lengthy stay on the injured list. 

Landon Bow did not have a great showing against Manitoba and was replaced by Phillipe Desrosiers mid-game. We could see Desrosiers get the start tonight, if not tomorrow against Manitoba again on the second night of a back-to-back (All subject to change with this afternoon's reassignment of Mike McKenna). The Stars will be without Dillon Heatherington due to a call-up, which will mean Reece Scarlett or Michael Paliotta slotting in on the blue line. 

Alex and Terry Broadhurst are the leading scorers for the Monsters with with 34 and 27 points respectively. Cleveland is near the bottom of the league in just about any category on special teams, and the Stars need to maintain the power play momentum they created against Manitoba. If the Stars can't pull out the victory, it won't be time to panic. But perhaps it would be ideal to locate the button.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM CST. 

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson, McKenna, Heatherington (call-up)

Monsters Web Resources