Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Ontario Reign

Texas Stars
4-3-1-1, 10 pts
#4 Central Division
atOntario Reign
1-4-2-1, 5 pts
#7 Pacific Division
November 1st at 9:00 PM
Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, CA
(credit: Ontario Reign)
After suffering their worst loss of the season last Saturday at home to the San Jose Barracuda, the Texas Stars need a palate cleanse. Sometimes, a road trip provides that opportunity due to the bonds that are inevitably forged within a team collectively pursuing an identity. The Stars hope that's the case as they head into southern California to take on the Ontario Reign on Thursday evening.

In their initial meeting of the year against their former rival from the Pacific Division, forward Michael Mersch will play his first game against his former team with whom he spent the first four plus years of his professional career going back to when the Reign were the Manchester Monarchs. The Stars have to be thrilled that Mersch is no longer wearing black and silver, as he is scoring at a point per game clip with his new team in Texas.

The Reign only have one win in eight games, a miserable start for any team. They have guys that put the puck in the net in spades with Matt Luff, Matt Moulson, and Brett Sutter all at nine points in eight or fewer games. Where they are really struggling this year is in net. Cal Petersen was somewhat of a revelation for the Reign during his rookie season last year, helping his team get to the playoffs before they lost in the first round to the Stars. This season, Petersen is allowing 4.78 goals per game in seven games. That's a recipe that doesn't lead to a lot of wins.

A game like this against a struggling opponent could be exactly what the Stars need to put their winless weekend behind them.

The puck drops at 9:00 PM CDT.

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