Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
15-10-2-1, 33 pts
#6 Central Division
atSan Antonio Rampage
12-16-1-0, 25 pts
#7 Central Division
December 22nd at 7:00 PM
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

Thanks to oddities of the AHL schedule, tonight's game is the second of three straight against San Antonio and four in five against the club. Of course, when you look at the date on the calendar, it makes sense. Keeping the Stars and Rampage in Texas during the holidays is just kindness, not weirdness from the schedule, so we'll take it.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Last night, Texas torched San Antonio after getting things going. Four unanswered with big moments from Roope Hintz and the newly-returned Joel Hanley were key in the victory. Hintz, with his family in the stands, showed that he may not have anything left to prove in the AHL, especially as Dallas continues its hunt for a second-line center who can generate and score.

Coach Laxdal of course noted that the losing team will have a push in the second half of a back-to-back, but also mentioned the perennially terrible ice conditions at AT&T Center. "We have to be ready to play in their building tomorrow night. It’s not an easy place to play. The ice conditions are awful, so we just gotta focus on having a good start and work it from there."

Getting a quick start, unlike last night, will also be a key to the game.

Finally, taking a cursory glance at the standings is concerning. Taking a deeper look leads to relief. Remember that the Stars have three games in hand on many of the division leaders. If they win those games, they're in first place in the league. If they take 3/6, they're in the playoffs. Points percentage may have been the bane of their existence the past few years, but here it shows a team much better than the "6th place' standings marker suggests.

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