12-9-1-1, 26 pts
#6 Central Division
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)