Friday, December 21, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
14-10-2-1, 31 pts
#6 Central Division
v.San Antonio Rampage
12-15-1-0, 25 pts
#7 Central Division
December 21st at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX
(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
[Ed. note: Ondrej Vala was reassigned to Idaho yesterday.]

The Texas Stars head into Friday's tilt against the San Antonio Rampage in need something to erase the memory of Tuesday's 6-1 beatdown at the hands of the Chicago Wolves with help from 12,000 screaming children.

Though they haven't managed to get their season on track, the Rampage have won three straight and took two out of three games in their series against the Stars in late November. Their roster is a bit picked over with the St. Louis Blues dealing with various injuries, but a matchup with such a familiar foe always brings with it the traditional trappings of a heated rivalry. Fireworks and physicality are to be expected.

To help them match wits, the Stars just received a boon to their blue line with the re-assignment of Joel Hanley. His call-up was never supposed to be a thing, but injuries forced the organization's hand, and Hanley ought to be a better player because of it. He'll settle things down for a young and improving D corps, but don't expect him to light up the score sheet. He didn't record a single point in sixteen games of NHL action, though that was never his expected role. Either way, he'll be a welcome addition for head coach Derek Laxdal.

It's time to forget about Tuesday and think more ambitiously. Can Erik Condra start another point streak? His primary assist against Chicago was money, and now that Brandon Pirri has been called up to the Vegas Golden Knights, one has to wonder how much Condra can challenge for the top scoring spot in the AHL. That's one exciting thing to keep an eye on against San Antonio. 

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST. 

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

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