Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
15-10-3-1, 34 pts
#6 Central Division
v.San Antonio Rampage
13-16-1-0, 27 pts
#7 Central Division
December 27th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Christmas break is over for the Texas Stars, but they will still get the benefit of an AHL scheduling cookie as they get to stay home against the San Antonio Rampage following the festivities. The two teams split their previous two match-ups before the break with the Stars nabbing an overtime point in San Antonio.

After the game last Friday in Cedar Park, Stars coach Derek Laxdal pointed out a couple of areas for his team to focus on. "We didn’t start slow, but [San Antonio] stung us on a power play goal. Then they got a 5-on-5 goal, and I thought we were sloppy with our pucks. I thought they had a little more second effort on 50/50 pucks than we did early in the game."

If the Stars are going to continue to collect points, Roope Hintz will surely have a hand in it. Laxdal has been pleased with the Finnish forward's urgent play in his return to the AHL. "I had a meeting with him the other day and challenged him a little bit. I thought he really responded. He was physical, and he had great explosive speed through the middle of the ice."

(credit: Andy Nietupski)
The pep in Hintz's step can also be attributed to his new line combination with wingers Nick Caamano and Michael Mersch that has found some chemistry over the last few games. Hintz likes the early returns so far. "I like to play with [Caamano and Mersch]," he said. "I think we get good time in the O zone, and good cycles. That’s the better way to play, when we’re there and not in the D zone."

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

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