Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Bakersfield Condors

Texas Stars
18-11-3-2, 41 pts
#5 Central Division
v.Bakersfield Condors
16-13-2-1, 35 pts
#5 Pacific Division
January 9th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Now comes the grind. Do you remember all those weeks in October when you could have mistaken the Texas Stars for a high school football team based on their schedule of only Friday and Saturday games? This is where it comes back. Over the next 18 days leading into the All-Star game, Texas has ten games, mostly in the Pacific Division when not at home. Tonight's match against Bakersfield begins the slog.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Texas has points in their last 8 straight home games, including seven outright wins. Bakersfield comes in losers in their last three. They are three games above .500 and doing everything... alright. The PP and PK are 15-20th in the league, goaltending is around replacement level (.900SV%), and their scoring 19th in the league. They are limiting shots (8th fewest in league), however, so that replacement level goalie work is keeping the score down more than you would think.

Something to watch in this slog of a run is how much Coach Laxdal has to lean on his #1 goalie, Landon Bow. Since Thanksgiving, Bow has been the goalie of record in 13 of those 16 games. He's played the second most minutes of all goalies in the league this season so far (1373). Only Charlotte's Alex Nedeljkovic has played more (1435). Bow is young, and as long as he stays hot, Texas will keep going back to that well. However, 18 games in 10 days is enough to wear anyone out.

The Stars shuffled their bottom six forwards a bit this week ahead of the contest. Texas recalled James Phelan and Brad McClure from Idaho while assigning Spencer Naas.

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