Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
34-29-4-3, 75 pts
#4 Central Division
atIowa Wild
34-23-7-5, 82 pts
#3 Central Division
March 30th at 6:00 PM
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

Friday's win against the Wild was a huge boon the the Stars' playoff chances. Now they face the challenge of a second night of a back-to-back against Iowa to keep the pressure on Milwaukee and Manitoba.

"We've got four teams right in there fighting for that fourth position," said defenseman Dillon Heatherington after Wednesday's win over the Moose. "Nerves are high. Intensity is high. You have to bring your A game every night. We hope to win [all the games] outright, but we're also scoreboard watching right now too."

(credit: Iowa Wild)
With dusk settling in on the AHL season, the Stars have made an admirable stand to potentially punch their ticket to the postseason. What's incredible is that they have recently relied on rookie ATO acquisitions to stabilize their center position. One such player, Rhett Gardner, scored his first professional goal on Friday. The high stakes haven't seemed to bother the young players one bit.

"Everyone handled themselves well, especially the new guys coming in."

Iowa is pretty much sitting pretty as a lock for the third spot in the Central. They could probably use another couple wins, but they're in no real hurry. The most interesting story heading into Saturday night will be goalie-watch. Will head coach Derek Laxdal ride with Phil Desrosiers who turned in 24 saves on Friday, or rely on another youngster in Jake Oettinger? We'll know soon.

The puck drops at 6 PM CDT. 

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Laberge (upper body)
L'Esperance, Dowling, Bow (call up)