Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Rockford IceHogs

Texas Stars
36-29-4-3, 79 pts
#6 Central Division
v.Rockford IceHogs
33-29-4-6, 76 pts
#7 Central Division
April 6th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

The kids are alright, eh?

If it wasn't clear already, the Texas Stars have a good crop of young talent that filtered in over the last few weeks. They needed it last night with tight battle against Rockford on tap. Dellandrea's two points, including the game winner, combined with Oettinger's first home win and second win overall put them over.

"Every time they step on the ice, they’re only going to get better, get more experience, and grow," said Texas head coach Derek Laxdal last night.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
They'll need the kids especially now. Travis Morin could be out long term with an upper body injury he sustained in the first period of last night's game. The only centers Texas has remaining to slot in are either rookies or someone like Colton Hargrove, who has played center for extended stretches this season but is not a natural pivot man. Diego Cuglietta and Riley Damiani are your other centers that could come in tonight.

Texas will need to roll with what they have. Any belief that Justin Dowling is coming back is misplaced. The center earned his time in Dallas with his two-way play throughout the season. As the playoffs approach, he won't be coming back. He might even make the Game 1 lineup for Dallas.

After such a fun win, it's frustrating to look at the standings and see that Texas hasn't moved at all. Milwaukee beat Chigaco last night at home to move to 81 points. The Stars sit two points behind at 79, tied with Manitoba. The Moose play Stockton this afternoon. Milwaukee plays Iowa.

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