Texas Ends 2019 with Matinee in Iowa

(Credit: Texas Stars)
It's been an interesting calendar year for the Texas Stars, who saw their top all-time player retire, their longest serving coach move up and an injection of new blood on the ice and behind the bench as a result of both. They'll polish off the 2019 schedule with a matinee bout against the Iowa Wild in Des Moines this afternoon.

The Stars got three of four last weekend in Texas, but how tantalizingly close they were to earning all four and holding the Rampage to just one on the weekend was a heartbreaker. It was an atypical third for the Stars, if you'd believe it. Aside from empty net goals, Texas's scoring differential in the third period is actually their best (minus-3). What was typical was the massive outshooting that happened in that last frame. Coming into today, Texas is minus-44 on shot differential in the third period with 18 of those coming on Saturday against San Antonio.

On the Iowa side of the equation, this is a team that is middle of the road in a lot of ways. Mid pack on goals and shots both for and against and the power play, they do excel on the penalty kill, ranking 6th at 85%. Due to the general dominance of the Admirals in the division, they have floated up above .500 on account of spotless records against Grand Rapids and Manitoba and five of six points against Rockford.

Texas is one of the few Central teams to give the Wild trouble this season. The Stars are 3-0-0-1 this season and haven't lost in regulation to Iowa since February 19, 2018. Iowa comes in with a loss in their most recent contest against Chicago but had rattled off four in a row just before.