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Stars News

Game Preview 10.25.11
Game Preview 10.25.11
Texas Stars (2-3-0-0, 4 points) at Rockford Ice Hogs(3-3-0-0, 6 points)

The Texas Stars and the IceHogs meet for the first time this season. This marks the 15th all-time meeting between the two teams that will play a total of four games this season. The last three games of the season series will be played in January. The Hogs visit the Cedar Park Center on January 7th and 8th. The Stars return to Rockford on Monday, January 16th. The Stars lead the all-time series with a 9-5-0-0 record against the Hogs, including a 5-2-0-0 mark at BMO Harris Bank Center.

The Stars are coming off a dramatic 6-5 overtime win over the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday night at home. With the win, the Stars ended a three-game losing skid. Texas has allowed 25 goals over the last four games, scoring nine times. The Stars play their second road game of the season in Rockford. Texas is 0-1-0-0 so far this year, with their only road game coming at Oklahoma City on October 15th. Last year, Texas finished 19-17-1-3 on the road and the Stars are 41-32-3-5 all-time.

After starting the season with back-to back wins over Grand Rapids and Peoria, Rockford has dropped two of the last three games. The IceHogs have been outscored 6-1 in their last two contests, including a 4-0 shutout loss in Chicago. Four of the six Rockford games this season have been on the road. The Hogs are 1-1-0-0 in two home games, getting outscored 6-4. Rockford is 2-1-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the game.

Road Trip
The Texas Stars embark on one of the longest road trips of the season starting this Tuesday night in Rockford, Ill., at 7:05 p.m. After a meeting with the IceHogs, the Stars will head to Peoria, Ill. The Stars will play the Rivermen on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Texas will head north from Peoria for a Saturday night game at Allstate Arena against Chicago. Sunday after noon the Stars will be in Milwaukee to take on the Admirals in a 3:00 p.m. faceoff. It will mark the first time the Stars have been to the Bradley Center since their 3-2 double-overtime loss in Game 6 of the 2011 West Division Semifinals. Aside from Peoria, the Stars will get their first look of the season at Rockford, Chicago and Milwaukee. The four-game swing spans six days and stretches over 2,911 miles. The four-game trip matches a similar four-game roadie in mid-January as the longest road trip of the season.

Stars Send Roman and Labrie to Idaho
The Texas Stars announced on Monday the team has assigned forward Ondrej Roman and defenseman Hubert Labrie to the Idaho Steelheads, Texas’ ECHL affiliate.

The 22-year old Roman is in his second full season after playing in 72 games with Texas last year. As a rookie, Roman scored eight goals and set up 14 for a total of 22 points. The Ostrava-Prouba, Czech Republic native is scoreless in two appearances for the Stars this season. Dallas drafted Roman in the fifth round (#136 overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Labrie turns pro after playing the last four years in Gatineau of the QMJHL from 2007-08. In 192 QMJHL games, the 21-year old defenseman scored ten goals and set up 38 others for a total of 48 points. Labrie participated in training camp with the Dallas Stars and Texas Stars.

What’s Ahead:
DATE OPPONENT TIME RADIO
Thursday, October 27 at Peoria 7:00 PM 92.5 FM
Saturday, October 29 at Chicago 7:00 PM 92.5 FM
Sunday, October 30 at Milwaukee 3:00 PM 92.5 FM
Thursday, November 3 vs. Toronto 7:30 PM 104.9 FM
Sunday, November 6 at San Antonio 3:30 PM 104.9 FM
*All times listed are central time
* All times listed are central time

LAST THREE GAMES

Peoria 5 at Texas 6 OT 10/22/11
The Texas Stars defeated the Peoria Rivermen 6-5 in overtime in front of 5,090 fans on Saturday night at Cedar Park Center. Texas forward Matt Fraser scored his second goal of the night 2:00 into overtime, lifting the Stars to a dramatic victory. Center Travis Morin had a goal and three assists, while right wing Ray Sawada added a goal and an assist. Fraser, Morin and Sawada combined for nine points on the evening, ending the Stars three-game losing streak. Defensemen Philip Larsen had four assists and Brad Lukowich had two assists. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 34 shots and registered an assist in the victory. Peoria center Phil McRae tallied a hat trick.

San Antonio 4 at Texas 3 10/20/11
The Texas Stars were defeated by the San Antonio Rampage 4-3 in front of 3,758 fans on Thursday night at the Cedar Park Center. San Antonio’s Colby Robak sent the puck past Stars goalie Richard Bachman with 1:48 left in regulation, propelling the Rampage past the Stars 4-3. The Stars erased a two-goal deficit in the third period with goals by Tomas Vincour and Travis Morin. Vincour finished with two goals on the evening. Defenseman Brad Lukowich registered an assist in his 100th game with Texas. Rampage right wing Michal Repik registered a goal and an assist, while center Angelo Esposito had two assists. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 15 of 19 shots in the loss. San Antonio goalie Brian Foster stopped 36 of 39 shots for the win.

Texas 1 at Oklahoma City 10 10/15/11
The Texas Stars were defeated by the Oklahoma City Barons 10-1 in front of 5,554 fans on Saturday night at the Cox Convention Center. Barons’ winger Ryan Keller led the charge with two goals and two assists, as Oklahoma City enjoyed multi-point nights from ten different skaters. The Barons offense posted three goals in the first period and six more in the second period to take a nine-goal lead through two periods of play. The loss takes Texas below .500 for the first time since the team dropped the first game in team history on Friday, October 2nd, 2009. Left wing Francis Wathier scored the team’s lone goal. Stars goalie Tyler Beskorowany gave up five goals on 20 shots in 43:12 of work, while Richard Bachman surrendered five goals on 13 shots in 16:48 of play. Barons’ goalie Yann Danis won his first game of the year with 27 saves.
Texas Stars

Center Travis Mori leads Texas in scoring with six assists and eight points in five games played. Morin also leads the team with five power-play assists. Defenseman Dan Spang and forward Matt Fraser are tied for second in team scoring with six points each. Fraser also leads the team with four goals scored and 27 shots on net. Fraser ranks among the best in the league for shots on net. Spang leads all team defensemen in scoring with four assists and six points in five games played. Four of the top six scorers for Texas are defensemen. Rookie Brenden Dillon, veteran Brad Lukowich and sophomore Philip Larsen each have four points this season. Spang sits tied for second in the AHL for points by a defenseman. He is also tied for third among all defensemen in the league with four power-play points. Forward Luke Gazdic leads the team in penalty minutes with 21, while Matt Fraser comes in second with 17 minutes.

In Saturday night’s 6-5 overtime win over Peoria, two Texas skaters tied team records. Center Travis Morin and defenseman Philip Larsen each tied the team record for points in a regular season game. Morin finished with a goal and three assists, racking up points in four of the Stars first five games. Larsen set a team record by racking up four assists in one game, becoming the first Star to accomplish the task.

October 25th … This Date in Stars History
Texas has never played a game or had any significant news on this date. On October 24, 2009 the Stars dropped a 2-1 shootout loss at home to Hamilton. Also, on October 26th, 2010, the Stars picked up a 3-0 shutout of the Peoria Rivermen at Cedar Park Center. Richard Bachman made 38 saves for his first shutout of the year.

Good Starts
Texas started the 2010-11 season with a 6-4-0-0 record in the first ten games played. Texas had a 3-3-0-0 record at home and a 3-1-0-0 record on the road to begin the season. In its inaugural season, Texas posted a 6-2-0-2 record in the first ten games played. The team also posted identical home and away records during that time, 3-1-0-1.

Special Teams
Through the first few weeks of the season the Stars have had success and failures in specialty teams. Texas has connected for a power-play goal in four of its first five games. Overall, Texas is ranked first in the AHL with a 35.7% power play efficiency rating. The Stars are 10-25 at home on the power play and 0-3 on the road. Texas’ penalty kill got off to a great start, killing off the first ten power plays against. Since then, the Stars have killed off eight of their last 17 penalty kills (47%). Texas ranks 28th overall on the penalty kill at 70.4%. Rockford ranks 15th out of 30 AHL teams on the power play, converting 17.2% of their man-advantages. The IceHogs sit in the bottom half of the penalty kill, stopping 80.0% of their opponents’ power plays.

The Rockford IceHogs
Rockford returns 12 players from the 2010-11 squad that posted a 38-33-4-5 regular season record. The IceHogs lost their Head Coach Bill Peters, who took a new position as an assistant coach of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. With Peters moving on, Ted Dent was named the new head coach. Dent was the assistant coach in Rockford from 2007-11. Center Jeff Taffe led the Hogs with 30 goals and 67 points in 74 games played last year. Taffe signed an offseason deal with Minnesota and is now playing in Houston.

Numerous key additions are back in the fold for the IceHogs, including five of the top eight scorers. Defenseman Brian Connelly was second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and 52 points in 80 games played. Connelly led the IceHogs in assists (41), with 18 of them coming on the power play. Connelly was sixth overall in the AHL for points by a defenseman, finishing in the top ten for assists. Left wing Rob Klinkhammer is back for his fourth season in Rockford after placing third overall on the team with a career-high 46 points. Kilinkhammer finished with 17 goals and 29 assists in 76 games played. Center Brandon Pirri was fourth on the Hogs in scoring in 2010-11, finishing with 31 assists and 43 points in 70 games played as a rookie. Pirri was drafted in the second round (#59 overall) by Chicago in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

In his first full pro season, left wing Kyle Beach was among the team leaders in a variety of categories. Beach scored 18 goals to finish third on the team and he placed second overall with 163 penalty minutes. Overall, Beach was sixth on the team with 36 points in 71 games played. He was a team-worst a -24 rating last season. Defenseman Shawn Lalonde enjoyed his rookie campaign, finishing with 32 points in 73 games played. Fellow sophomore, forward Ben Smith returns after scoring 19 times as a rookie in 2010-11.

Former Texas Stars forward Brandon Segal is back in Rockford after playing for the Hogs in 2004-05. Segal suited up in 30 games for Texas last year, scoring seven goals and totaling 17 points. The right wing also played in 46 games for Dallas in 2010-11, scoring five goals and adding five more for a total of ten points. Segal signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Blackhawks for the 2011-12 season. The IceHogs also return left wing Jeremy Morin, a second round pick of Atlanta (#45 overall) in 2009. Morin only played in 31 total games in his first year pro. In all, the 20-year old played in 22 games for Rockford, recording eight goals and 12 points.

Center Brett MacLean was signed in the offseason after playing the past two years in Switzerland. MacLean was originally drafted in the ninth round (#242 overall) by the Dallas Stars in 1997. The 33-year old played in the NHL for Chicago, Colorado and Florida from 2002-09. In all, MacLean has played in 385 NHL games, scoring 56 goals and totaling 162 points. In 244 AHL games over his 14-year career, the veteran center has 65 goals and 157 points.

Rockford features goalies Alexander Salak and Alec Richards. Salak was signed by Chicago over the offseason after playing in the Swedish Elite League in 2010-11.He has played in North America for one season, suiting up in 48 games for the Rochester Americans in 2009-10. In that same season, Salak went 29-14-0 with a 2.89 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Salak is in his third pro season.

Splitting time in net with Salak is Alec Richards, who played in 44 games for the IceHogs last season. In 2010-11, Richards was 17-21-1 with a 2.89 goals against average and a .899 save percentage. Richards was an undrafted free agent signing for Chicago after a stellar career at Yale University. Richards was 39-39-6 with a 2.56 goals against average and a .913 save percentage in college.

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