Stars News

Texas Staars Game Preview 11.12.11
Texas Staars Game Preview 11.12.11
Abbotsford Heat (9-4-1-0, 19 points) at Texas Stars (6-5-0-1, 13 points)

Texas and Abbotsford meet for the second of eight total meetings this season. The two teams will play back-to-back nights to start their season series. The Heat claimed the first game with a 3-2 shootout win on Friday night. Saturday is the tenth all-time meeting in AHL history between the two teams; Texas is 4-3-0-2 in the previous nine meetings. The two teams were placed in the West Division this season and will meet as many times this season as they did in the last two years combined. The 2009-10 series was dictated by the home team winning every game. In 2010-11, the road team won every game. The Heat has taken the last three meetings between the clubs, dating back to last season.

The Stars had a three-game winning streak snapped with the shootout loss on Friday. The team still collected a point for the fourth straight game, improving to 3-0-0-1 in the last four games. Texas continues a stretch of three games in three nights on Saturday. The team leaves on Sunday to visit the San Antonio Rampage at the AT&T Center. The Stars are 3-2-0-1 on home ice this season, with the last three games going to overtime or shootout at Cedar Park Center. Texas has outscored its opponents 24-20 at home this year. The Stars will play all three games within the West Division this weekend. Texas is 2-3-0-1 in divisional games this season. Texas’ scoring has been spread out this season, with 13 first-period tallies and 16 second-period markers. The Stars have outscored their opponents 13-12 in the third period of play. The Stars are the top ranked offensive team in the AHL with a 3.67 goals per game average. The Stars have wins in five of their last eight games and points in six of the last eight.

Abbotsford has posted back-to-back wins after their 3-2 come from behind victory at Cedar Park Center Friday night. Abbotsford is 6-3-1-0 in the last ten games played. The Heat conclude three games over three nights on Saturday at Texas. Abbotsford is also in the middle of a grueling seven-game road trip. The team will play twice in Texas, Oklahoma City and Houston, as well as one stop in San Antonio. The Heat is 7-1-0-0 on the road this season, outscoring opponents 25-16. Abbotsford is fourth best in the AHL on the road with a 30.8% power play. The Heat is also ranked in the top ten for penalty kill percentage, sitting seventh with an 88.6%.

Larsen called up to Dallas, Texas Recalls Labrie from Idaho
The Dallas Stars announced on Saturday that the NHL club has recalled defenseman Philip Larsen from the Texas Stars, Dallas’ primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). He will join the Stars in Detroit on Saturday. The Dallas Stars also announced that defenseman Hubert Labrie has been reassigned from the Idaho Steelheads to the Texas Stars.

Larsen, 21, leads all Texas defensemen in scoring, with nine assists and 10 points in 10 games. He is also tops in power-play assists among defensemen, setting up six extra-man advantage tallies. Larsen is currently fourth among AHL defensemen in points and fourth overall in assists.

The 6-1, 190-pound defenseman from Esbjerg, Denmark, has appeared in 11 career NHL games with 3 points (3 assists) with a +2 rating. The Stars' fifth-round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Larsen has appeared in three games this season with Dallas, averaging 13:30 time-on-ice per game. Larsen spent the majority of the 2010-11 season with the Texas Stars, appearing in 54 games and collecting 22 points (4 goals, 18 assists).

Labrie is a rookie defenseman who played in seven games with Idaho to start this season. He scored his first pro goal and totaled four points with the Steelheads. Labrie attended camp in Dallas and with Texas prior to his assignment to Idaho. He turned pro after playing the previous 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.

Roman Recalled From Idaho
The Texas Stars announced on Wednesday that forward Ondrej Roman has been recalled from the Idaho Steelheads, the Stars’ ECHL affiliate.

The 22-year old Roman played in six games for the Steelheads this year, posting two goals and totaling six points. He played two games in Texas without securing a point. Roman is in his second full season of pro hockey 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.

What’s Ahead:
Sunday, November 13
at San Antonio 3:30 PM 104.9 FM
Friday, November 18 at Houston 7:35 PM 104.9 FM
Saturday, November 19 vs. Houston 7:00 PM 92.5 FM
Wednesday, November 23
vs. Chicago 7:30 PM 104.9 FM
Friday, November 25 at Houston 7:35 PM 92.5 FM
*All times listed are central time
Abbotsford 3 at Texas 2 11/11/11
The Texas Stars were defeated by the Abbotsford Heat 3-2 in a shootout in front of 5,393 fans at the Cedar Park Center on Friday night. The Heat scored twice in the last five minutes of regulation, including a game-tying goal with 47 seconds remaining to force overtime. The Heat went on to win the shootout 3-0 over Texas. Abbotsford defenseman Brendan Mikkelson scored his team’s first goal and set up the game-tying goal. Stars’ center Travis Morin added two assists, while left wing Matt Fraser netted his ninth goal of the season. Right wing Ray Sawada also scored for Texas, as the Stars saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 20 of 22 shots in the shootout loss. Abbotsford goalie Leland Irving stopped 34 of 36 shots in the victory.

Texas 4 at San Antonio 0 11/6/11
The Texas Stars defeated the San Antonio Rampage 4-0 in front of 4,157 fans at the AT&T Center on Sunday night. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped all 29 shots for his second shutout of the season. The win also marks Bachman’s ninth all-time shutout with the Stars. Texas right wing Tomas Vincour extended his scoring streak to five games in the victory. His seventh goal of the season also marked his sixth straight game with at least a point. Left wing Francis Wathier registered a goal and an assist, extending his points streak to five games. Center Travis Morin also scored for Texas, improving its road record to 3-3-0-0. Defenseman Maxime Fortunus added two assists on the night, as the team moved above .500 for the first time since October 13th. San Antonio goalie Brian Foster stopped 29 of 33 in the loss.

Toronto 3 at Texas 4 OT 11/3/11
Cedar Park, TX - The Texas Stars defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-3 in overtime in front of 5,781 fans at Cedar Park Center on Thursday night. Texas left wing Francis Wathier scored the game-winning goal 45 seconds into overtime to lift the Stars to victory. Texas forward Colton Sceviour set up the game-winning tally, as well as scored the team’s third goal of the night. The Stars held off a late charge from Toronto, which resulted in a 3-3 tie with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Marlies forward Ryan Hamilton forced the overtime with his second goal of the night. Stars rookie center, Scott Glennie posted his first career multi-point night with a goal and an assist. Texas forward Tomas Vincour scored for the fourth straight game, and Luke Gazdic set up two goals as the Stars improved to 3-2-0-0 at home this year. Marlies’ center Joe Colborne continued to pace the AHL in scoring, registering a goal and an assist. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 31 of 34 shots in the overtime win. Toronto goalie Jussi Rynnas stopped 28 of 32 shots faced for the loss.

Texas Stars
Center Travis Morin and right wing Raymond Sawada lead Texas in scoring. Morin is the clubhouse leader with 11 assists and 15 points in his first 12 games played. He trails the league leader in points by four and is tied for fifth in the AHL for assists.
Morin is among the AHL leaders with eight power-play assists. Sawada is second overall in team scoring with four goals and ten assists for 14 points in 12 games played. Sawada and Morin are among the top five in the AHL with nine power-play points each.
Rookie forward Matt Fraser is third in team scoring with 13 points. He leads the team with nine goals scored and 53 shots on net. Fraser is tied for the AHL lead with six power-play goals and he is third overall in the league for goals scored. After putting up nine shots in Friday night’s game, Fraser is third overall in the AHL with 53.

Forwards Tomas Vincour, Francis Wathier and Ryan Garbutt round out the top scorers for Texas. Vincour has nine points in 11 games played. He had a five-game goal scoring streak from Oct. 27 – Nov. 6, which ended on Friday night. Vincour’s streak tied Warren Peters team record for consecutive games with a goal. Vincour also tied a team record by recording a point in six straight games from Oct. 25 – Nov. 6. Wathier had a five-game points streak end on Friday night. Over that span, Wathier he scored three goals and totaled six points. The left winger has four goals and four assists in 12 games played. Center Ryan Garbutt has eight points in 12 games. He is tied for second on the team with a +3 and is tied for third with 31 shots on goal. Left wing Luke Gazdic leads the team in penalty minutes with 30, while Matt Fraser comes in second with 21 minutes.

Dan Spang leads all Texas defensemen in scoring with two goals and eight points in 12 games played. He is followed by rookie Brenden Dillon, who has six assists and seven points in 12 games played. Veterans Brad Lukowich and Maxime Fortunus have four points each.

Goalies Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany split time in net for Texas. Bachman is 5-3-1 with a 3.20 goals against average and a .886 save percentage. In his last three starts, Bachman has turned aside 79 of 85 shots and posted a 1.62 goals against average. Over that span, the 24-year old is 2-0-1 with one shutout and a .929 save percentage. Beskorowany is 1-1-0 in his last two starts with a 2.02 goals against average and a ,930 save percentage.

Special Teams
Only the three times in 12 games the Stars have not registered a power-play goal. The Stars lead the AHL with 19 power-play goals and a 31.1% conversion percentage. Six times the Stars have posted multiple power-play goals in a game this season. The Stars have killed off 21 of the last 25 penalties (84%). Texas ranks 27th overall on the penalty kill at 75.5%. Abbotsford is 15-of-54 on the power play this season, ranking fourth best in the league at 27.8%. The Heat sport one of the top ten penalty kills in the AHL, stopping 85.1% of their opponents’ chances.

The Abbotsford Heat
The Heat had some major changes over the summer, starting with the departure of Head Coach Jim Playfair, who was hired by the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes as an associate coach. Calgary promoted Troy Ward as the new head coach of the Heat. Ward served as an assistant for Abbotsford in 2010-11 and in Houston in 2007-10.

In all, Abbotsford returns 15 players from the 2010-11 team that posted a 38-32-4-6 mark and missed the Calder Cup Playoffs by five points. The Heat roster features nine Calgary draft picks. The team lost last year’s leading scorer, Matt Keith, who is currently not playing hockey after leading the club with 20 goals and 45 points in 77 games. With 12 goals and 34 points in 79 games played, Jon Rheault is the highest returning scorer from the 2010-11 squad. Rheault is a fourth-year pro who was originally drafted in the fifth round (#145 overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by Philadelphia. Overall, he finished second on the team in points, assists and shots on goal.

Abbotsford added veteran presence up front with the off-season additions of Ben Walter and Krys Kolanos. Walter led Lake Erie with 47 assists and 70 points in 77 games last season. The seven-year pro has scored 20 goals or more in five of his first six seasons in the AHL. Kolanos was a first round pick of Phoenix (#19 overall in 2000). His best AHL season came in 2007-08 with Quad City, where he scored 30 goals and posted 63 points in 65 games played.

In net, the Heat return Leland Irving, who posted career highs in games played (61), minutes played (3,437), wins (30), losses (24) and shutouts (8). He ranked among the top goalies in the AHL for most categories, including leading the league in shutouts and shootout wins (9). Calgary drafted him sixth overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Joni Ortio backs up Irving in the Abbotsford crease. The Finnish native was drafted by Calgary in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (#171 overall).
Posted on 11/12/11

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