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Stars News

Texas Stars Game Preview 10.14.11
Texas Stars Game Preview 10.14.11
Houston Aeros (1-0-0-0, 2 points) at Texas Stars (1-0-0-0, 2 points)

The Texas Stars and the Houston Aeros meet for the first time this season and the 25th time in AHL history. The Stars and the Aeros will face off 11 more times this season, including five games at Cedar Park Center. Texas is 13-15-4-3 all-time against Houston after going 3-6-2-1 in 2010-11 against their in-state rivals. Texas is 9-6-2-0 all-time at home against Houston and is 4-9-2-3 all-time at Toyota Center. The Stars earned a 3-0 shutout win over the Aeros the last time the two teams met in the 2010-11 season. Texas went 22-12-3-3 on home ice in 2010-11 and is 47-25-4-5 all-time. Houston was 21-16-0-3 on the road last season. The Stars are coming off a 7-0 win over the Oklahoma City Barons at Cedar Park Center on Sunday night. The Aeros are also coming off a season opening victory, beating Chicago 4-1 at home on Sunday.

Texas’ output in Sunday’s 7-0 season opener was the second highest offensive day in team history behind an 8-2 win over Chicago on November 16th, 2010. In that same game, the Stars set a team record with five power-play goals in the second period en route to a six-goal win. The 2011-12 Stars began their season by posting the largest margin of victory in team history. The team also posted four power-play gals on eight attempts this past Sunday, the second highest total for power-play goals in one game. The Stars have scored three power-play goals six times in team history. Rookie skater Matt Fraser scored his first three professional points with two goals and an assist. Goalie Richard Bachman stopped all 21 shots faced for his first shutout of the year. It was his eighth shutout as a Star. This past weekend marked the start of the AHL season. No other game was decided by more than three goals.

Dallas Assigns Pair to Texas This Week
The Dallas Stars assigned right wing Tomas Vincour on Wednesday and followed up by sending center Scott Glennie to Texas on Thursday.

Glennie joined the Texas Stars in April of 2011, playing in the team’s final four regular season games as well as the Calder Cup Playoffs. The rookie winger scored his first career playoff goal in six playoff appearances for Texas this past spring. He enters his first full season of professional hockey.

Prior to turning pro, he completed a four-year run with the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings. Glennie finished second in team scoring last season with a career-high 91 points, including 35 goals and 56 assists in 70 regular season games played. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder was chosen by the Dallas Stars in the first round (8th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Tomas Vincour, a 6-2, 204-pound forward from Brno, Czech Republic, has appeared in 27 NHL games in his career with Dallas, collecting two points (1 goal, 1 assist). As a rookie in 2010-11, the 20-year old split time between the Texas Stars and the Dallas Stars. In 24 games with Dallas, he scored one goal and set up another. In 44 games with Texas, the right wing scored five goals and totaled 12 points. Dallas drafted Vincour in the fifth round (#129 overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

A New Era Begins in Texas
When the Dallas Stars promoted Texas Stars Head Coach Glen Gulutzan to become the head coach of the NHL club, the Texas Stars were guaranteed a new beginning. Gulutzan picked up his first NHL coaching victory on October 7th, when the Dallas Stars defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 at American Airlines Center. With his departure comes the addition of new Texas Stars head coach Jeff Pyle from the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL. Pyle enters his first season as a head coach in the AHL.

During his time with Gwinnett, Pyle posted a 309-210-57 record. He guided the Gladiators to the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals in his best season as head coach with a 50-15-7 record (.743), which also marked only the ninth time in the ECHL's 24-year history that a team achieved 50 wins. The Gladiators also compiled five straight 40-win seasons from 2003-08 with Pyle at the helm. Gwinnett qualified for the playoffs in six of Pyle’s eight seasons. Overall, his teams qualified for the playoffs nine out of 12 years in the ECHL.

Assistant Coach Paul Jerrard was also promoted by Dallas from Texas with Gulutzan. He was replaced by San Antonio Rampage Assistant Coach Jeff Truitt. Truitt brings a wealth of hockey experience to Texas, joining newly appointed Head Coach Jeff Pyle behind the Stars bench. He comes to the Stars after spending the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach with San Antonio, helping the Rampage post its best record in four seasons (40-33-4-5, 87 points).

Third Time is a Charm
Texas starts out the season with a relatively young squad, averaging an age of 25 years and 3 months. Nine players return to the Texas Stars for their third season with the club. Forwards Luke Gazdic, Colton Sceviour, Raymond Sawada, Travis Morin, Francis Wathier and Mathieu Tousignant return for another season with the club. Defenseman Brad Lukowich and Maxime Fortunus are also back to lead the defense. Goalie Richard Bachman also returns for his third campaign in Cedar Park.

Sceviour is the team’s all-time leader in games played, having missed only three of the team’s 161 total games. He missed games making his NHL debut for Dallas in February of 2011. He is fifth all-time with 25 goals and he ranks fourth with 48 assists. He also is fifth with 73 points after posting career highs in 2010-11.

Morin and Wathier are tied for fourth on the team’s games played list with 145 games played. Morin, the club’s all-time assist leader with 57, needs one point to surpass the team record of 98 total points set by Greg Rallo (09-11). He is also poised to become the first Texas Star to post 100 points with the team. Wathier is fourth all-time in points (76) and goals (38), and third in penalty minutes (179).

Gazdic is the team’s all-time leader in penalty minutes, as well as major penalties. The third-year pro amassed 265 penalty minutes and 39 major penalties over 121 games in two years. He set career highs with nine goals and 17 points in 72 games last season. Sawada is also coming off a career year, where he yielded 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 57 games played. Tousignant returns after posting career highs in goals (10), assists (13) and points (23) in 78 games played. Tousignant led Texas with 120 minutes in penalties last year.

Veteran defenseman Maxime Fortunus and Captain Brad Lukowich are both back to lead a defensive unit that has ranked in the top ten each of the last two seasons. Lukowich posted career numbers with 27 points in 67 games played with Texas. The two-time Stanley Cup Champ served as team captain in 2010-11. Fortunus is the Stars all-time leader for games, assists and points by a defenseman. The third-year Star scored the first goal of the season in 2009 and in 2011.

Goalie Richard Bachman set five team records last season including wins, shutouts, saves, minutes played and appearances. The third-year pro is the Stars all-time leader in most goalie categories. Bachman is 33-23-5 all-time in 64 appearances with Texas. He has played 3,697 minutes, posting a 2.16 goals against average and a .928 save percentage with eight shutouts.

Returning Stars
Numerous other Stars skaters are returning for another tour of duty with Texas. Defenseman Dan Spang is back for his second season with the team, after setting the team mark for power-play assists in one season (18). Spang had one of the best offensive outputs for a blueliner in team history with 37 points in 77 games... After joining the team for the final ten games of the regular season and the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, Brenden Dillon (D) enters his first full season as a pro. He posted 59 points in his final junior year with Seattle (WHL)…Jordie Benn played his first full season in the AHL in 2010-11 with 12 points in 60 games…Winger Ondrej Roman returns for his second pro season after putting up 22 points in 72 games played as a rookie… Forward Stephen Schultz joined the Stars at the end of the regular season in March of 2011. He enters his first full pro season after posting 45 points at Colorado College in 2010-11… Goalie Tyler Beskorowany looks to improve on his first season. The netminder posted a 7-8-1 record with a 2.58 GAA and a .921 save percentage in 18 games with Texas in 10-11.

New Faces
Veteran center Tyler Arnason joins the Stars for the 2011-12 season. The former AHL rookie of the year (2001-02 Norfolk) is an 11th year pro with over 500 games of NHL experience between Chicago, Ottawa and Colorado. Arnason posted 15 points in 18 games while playing in Switzerland in 2010-11… Veteran winger Eric Godard joins Texas on assignment from Dallas. Godard spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, picking up three assists and 110 penalty minutes over 19 games. The 12th year pro has seen action in over 300 NHL games and nearly 300 AHL games. He has 1,780 career penalty minutes in 615 career pro games…Center Ryan Garbutt joins Texas after scoring 19 goals and racking up 37 points in 65 games with the Chicago Wolves. Garbutt led the team with a +27 and was third with 118 penalty minutes…Rookie forward Matt Fraser had 36 goals in 66 games with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice last year. He followed up with 17 more in 19 playoff games… Forward Mike Hedden, who spent most of the 2010-11 season with Toledo (ECHL), is looking to play his first full season in the AHL…Rookie defensemen Jace Coyle and Hubert Labrie both turn pro after stellar junior careers. Coyle put up 28 points in 49 WHL games with Medicine Hat. Labrie missed a good chunk of the regular season in Gatineau with an injury. In nine games, Labrie posted seven points.

What’s Ahead:

DATE OPPONENT TIME RADIO
Saturday, October 15 at Oklahoma City 7:00 PM 104.9 FM
Thursday, October 20 vs. San Antonio 7:30 PM 92.5 FM
Saturday, October 22 vs. Peoria 7:00 PM 104.9 FM
Tuesday, October 25 at Rockford 7:05 PM 104.9 FM
Thursday, October 27 at Peoria 7:00 PM 104.9 FM
*All times listed are central time
LAST GAME RECAP:
Oklahoma City 0 at Texas 7 10/9/11
The Texas Stars defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 7-0 in front of 6,295 fans on Sunday night at Cedar Park Center. Texas goalie Richard Bachman (1-0-0) stopped all 21 shots faced for his first shutout of the year. Four Texas skaters had multi-point nights as the team posted seven goals on Opening Night. Left wing Matt Fraser registered two goals and an assist. Defensemen Brenden Dillon tallied three assists and Jordie Benn notched a goal with an assist in the win. Fellow defender Dan Spang scored once and set up another in the lopsided game. The Stars netted two power-play goals within 15 seconds of each other during the first period and scored six goals in the first 40 minutes of play. Oklahoma City goalie Yann Danis (0-1-0) suffered the loss after stopping 15 of 19 shots before he was pulled 28 minutes in. David LeNeveu relieved him and stopped 10 of 13 shots in 31 minutes of play.

The Houston Aeros
The Aeros have also seen a coaching change since last season. Mike Yeo was promoted to head coach of the Minnesota Wild after last year’s Calder Cup finals appearance. In his first year with Houston, Yeo posted a 46-28-1-5 mark and a berth to the Calder Cup Finals where the Aeros fell to the Binghamton Senators in six games. Yeo marked his first NHL win as head coach on October 8th against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home.

This season, John Torchetti is now behind the bench for Houston. Torchetti has an extensive hockey background spanning 27 years. Last season, he was the Atlanta Thrashers’ associate coach. Prior to his position in Atlanta, Torchetti was an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2008-10. Chicago went to the Western Conference Finals in 2009 and won a Stanley Cup championship the following year.

Houston returns 11 skaters and one goaltender from their 2010-11 season. Of their top scorers, only two return. Robbie Earl, who played 69 games and registered 24 goals, left for Europe. Maxim Noreau also left for Europe before playing in 76 games for the Aeros. Patrick O’Sullivan played 60 games over two seasons in Houston and registered a combined 66 points. He left for the Phoenix Coyotes. Cody Almond, who notched 15 goals last season, has moved up to the Minnesota Wild.

Right wing Jon DiSalvatore returns for his third season in Houston. DiSalvatore led the squad in goals (28) and points (61). He was second in assists with 33, behind former Aeros skater Maxim Noreau. He was also first on the squad for most goals in the Calder Cup playoffs last year with seven. He was fourth in assists (5) and tied for second in points (12).

The Aeros return one net minder from last season. Matt Hackett enters his second professional season after securing a 23-16-4 record during his 45 games played in 10-11. Dennis Endras joins the team for his first AHL season and Darcy Kuemper is in his rookie season. Endras has played in Europe for the past eight seasons. Kuemper won 45 games last year with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.
Posted on 10/14/11

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