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Stars News

Texas Stars Game Preview 10.27.11
Texas Stars Game Preview 10.27.11
Texas Stars (3-3-0-0, 6 points) at Peoria Rivermen (2-3-1-1, 6 points)

The Stars and the Rivermen meet for the second time this season. This marks the 16th all-time meeting between the two teams that will play a total of four games this season. The two teams met in Cedar Park last Saturday, with Texas winning 6-5 in overtime. The Rivermen will make their final appearance at Cedar Park Center on January 20th, while Texas will visit Peoria for the final meeting of the regular season in early April. Peoria took the season series last year, going 4-2-0-0 against the Stars. The Rivermen lead the all-time series with an 8-5-1-1 record versus the Stars. Texas is 3-4-0-0 all-time at home against Peoria and 3-3-1-0 at Carver Arena.

The Stars have posted back-to-back wins after a three-game losing streak. Texas is coming off a 6-2 win in Rockford on Tuesday night, posting the team’s first road win of the year. The Stars have posted six goals in each of the last two games, outscoring opponents 12-7 over that span. In the last two games, Texas is 6-9 on the power play. The Stars are 1-1-0-0 on the road this season.

Peoria had a rough start to the season, going 0-3-0-1 prior to last week’s 5-0 win in San Antonio. The Rivermen are 2-0-1-0 in their last three games, including last Saturday’s 6-5 OT loss at Cedar Park Center. Peoria has scored five goals in each of the last three games, outscoring opponents 15-8 over that span. The Rivermen are 1-2-0-0 at home this season, having been outscored 11-9 by their opponents.

Road Trip
The Texas Stars continue one of the longest road trips of the season starting this past Tuesday night in Rockford. After a 6-2 win at Rockford, Texas heads to Peoria, Ill. The Stars will play the Rivermen on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Texas will then head north from Peoria for a Saturday night game at Allstate Arena against Chicago. Sunday afternoon 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 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
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
Friday, November 11 vs. Abbotsford 7:30 PM 92.5 FM
*All times listed are central time
LAST THREE GAMES
Texas 6 at Rockford 2 10/25/11
Rockford, IL – The Texas Stars defeated the Rockford IceHogs 6-2 in front of 6,073 at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Tuesday night. The Stars made a late push in the third period, scoring three goals in the final 5:08 of play to pick up their first road win of the year. Rookie Matt Fraser continued his early success with a pair of power-play goals for the second straight game, including the game-winning goal. Texas had seven skaters pick up a multi-point game on the night. The Stars improved to 1-1-0-0 on the road this season after getting goals from Fraser (2), Ryan Garbutt, Mathieu Tousignant, Philip Larsen and Luke Gazdic. Right wing Raymond Sawada added two assists as Texas moved back up to .500 on the year. Right wing Tomas Vincour and center Travis Morin each set up two goals on the night. Texas goalie Tyler Beskorowany turned aside 33 Rockford shots in his first victory of the season. Rockford goalie Alec Richards suffered the loss with 29 saves on 35 Texas shots.

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 Stars
Center Travis Morin leads Texas in scoring with eight assists and ten points in six games played. Morin also leads the AHL with seven power-play assists. He is three points back of the league lead in scoring. Right wing Raymond Sawada and rookie forward Matt Fraser are tied for second in team scoring with eight points each. Fraser also leads the team with six goals scored and 31 shots on net. Fraser ranks among the best in the league for shots on net. Sawada is second on the team with six assists, including five on the power play.

Dan Spang and Philip Larsen lead all Texas defensemen in scoring with six points each. Larsen leads all blueliners with five assists, ranking third overall on the team. Larsen leads all Texas defenders with four power-play assists, ranking among the best in the AHL for a defenseman. Four of the top nine scorers for Texas are defensemen. Rookie Brenden Dillon and veteran Brad Lukowich each have four points this season. Larsen and Spang are tied for second in the AHL for points by a defenseman. Forwards Tomas Vincour and Ryan Garbutt round out the top scorers for Texas with four points each. Left wing 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 or broke 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 five of the Stars first six games. Larsen set a team record by racking up four assists in one game, becoming the first Star to accomplish the task.

October 27th … This Date in Stars History
Texas has played one game on this date. On October 27, 2010, the Stars defeated the Rockford IceHogs 4-3 in a shootout. Texas center Mathieu Tousignant ended a nine-round shootout, beating Rockford’s Hannu Toivonen to seal the road victory. The Stars continued their dominance at the Rockford MetroCentre, improving to 7-0-0-0 all-time. Texas goalie Brent Krahn snagged the victory by stopping 28 shots in regulation and seven of nine in the shootout. Texas defenseman Maxime Fortunus, as well as forwards Aaron Gagnon and Tristan King each scored in regulation…Also, the Dallas Stars recalled defenseman Philip Larsen from the Texas Stars, marking his first call up from Texas to Dallas.

Special Teams
The Texas power play continues to score at a torrid pace. The Stars lead the AHL with 13 power-play goals and a 39.4% coversion percentage. The power play has connected for at least a goal in five of the Stars first six games. Four times the Stars have posted multiple power play goals this season. The team is seven for the last 15. Texas’ penalty kill got off to a great start, killing off the first ten power plays against. Since then, the Stars have killed off ten of their last 20 penalty kills (50%). Texas ranks 29th overall on the penalty kill at 70%. Peoria ranks sixth out of 30 AHL teams on the power play, converting 27.6% of their man-advantages. The Rivermen sit tenth on the penalty kill, stopping 85% of their opponents’ power plays.

The Peoria Rivermen
Peoria returns roughly 17 players who spent time with the Rivermen last year. Peoria posted a 25-10-2-1 to start the season and finished with 42-30-3-5 (92 points) record. The Rivermen jumped past Texas on the final weekend of the 2010-11 regular season to finish third in the old West Division. Peoria was swept out of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs by Houston last April.

Peoria did have its fair share of player departures over the summer, including four of the team’s top six scorers. Right wing Graham Mink (50 points) returned to his former team in Hershey. Left wing Nicholas Drazenovic (46 points) was signed by Columbus and is now in Springfield. Defenseman Nathan Oystrick (45 points) was 12th in the AHL in points by a defenseman. He signed a contract with Phoenix and was assigned to Portland. Forward David Spina (38 points) signed in Germany.

2010-11 leading scorer T.J. Hensick is back for his second season with Peoria. The center led the team with 48 assists and 69 points in only 59 games played. He finished tenth overall in the AHL scoring and was tied for fifth in the league in helpers. Left wing Derek Nesbitt enjoyed a breakthrough season in the AHL with Peoria last season. He scored 17 goals and totaled 42 points in 55 games for the Rivermen. Nesbitt played for Texas Stars coach Jeff Pyle in Gwinnett (ECHL). He played in three different seasons from 2005-11.

Numerous key players return from last year. Right wing Adam Cracknell made his NHL debut with St. Louis last season and stuck around long enough to play in 24 games with the Blues. He played for former Stars coach Glen Gulutzan (Dallas) in Las Vegas from 2006-08. Phil McRae also returns after a successful rookie season. McRae had 12 goals and 26 points in 46 games last year. Four of the top five penalty minute leaders are also back from last year. Defenseman Brennan Evans (113), defensemen Mark Cundari, forward Stefan Della Rovere (110) and right wing Anthony Peluso (102) each returned for another season in Peoria. Evans scored three goals in 66 games last season, all of them in one game against Texas on February 23, 2011. It was his first career hat trick and first career multi-goal game in nine pro seasons. Also returning on the blueline is former first-round pick of St. Louis (#18 overall in 2007), defender Ian Cole. Cole played 44 games in Peoria and 26 with St. Louis. Forwards Brett Sonne, Tyler Shattock, Jay Barriball are also back for another tour with the Rivermen.

Peoria made several additions through signings by the St. Louis Blues, the parent club of the Rivermen. Right wing Jonathan Cheechoo was signed by St. Louis in the offseason. He spent most of the 2010-11 season in Worcester, scoring 18 goals and adding 29 assists for a total of 47 points in 55 games played. Cheechoo led the NHL with 56 goals and 93 points in 82 games played. Left wing Brett Sterling has experienced goal scoring success in the AHL. In 2006-07, he tallied 55 with Chicago. Last year he scored 27 and totaled 53 points in 65 games for Wilkes-Barre. Veteran defenseman Danny Syvret was signed out of Philadelphia’s system. In 335 career AHL games, the 26-year old has 138 assists and totaled 171 points. He was an AHL First Team All Star in 2008-09 after posting 57 points in 76 games with Philadelphia (AHL).

Jake Allen and Ben Bishop both return to the crease for Peoria. Allen enjoyed a successful rookie campaign that placed him among the league leaders. The second round pick of St. Louis in 2008 (#34 overall), posted a 25-19-3 record with a 2.52 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. He was named to the Western Conference All-Star team. Bishop is in his fourth full season in Peoria. He was a third round pick in 2005 (#85 overall) for the Blues. Bishop is 57-51-8 in four years with the Rivermen. He carries a 2.71 goals against average and a .904 career save percentage. He was 3-4-0 in seven games with St. Louis last season. The 6-foot-7 goalie posted a 2,77 goals against average and a .900 save percentage with the Blues in 2010-11.
Posted on 10/27/11

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