Stars News

Texas Stars Game Preview 10.29.11
Texas Stars Game Preview 10.29.11
Texas Stars (3-4-0-0, 6 points) at Chicago Wolves (2-4-0-2, 6 points)

The Stars and the Wolves 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 two teams will meet in Cedar Park on Wednesday, November 23rd. Texas will return to Allstate Arena for the final time this year in January. Chicago will be in Cedar Park for the series season finale in April. Texas took the season series last year by posting a 6-0-0-0 mark against the Wolves. The Stars lead the all-time series with a 10-3-1-0 record against the Wolves, including a 6-1-0-0 mark at Chicago.

The Stars had a two-game winning streak snapped in Peoria on Thursday night, falling to the Rivermen 5-3. Texas has outscored its opponents 15-12 in the last three games. The Stars are 1-2-0-0 on the road this season.

Chicago had a rough start to the season, going 0-2-0-2 prior to the team’s first win on October 21st at Rockford. The Wolves are 2-2-0-0 in their last four games. Chicago has struggled offensively, scoring nine goals in the last four games. The Wolves rank 29th out of 30 AHL teams with a 2.00 goals per game average. The Wolves have three goals in their last two games after dropping a 2-1 decision on Friday night at home to Milwaukee.

Road Trip
The Texas Stars continue one of the longest road trips of the season that started Tuesday night in Rockford with a 6-2 win over the Hogs. Thursday night the Stars lost 5-3 at Peoria. Texas heads north from Peoria for a Saturday night game at Allstate Arena against Chicago. On 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:
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 7:00 PM 92.5 FM
Saturday, November 12 vs. Abbotsford 6:00 PM 92.5 FM
*All times listed are central time
Texas 3 at Peoria 5 10/27/11
Peoria, IL – The Texas Stars were defeated by the Peoria Rivermen 5-3 in front of 3,074 at Carver Arena on Thursday night. Peoria left wing Brett Sterling scored his second goal of the night with 6:45 left in the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie and propelling the Rivermen to victory. The Stars erased a 3-0 deficit in the second period with three goals in the back half of the middle frame. Texas forward Tomas Vincour and defenseman Jordie Benn each scored in the loss, as Texas fell to 1-2-0-0 on the road this season. Rookie Matt Fraser continued his torrid pace, scoring his team-leading seventh goal of the year. Peoria goalie Ben Bishop made 31 saves in the win. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 28 shots in the defeat.

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.

Texas Stars
Center Travis Morin leads Texas in scoring with nine assists and 11 points in seven games played. Morin also leads the AHL with seven power-play assists. He is five 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 nine points each. Fraser also leads the team with seven goals scored and 34 shots on net. Fraser ranks among the best in the league for shots on net. Sawada is second on the team with seven assists, including six on the power play.

Dan Spang and Philip Larsen lead all Texas defensemen in scoring. Spang has seven points in seven games, while Larsen has six points in five games. Larsen and Spang lead 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 both rank among the best in the AHL for points by a defenseman. Forwards Tomas Vincour and Ryan Garbutt round out the top scorers for Texas. Vincour has five points in six games, while Garbutt has four in seven games. Left wing Luke Gazdic leads the team in penalty minutes with 21, while Matt Fraser comes in second with 19 minutes.

In last 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.

Special Teams
The Texas power play continues to score at a torrid pace. The Stars lead the AHL with 15 power-play goals and a 38.5% conversion percentage. The power play has connected for at least a goal in six of the Stars first seven games. Five times the Stars have posted multiple power-play goals in a game this season. The team is nine for the last 21. Texas’ penalty kill got off to a great start, killing off the first ten power plays against. Since then, the Stars have killed off 15 of their last 25 penalty kills (60%). Texas ranks 29th overall on the penalty kill at 71.4%. Chicago ranks 26th out of 30 AHL teams on the power play, converting 12.5% of their man-advantages. The Wolves sit 13th on the penalty kill, stopping 82.9% of their opponents’ power plays.

The Chicago Wolves
There was a lot of transition for the Chicago Wolves this offseason, mostly due to the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. The Wolves lost their affiliation with Atlanta when the franchise was moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets. In turn, the Vancouver Canucks lost their AHL affiliate in Manitoba, when the Moose moved to St. John’s and became the IceCaps. In return, Vancouver partnered up with Chicago in a new affiliation agreement. With the affiliation change came a coaching change. Craig MacTavish has replaced Don Lever as the bench boss of the Wolves. Chicago posted a 39-30-5-6 (89 points) record last year, missing the playoffs by two points.

There were a lot of departures including leading scorer and longtime Wolves forward Jason Krog, who finished with 75 points in 80 games. Center Jared Ross (55 points), right wing Spencer Machacek (53 points) and Andre Deveaux (46 points) are also gone, along with high-scoring defenseman Paul Postma (45 points). Not one goalie returns from last season.

Second-leading scorer Darren Haydar returns for his fourth season in Chicago. He finished the 2010-11 season with a team-leading 27 goals and added 47 assists for 74 points in 77 games. The 32-year old is in his tenth season with AHL stops in Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and Lake Erie. Heading into the season, Haydar had 423 assists and 674 points in 639 AHL games. The former Nashville Predators draft pick (15th choice, #248 overall in 1999) has seen 23 NHL games over his career. In stints with Atlanta, Colorado and Nashville, Haydar has seven assists and eight points.

Nine different Wolves played in Manitoba last year with the Moose, including left wing Bill Sweatt. The 23-year old scored 19 goals last year and totaled 46 points in 80 games. 21-year old forward Jordan Schroeder posted 28 points in 61 games as a rookie in Manitoba. The bulk of the Moose players who were assigned to Chicago are defensemen. Yann Sauve, Nolan Baumgartner, Kevin Connauton and Chris Tanev all played in Winnipeg last season. Baumgartner had been with the Moose for seven total seasons, serving as the Captain of the team the last few years.

One of the biggest moves of the offseason for Chicago came with Vancouver’s signing of forward Mark Mancari, a 6-foot-4, 217-pound right wing. In 56 games with Portland, Mancari finished fifth in the AHL with 32 goals and was 14th in the AHL with 64 points. He also played in 20 NHL games with Buffalo, scoring once and setting up seven others for eight points. Heading into the season, Mancari 151 goals and 209 assists for 360 points in 418 AHL games played.

Aside from new additions, the Wolves were able to return three players from the 2010-11 squad and one player from the 2009-10 team. Forward Tim Miller and Michael Davies both played for Chicago last year. Miller had 11 goals and 20 points in 33 games played, while Davies posted 20 points in 49 games off eight goals and 12 assists. Defenseman Mark Matheson also returns after suiting up in 70 games for Chicago last year, finishing with 33 points. After one year in Europe, the Wolves were able to bring back center Kevin Doell, who played in six seasons for the club from 2003-2010. In 358 games with the Wolves, Doell has 68 goals and 168 points.

In net, the Wolves feature goalies Matt Climie and Eddie Lack. Climie, who played for Texas in its inaugural season, was signed by Vancouver after playing in San Antonio last year. In 55 games with the Rampage, he went 26-22-3 with a 2.64 goals against average and three shutouts. Lack was a rookie in Winnipeg last year with the Moose, going 28-21-4 with five shutouts and a 2.26 goals against average.
Posted on 10/29/11

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