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Stars News

Texas Stars Game Preview 11.3.11
Texas Stars Game Preview 11.3.11
Toronto Marlies (5-3-1-0, 11 points) at Texas Stars (4-5-0-0, 8 points)

The Stars and Marlies meet for the first time this season and the fifth time in AHL history. The two teams will play a total of two games this season. The two teams met twice during the 2010-11 season. Toronto posted a 3-0 win at Cedar Park Center last November. Texas earned a 3-2 shootout win in Toronto last March to split the season series. In the first season the two teams played each other, the home team won. Toronto leads the all-time series with a 2-1-0-1 mark, while the Stars are 2-2-0-0 against the Marlies.

The Stars wrapped up a four-game road trip with a 5-3 win in Milwaukee on Sunday. The Stars improved to 2-3-0-0 on the road this season. Texas returns home for the first time since posting a 6-5 overtime win against Peoria on October 22. The Stars are 2-2-0-0 on home ice this season, outscoring opponents 18-14. The Stars are 10-of-25 on the power play this season at Cedar Park Center. Texas leads the Western Conference with a 3.78 goals per game average.

Toronto jumped out of the gates with a 5-1-1-0 start prior to dropping a pair of games. The Marlies are coming off a 4-0 loss at Lake Erie on Sunday. Toronto is 1-3-0-0 on the road this season after going 4-0-1-0 at Ricoh Coliseum. Toronto sits tied for seventh in the league by allowing 2.56 goals per game. The Marlies are 11th in the AHL in scoring, dropping in 3.22 goals per game. When outshooting their opponent, Toronto is 4-2-0-0.

The two clubs have a few similarities. The teams each have 44 minor penalties on the season and they are tied for 15th in the AHL at 17 penalty minutes per game. Both teams have been able to score goals in the opening period. Toronto has 11 first-period goals, while Texas boasts 12.

Road Swing Ends on High Note
One of the longest road trips of the season is already in the rear-view mirror for Texas. The Stars returned from their four-game road trip after posting two wins and two losses. The Stars posted a 2-2-0-0 record last week with all the games coming on the road. Texas started the week with a 6-2 win in Rockford on Tuesday, followed up by a 5-3 loss in Peoria on Thursday. The Stars fell 2-1 in Chicago on Saturday and finished the week with a 5-3 win in Milwaukee on Sunday. The four-game swing spanned six days and stretched 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.

Multiple players stood out on the road trip. Stars right wing Raymond Sawada collected a goal and six assists in the four away games. Texas winger Tomas Vincour has seven points in eight games. Last year, he posted 12 points in 44 games with Texas. Vincour has scored a goal in three straight games, including the game-winning goal in Milwaukee on Sunday. Over the course of the road trip, Vincour posted three goals and two assists, collecting a point in all four games. Centers Travis Moring and Ryan Garbutt each scored once and set up three others for four points. Rookie Matt Fraser has four goals in his last four games. In his two starts on the road, goalie Tyler Beskorowany was 1-1-0 with a 2.02 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.

October Rewind
In the first month of the season, the Texas Stars did a lot of things that had not been done in team history. In the month of October, the team scored 34 goals, topping the previous total of most goals to start a season. In 2010-11, Texas scored 25 goals in the first nine games. They needed 14 games to score their 34th goal. Through the first nine games, the current Texas Stars have surrendered 36 goals, the most allowed in one month of team play all-time. The 2009-10 team was the stingiest, allowing 19 goals in the first nine games. It took 20 games for the inaugural season Stars to allow the 36th goal. The 2009-10 and the 2010-11 team combined to score 15 power-play goals in their first nine games. The current Stars have 17 power-play goals, the most ever scored in one month of action by Texas.

What’s Ahead:
DATE OPPONENT TIME RADIO
Sunday, November 6 at San Antonio 3:30 PM 104.9 FM
Friday, November 11 vs. Abbotsford 7:00 PM 104.9 FM
Saturday, November 12 vs. Abbotsford 6:00 PM 104.9 FM
Sunday, November 13 at San Antonio 3:30 PM 104.9 FM
Friday, November 18 at Houston 7:35 PM 104.9 FM
*All times listed are central time
LAST THREE GAMES
Texas 5 at Milwaukee 3 10/30/11
Milwaukee, WI – The Texas Stars defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 5-3 at the Bradley Center on Sunday afternoon. Texas right wing Tomas Vincour blasted a one-timer past Milwaukee goalie Jeremy Smith with 3:35 remaining in regulation to break a 3-3 tie and put the Stars in the lead for good. Texas forward Raymond Sawada was instrumental in the club’s second road win of the year, finishing with a goal and two assists. Travis Morin and Francis Wathier also added tallies as the Stars finished up their four-game road trip 2-2-0-0. Rookie Matt Fraser scored his team-leading eighth goal of the year and defenseman Philip Larsen added two assists in the victory. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 22 Admirals’ shots in the win, while Jeremy Smith suffered the loss with 25 saves on 29 shots.
Texas 1 at Chicago 2 10/29/11
Chicago, IL – The Texas Stars were defeated by the Chicago Wolves 2-1 at Allstate Arena on Saturday night. Wolves center Darren Haydar scored both Chicago goals, including the game-winning goal with 4:39 remaining in regulation to lead Chicago past Texas. Stars forward Tomas Vincour scored the team’s lone goal, as Texas fell to 1-3-0-0 on the road. Chicago goalie Eddie Lack made 33 saves, missing a shutout by 3:51. Texas goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 20 shots in the defeat.
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 Stars
Center Travis Morin and right wing Raymond Sawada lead Texas in scoring; both have nine assists and 12 points in nine games played. Morin is among the AHL leaders with seven power-play assists. Sawada and Morin are four points back of the league lead in scoring. Rookie forward Matt Fraser is third in team scoring with ten points. He leads the team with eight goals scored and 38 shots on net. Fraser leads the AHL with five power-play goals and ranks among the best in the league for shots on net. Sawada is first in the AHL with nine power-play points, followed by Morin with eight.

Dan Spang and Philip Larsen lead all Texas defensemen in scoring with eight points apiece. The two are tied for third among all AHL defensemen in scoring. Spang has two goals and six assists in nine games played. Larsen has a goal and seven assists in seven games played. Larsen leads all Texas defensemen in assists, including five power-play assists. He ranks among the best in the AHL for numerous scoring categories by defensemen.

Forwards Tomas Vincour and Ryan Garbutt round out the top scorers for Texas. Vincour has seven points in eight games played. He has scored a goal in three straight games and is riding a four-game point streak. Garbutt has six points in nine games. He is first on the team with a +2 and is second with 27 shots on goal. Left wing Luke Gazdic leads the team in penalty minutes with 23, while Matt Fraser comes in second with 21 minutes.

Special Teams
The Texas power play continues to score at a torrid pace, going 2-4 in Milwaukee on Sunday. The Stars lead the AHL with 17 power-play goals and a 37% conversion percentage. The power play has connected for at least a goal in seven of the Stars first nine games. Six times the Stars have posted multiple power-play goals in a game this season. The team is 11 for the last 28. Texas’ penalty kill got off to a great start, killing off the first ten power plays against. Texas has slowly climbed the rankings on the penalty kill, ranking as low as 29th on Sunday. The Stars have killed off 11 of the last 13 penalties. Texas ranks 25th overall on the penalty kill at 75%. Toronto is 6-of-48 on the power play this season, ranking 25th in the league at 12.5%. The Marlies have been one of the best on the penalty kill, stopping 34-of-39 (87.2%) and ranking third overall.

The Toronto Marlies
Head Coach Dallas Eakins returns for his third season as the bench boss of the Marlies. In his previous two seasons, Toronto posted a 70-67-7-16 mark. The Marlies return 19 skaters from a 2010-11 team that went 37-32-1-10 in the regular season.

Center Mike Zigomanis led Toronto in scoring last year with 47 points. He also led the club with 33 assists and he was tied for fifth in goals with 14. He recorded 11 multi-point games, the third best on the team. He won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. Zigomanis was originally drafted in the second round (64th overall) by Buffalo in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

Forward Joe Colborne also returns after finishing second in team scoring with 42 points. He was added to the Marlies roster after a Boston-Toronto deal. In 20 games with Toronto, he scored eight times and assisted on eight others. The 21-year old was Boston’s first round pick (#16 overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry draft. Fellow first round pick Nazem Kadri finished third on the team in scoring despite playing in nearly half the games. Toronto’s seventh overall pick in 2009 scored 17 goals and collected 41 points in 44 games played. Kadri also played in 29 games with the Maple Leafs as a rookie last season. Ryan Hamilton finished behind Kadri in goal scoring with 16. Hamilton finished with 28 points in 45 games with Toronto in 10-11. Forward Marcel Mueller was fifth in points with 33 and tied for third with 14 goals. Mueller was ranked third on the squad in power-play goals last season with four.

Toronto brings four new faces to the team this year, including three rookies. Forward Kyle Neuber comes from the Springfield Falcons where he played in 15 games last season. He registered an assist and 45 penalty minutes. Rookie forward Kenny Ryan spent the last two seasons with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Ryan played in 63 games with Windsor in 2010-11. He racked up 21 goals and 37 assists for 58 points. He ranked in the team’s top five for goals, assists and points. In his first season with the Spitfires, the team won the Memorial Cup.

Rookie defenseman Jesse Blacker spent 2010-11 with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. In 62 games, he tallied 10 goals and 44 assists for 54 points. He ranked first on the team in points by a defenseman and third overall in assists. Blacker played in 22 playoff games, registering five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. In 2009-10, Blacker joined the Marlies for six games and recorded his first AHL point with an assist. This season, he leads all Marlies rookies with four points.

Forward Kelsey Wilson enters his fifth AHL season, his first with Toronto. He spent the past four seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals. In 2010-11, he registered 22 points in 74 games. Wilson was second with 145 penalty minutes. He also played in nine Calder Cup Playoff games, notching a goal and seven assists for the Admirals. He finished fourth overall on the team in playoff points with eight.

The Marlies return goalie Jussi Rynnas from last season and bring in a new net minder, Mark Owuya. Owuya played in 32 games for Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League last season. He earned a 2.18 goals against average and .927 save percentage. He also played in seven playoff games that year with Djurgarden posting a 1.66 goals against average and .924 save percentage.

Rynnas returns for his second season with Toronto. Rynnas suited up for 30 games last season, posting a 10-15-3 record. He finished with a 2.71 goals against average and .911 save percentage, including two shutouts. Rynnas posted one of his shutouts at Cedar Park Center last November, making 32 saves in a 3-0 Marlies win over the Stars. He was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week last November after he posted a 3-0-0 mark, a 1.00 goals against average and a .971 save percentage. Rynnas played in Finland for Assat Pori in 2009-10. While there he led the league with the best goals against average at 2.50 and the best save percentage at .929.
Posted on 11/03/11

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