STARS WEEKLY (WEEK 1)
Stars Begin Fifth Anniversary Season on Saturday vs. Chicago
2013-14 Record: 0-0-0-0, 0 points (0-0-0-0 Home, 0-0-0-0 Road), Tied-First Place – West Division
Texas completed its 2013 pre-season schedule by winning both games. Friday night the Stars opened their pre-season campaign with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Barons. Oklahoma City led 1-0 after a first period goal from Joel Broda, but Texas responded eight minutes into the second period on a goal by rookie forward Taylor Peters. The Barons reclaimed the lead four and a half minutes later when Martin Gernat’s shot from the blue line deflected past goaltender Jack Campbell and into the net during a Stars’ delayed penalty. Taylor Vause tied the game at two with six minutes left in the third period on a dazzling backhand spin-around pass by Justin Dowling. Texas earned another power play with 36 seconds left in regulation and won the game just 58 seconds into overtime on a four-on-three power play goal from Mike Hedden.
The Stars concluded their two-game pre-season campaign on Sunday with a stout 3-0 shutout of the San Antonio Rampage. Josh Robinson got the start in goal for Texas and played the first half of the game, while Pat Nagle replaced him at the midway point of the second period. The two goaltenders combined for a 30-save shutout, although Nagle had the lion’s share with 21 saves, although both net minders turned aside Rampage breakaways. Austin Smith started the scoring for the Stars at 6:31 of the second period, Justin Mercier made it 2-0 early in the third period and Brock Montgomery added an empty net goal in the victory.
Week 1 Preview:
The 2012-13 South Division champions will open the 2013-14 season at home as Texas battles the Chicago Wolves on Saturday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m. Opening Night begins the fifth anniversary season of Texas Stars Hockey. The organization has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in three of its first four years of operations, reaching the 2010 Calder Cup Finals in the inaugural campaign. During 2012-13, the Stars rebounded from their only missed post season by finishing with a record of 43-22-5-6 and 97 points, which was the best record in the Western Conference and tied for third overall in the American Hockey League. The highly touted coaching staff of head coach Willie Desjardins and assistant coach Doug Lidster returns for their second season behind the Stars bench. After a strong first year with Texas, Desjardins was awarded the Louis A. R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s coach of the year.
This year the defending South Division champs will be defending their title in the re-named and re-aligned West Division. Gone are the Houston Aeros, off to become the Iowa Wild in Des Moines. So in comes the Abbotsford Heat, joining Texas, Charlotte, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Stars will face the Barons and Rampage 12 times each during the 2013-14 regular season, while they square off with the Checkers and Heat eight times. Texas looks for strong chemistry right away by returning 19 players who saw action for the Stars in 2012-13. Goaltenders Jack Campbell and Cristopher Nilstorp are both back in the crease and the core veteran leadership of the four Original Texas Stars Maxime Fortunus, Travis Morin, Francis Wathier and Colton Sceviour remain intact. The offensive duo of Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden are back as well and will look lead the charge of some new rookie forwards, including Curtis McKenzie, Brock Montgomery, Brendan Ranford, Brett Ritchie, Matej Stransky
During Opening Night Texas will be handing out 5th anniversary Stars hats as well as magnet schedules presented by Austin Telco Federal Credit Union. It is the first Coca-Cola Family Four Pack Night and Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night of the season. After tangling with Chicago on Saturday night at Cedar Park Center, the Stars will host the Rockford IceHogs for a 5:00 p.m. face off on Sunday, October 6th.
Week 1 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE over the Internet at www.TexasStarsHockey.com and the free Radio tab of www.ahllive.com and can be viewed via internet pay-per-view video on www.ahllive.com. All times listed in Central Time)
Saturday, October 5 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Chicago Wolves (0-0-0-0, 0 pts.)
Tied-First Place, Midwest Division
Team Notes: The Wolves will make their 2013-14 season debut on Friday night at San Antonio, meaning their matchup against Texas is game two of their season. Chicago will play four home openers this year, experiencing opening nights Friday at San Antonio, Saturday at Texas, their own home opener against the Rampage on October 12th and then at Milwaukee on October 19th. The Wolves will face San Antonio three times in their first four games of the season and then only play the Rampage one more time on December 14th, one night after their final visit to Cedar Park of the 2013-14 season.
Roster Outlook: Chicago has a new affiliation this season as the St. Louis Blues replaced the Vancouver Canucks as the club’s NHL partner. There are 14 players on the Wolves roster who played for the Peoria Rivermen in 2012-13, the Blues’ affiliate last season. Chicago returns five players from last year’s team: forwards Michael Davies, Eric Kattelus and Tim Miller, defenseman Brent Regner and goaltender (and former Texas Star) Matt Climie. Perhaps the Wolves’ biggest new additions are dynamic offensive trio Keith Aucoin, Corey Locke and Mark Mancari. All former AHL All-Stars, Aucoin and Locke are also former AHL MVPs, and the triumvirate should provide a major scoring boost. Once again the Stars will battle with Chicago four times during the 2013-14 season, hosting the Wolves on Saturday and again on December 13th and then traveling to Allstate Arena in Illinois on March 15th and 16th.
Sunday, October 6 – 5:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Rockford IceHogs(0-0-0-0, 0 pts.)
Tied-First Place, Midwest Division
Team Notes: Rockford and Texas had one of the most bizarre regular season series’ in AHL history during 2012-13. The road team was victorious in all four games and in each contest, the visitors won after overcoming a three-goal deficit. The IceHogs will open their season on Saturday at San Antonio before heading to Cedar Park Center for a Sunday showdown with the Stars. Texas and Rockford will only battle twice during twice during 2013-14, meaning Sunday’s visit is the only one to central Texas by the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate. The Stars will travel to Rockford on October 27th, meaning their season series will be over before the end of the first month of the season. The IceHogs play their first five games of the year on the road and must wait until October 19th to play their home opener against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Roster Outlook: Rockford returns 14 players from their 2012-13 roster and will be looking for big contributions from players like forwards Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri and defenseman Adam Clendening. Gone is starting goalie Carter Hutton, who signed with Nashville after playing the last three seasons for the IceHogs. So Rockford will begin the campaign with 24-year old Finnish goalie Antti Raanta, who is making his North American pro debut, and 21-year old prospect Kent Simpson, who has just three AHL games on his resume. Rockford did add veteran experience with forward Brad Winchester and defenseman Theo Peckham, as well as some size with 21-year Swedish defenseman Viktor Svedberg who measures in at 6’8” and 235 lbs.
Pre-Season Game Results:
September 27, 2013 Oklahoma City 2 @ Texas 3 – OT
September 29, 2013 San Antonio 0 @ Texas 3
Stars Quick Hits:
· MOVING ON UP – The Dallas Stars announced their opening night roster earlier this week and eight players are former Texas Stars. In addition, six of those players skated for Texas last season: Jordie Benn, Alex Chiasson, Kevin Connauton, Brenden Dillon, Cody Eakin, and Antoine Roussel.
· LAW OF AVERAGES – The average age of the 24 players on the Stars opening night roster is 24.8 years. They range from as young as 20 (Jamie Oleksiak, Brett Ritchie & Matej Stransky) to as old as 34 (Toby Petersen).
· SIZING UP THE STARS – Texas’ opening night roster features an average height of 6’1” and an average weight of 202.3 lbs. Second year defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is the team’s tallest and heaviest player at 6’7” and 250 lbs, while Justin Dowling, Mike Hedden, Toby Petersen and Brendan Ranford all measure in the shortest at 5’10”.
· DEBUTANTES – There are seven rookies on the Stars roster, defined by the AHL as playing fewer than 25 career AHL games played. Four of those rookies are looking to make their pro debuts: Brock Montgomery, Taylor Peters, Brendan Ranford and Matej Stransky. Finnish defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka is looking to make his North American pro debut for Texas, but he is not a rookie by AHL definitions. William Wrenn, Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie are all still rookies, even though they have played AHL games before.
Stars Pre-Season/Week 1 Transactions:
October 2 – DELETE – Etienne Boutet (D) – Loaned to Idaho (ECHL).
October 1 – DELETE – Pat Nagle (G) – Loaned to Idaho (ECHL).
October 1 – DELETE – Josh Robinson (G) – Loaned to Idaho (ECHL).
September 30 – DELETE – Spencer Bennett (LW) – Released from training camp tryout.
September 30 – DELETE – Tyler Elbrecht (D) – Released from training camp tryout.
September 30 – DELETE – Ryan Hegarty (D) – Released from training camp tryout.
September 30 – DELETE – Justin Mercier (LW) – Released from training camp tryout.
September 30 – DELETE – Anthony Nigro (C) – Released from training camp tryout.
September 30 – DELETE – William Rapuzzi (RW) – Released from training camp tryout.
September 29 – ADD – Travis Morin (C) – Assigned from Dallas (NHL).
September 29 – ADD – Cristopher Nilstorp (G) – Assigned from Dallas (NHL).
September 29 – ADD – Colton Sceviour (RW) – Assigned from Dallas (NHL).
The Stars will begin the 2013-14 season with Opening Night on Saturday, October 5th as they host the Chicago Wolves at 7:00 p.m. Texas will be handing out 5th anniversary Stars baseball hats as well as magnet schedules presented by Austin Telco Federal Credit Union; it is also the first Coca-Cola Family Four Pack Night and Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night of the year. 2013-14 Texas Stars Season Tickets and Individual Game Tickets are currently on sale. To reserve the best available seats and receive all of the exclusive season ticket holder benefits for the 2013-14 season, purchase your season ticket package today. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
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