Magic Number Down to Five for First Place Stars

Apr 4, 2013


Texas Plays Final Three-in-Three of the Regular Season
2012-13 Record: 39-17-5-6, 89 points (18-9-2-5 Home, 21-8-3-1 Road), First Place – South Division


Week 25 Recap:

The Stars are closing in on becoming first team in the Western Conference to clinch a spot in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. Texas began its week 25 action with a wild 7-6 overtime win over the Houston Aeros last Tuesday night at Toyota Center. It was the sixth and final regular season trip to Houston for the Stars and there was plenty of offense between two teams known for their exceptional defense. After Jason Zucker gave the Aeros an early 1-0 lead, Justin Dowling and Matt Fraser scored to put Texas on top 2-1 after one period. Maxime Fortunus and Reilly Smith sandwiched goals around a Steven Kampfer strike for Houston as the Stars carried a comfortable 4-2 lead into the final 20 minutes. That two-goal lead disintegrated in the first five minutes of the third period. Justin Fontaine scored just 3:28 into the frame and Brett Bulmer scored on a penalty shot two minutes later to tie the game The Aeros took a 5-4 lead at 11:11 on a goal by David McIntyre, but Dowling responded with his second goal of the night to tie the game at five. Just 55 seconds after Dowling’s goal, Tyler Sloan gave Texas a 6-5 lead, but, with their goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, Houston’s Mikael Granlund tied the game in the final minute of regulation. At 3:17 of overtime Dowling executed a magnificent cross-crease pass to set up Alex Chiasson’s game-winning goal.


Texas returned to the Cedar Park Center on Saturday to face the Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins for the fourth and final time of the 2012-13 regular season. For the 41st time in 67 games this year the Stars allowed the first goal as Jan Mursak put the Griffins in the lead at 14:16 of the first period. The lead lasted all of 87 seconds before Justin Dowling fired home his own rebound to tie the game. In the dying moments of the first period Texas pulled ahead 2-1 when Colton Sceviour raced down the right wing and centered the puck to Travis Morin right at the top of the crease. Morin redirected the pass into the top left corner of the net with just 7.4 seconds left in the period for his eighth goal of the year. After a scoreless second period, leading scorer Matt Fraser notched his AHL-leading 33rd goal of the season when he beat Grand Rapids goaltender Petr Mrazek at 13:37 of the third period. The goal was also Fraser’s league-leading 17th power play goal and it gave the Stars a 3-1 lead. Texas rookie Jack Campbell turned in his finest performance of the season with a stellar 42-save effort, a career-high, to record his 16th win of the year.


Week 26 Preview:

The NHL trade deadline made quite an impact this week for both the Dallas Stars and the Texas Stars. On Tuesday Dallas traded away forwards Jaromir Jagr (Boston) and Derek Roy (Vancouver), both of whom will be unrestricted free agents this summer, and also dealt young forward Tomas Vincour (Colorado). In exchange for the three players, the Stars received both draft picks and young prospects. Additionally, Dallas made a slew of roster moves on Tuesday and Wednesday, rearranging its roster to accommodate the trades and the NHL rules which dictated which players will be eligible to be sent back to Texas for the AHL playoffs. After the dust had settled, Dallas had recalled forwards Tom Wandell, Matt Fraser and Alex Chiasson, while sending down forwards Francis Wathier, Toby Petersen, and Reilly Smith and defenseman Jordie Benn, Kevin Connauton and Cameron Gaunce to Texas.  Dallas also assigned highly touted draft pick Brett Ritchie (RW) to the AHL Stars and Texas signed forwards Brock Montgomery and Curtis McKenzie (LW) to amateur tryout contracts (ATO). Due to new NHL rules this season that do not allow NHL teams to send players down to their AHL affiliate if they were not on the AHL roster when the NHL trade deadline passed, Dallas made two paper transactions on Wednesday, sending Fraser and Chiasson down to Texas before the 2:00 p.m. CT deadline and then calling them back up shortly after so they could play for Dallas that night in Anaheim.


This week the Stars will play their final three-in-three weekend of the 2012-13 season. Texas will finish their current three-game home stand with contests on Friday April 5th against the Oklahoma City Barons and Saturday, April 6th against the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Stars will then hit the road on Sunday, April 7th for a 3:30 p.m. game against the San Antonio Rampage at AT&T Center. Friday night’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. and it is another Texas Lottery Lucky Section Night, a $3 Beer Night and the fifth Texas Stars Player Magnet Giveaway. Saturday’s game is slated for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff and features another Family Four Pack Night and the Stars Car Windshield Sun Shade Giveaway.


Left wing Reilly Smith (12-17-29) ranks sixth on the team in points and is on a five-game assist and point streak, with eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) and a +9 rating during that span. Center Justin Dowling is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4), is tied for third in goals and has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +4 rating in his last two games. Center Taylor Vause (4-13-17) has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +2 rating in his last three games. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (6-25-31) leads the team in plus-minus (+20), is tied for second in assists, ranks fifth in points and has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games.


Week 26 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)


Friday, April 5 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Oklahoma City Barons (33-23-2-8, 76 pts.)
Fourth Place, South Division

• Team Notes: The Barons are deeply engaged in a fierce eight-team battle for the final four playoff spots in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City currently sits in fourth place in the South Division and in seventh in the Conference, but have the most games (10) remaining of any team in the AHL. The Barons are on a five-game point streak (4-0-0-1) and have going 6-2-0-2 in their last 10 games. Oklahoma City has won three-straight games and has out-scored its opponents 15-6 during the streak. Forward Anton Lander posted a stunning six-point game (3 goals, 3 assists) last Saturday (March 30th) at Rockford and was named the AHL’s Player of the Week for Week 25. Texas is 4-6-0-1 against Oklahoma City this season and Friday’s contest with the 12th and final meeting between the two clubs in the 2012-13 regular season. After playing the Stars on Friday night, the Barons will return home for a two-game weekend series with the Chicago Wolves. The two-game set against Chicago could be a crucial weekend for both teams’ playoff aspirations.

• Leading Scorer: Mark Arcobello (C) – 56 points (20 goals, 36 assists) and an Even rating in 64 GP.

• Leading Goaltender: Yann Danis (G) – 2.83 GAA, 0.905 save pct., 20-14-5, 0 SO in 39 GP.

• Who’s Hot: LW Toni Rajala (11-23-34) ranks fourth on the team in assists, is tied for fourth in points and has eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) and a +7 rating in his last five games. LW Teemu Hartikainen (13-19-32) ranks sixth on the team in points and has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +5 rating in his last two games. D Brandon Davidson (2-3-5) is on a three-game point streak with three points (2 goals, 1 assist) and a +5 rating during that span. RW Jonathan Cheechoo (10-15-25) is on a two-game goal streak and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games.


Saturday, April 6 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (26-35-1-5, 58 pts.)
Fifth Place, North Division

• Team Notes: Hamilton ranks 15th in the Western Conference and has the lowest point total in the AHL. The Bulldogs are 2-7-0-0 in their last night games as they head to Texas. Hamilton began its four-game South Division road trip on Tuesday with a 4-1 loss at Oklahoma City. The Bulldogs will play the Texas Triangle this weekend, traveling to San Antonio on Friday, to Texas on Saturday and to Houston on Sunday. Saturday’s game is the second and final meeting of the regular season between Texas and Hamilton. The Bulldogs beat the Stars 2-1 at Copps Coliseum on February 9th. The Stars led 1-0 and then scored on its own net from the other end of the ice during a delayed penalty. Hamilton rookie defenseman Greg Pateryn broke the tie late in the third period to win the game. Texas is 1-4-1-1 all-time vs. the Bulldogs. The Stars have never beat Hamilton at Cedar Park Center, going 0-1-1-1 in three prior games.

• Leading Scorer: Gabriel Dumont (C) – 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) and -2 in 55 GP.

• Leading Goaltender: Dustin Tokarski (G) – 2.27 GAA, 0.913 save pct., 23-14-4, 6 SO in 45 GP.

• Who’s Hot: RW Alex Belzile (2-4-6) has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in his first six games since joining Hamilton. C Joey Tenute (8-13-21) ranks sixth on the team in points and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last five games. D Jarred Tinordi (2-11-13) has two assists in his last two games. C Louis Leblanc (9-7-16) is fourth on the team in goals and has three assists in his last three games.


Sunday, April 7 – 3:30 p.m. – AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
@ San Antonio Rampage (29-31-1-6, 65 pts.)
Fifth Place, South Division

• Team Notes: Sunday’s matchup in San Antonio will be the first of three games between the Rampage and Stars in 10 days, all at AT&T Center. Texas is 7-0-1-1 this season against San Antonio, taking 16 of a possible 18 points, a 0.889 point percentage. The Rampage play at Houston on Thursday night, then host Hamilton on Friday night before finishing off their week by hosting the Stars. San Antonio is currently in 14th place in the Western Conference and sits 10 points behind the final playoff spot with nine games left in their season schedule. Heading into this week’s action the Rampage are 2-5-0-1 in their last eight games.

• Leading Scorer: Jon Rheault (RW) – 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) and -4 in 58 GP.

• Leading Goaltender: Dov Grumet-Morris (G) – 2.92 GAA, 0.910 save pct., 12-16-4, 2 SO in 35 GP.

• Who’s Hot: RW Jack Combs (10-12-22) has eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) and a +4 rating in nine games with San Antonio since being traded from Bridgeport; he has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +2 rating in his last three games. RW Jon Rheault (20-21-41) leads the team in goals and points, ranks second in assists and has three goals in his last four games. D Zach Miskovic (5-9-14) has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last four games.


Week 25 Game Results:

March 26, 2013 Texas 7 @ Houston 6 – OT
March 30, 2013 Grand Rapids 1 @ Texas 3


Stars Player of the Week: (Week 25)

Justin Dowling – LW – #10 2 GP, 4 Points (3 G, 1 A), +4, 0 PIMs
Texas Stars center Justin Dowling continued his strong AHL season by posting four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a massive plus-four rating in two games in Week 25. The Cochrane, Alberta native began the week with a stellar three-point effort by scoring two goals and recording the game-winning assist as he set up Alex Chiasson’s overtime-winner on Tuesday at Houston. Dowling followed up his big game against the Aeros with his 13th goal of the season on Saturday, sparking a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the high-powered Grand Rapids Griffins at Cedar Park Center. Since joining Texas in mid-January, Dowling has been averaging close to a point-per-game, recording 22 points (13 goals, 9 assists) in 29 games. He is currently tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4), ranks second in shooting percentage (17.3%) and is tied for third in goals (13).


Stars Quick Hits:

• FRANCHISE LEADER – LW Matt Fraser scored his AHL-leading 33rd goal during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Grand Rapids.  The third period strike was also his league-leading 17th power play goal and it was his 70th career AHL goal in his 135th career AHL game. The Red Deer, Alberta native has become the Texas Stars all-time leader in goals, while Colton Sceviour (64), Travis Morin (63), Francis Wathier (59) and Greg Rallo (46) round out the Top Five.


• CAREER-HIGH – G Jack Campbell set a career mark by making 42 saves on 43 shots in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Grand Rapids. It was the most saves by the rookie from Port Huron, Michigan in his young pro career and it was also the most saves and shots faced by a Texas goaltender during the 2012-13 season. The Stars club record for most saves in one game is 44; a feat accomplished three times, twice by Brent Krahn and once by Tyler Beskorowany.


• ANOTHER CENTURY MARK – Just three games after LW Matt Fraser recorded his 100th career professional point, the Stars leading scorer notched his 100th career AHL point with his 32nd goal of the year Tuesday night at Houston. Fraser has 101 points (70 goals, 31 assists) in 137 career AHL games and is averaging 0.74 points per game at the AHL level.


• COMEBACK KIDS – Texas has posted an incredible 20-15-5-1 record when allowing the first goal this season, including falling behind in both games of Week 25 and coming back to win both. The Stars have allowed the first goal in 41 of their 67 games (61.2%) and yet they still have the most points in the AHL.


• MILESTONE GAME – Left wing Mike Hedden played in his 250th career pro game on Saturday vs. Grand Rapids. The Dunnville, Ontario native has 146 points (80 goals, 66 assists) and 248 penalty minutes over his four-year pro career, including 127 career AHL games.


• FRANCHISE FIRST – The Texas Stars allowed their first ever road penalty shot goal on Tuesday at Houston. Aeros forward Brett Bulmer scored at 5:14 of the third period in a game that was eventually won by the Stars 7-6. The penalty shot goal was the first allowed by Texas away from Cedar Park Center in its four-year history. It was the third penalty shot goal allowed by the Stars in club history and just the second road penalty shot attempt. Texas has allowed three penalty shot goals on seven all-time penalty shots against. The Stars have never scored a penalty shot goal away on the road.


• HOLDING THE LEAD – Texas has a record of 28-0-0-1 this season when leading after two periods of play. The Stars are one of just three AHL teams without a regulation or overtime loss when leading after forty minutes of play, sharing the distinction with Norfolk (19-0-0-1) and Albany (19-0-0-2).


• ANOTHER FIRST – Rookie right wing Alex Chiasson made his NHL debut with Dallas on Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The St. Augustin, Quebec native is the 14th player this season to play games for both Texas and Dallas. The others are Cody Eakin, Antoine Roussel, Reilly Smith, Jordie Benn, Brenden Dillon, Jamie Oleksiak, Colton Sceviour, Matt Fraser, Toby Petersen, Francis Wathier, Tom Wandell, Richard Bachman and Cristopher Nilstorp.


• APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES: D Mike Commodore needs 1 assist for his 150th career pro assist. LW Luke Gazdic is 2 GP away from his 250th career AHL game. D Gord Baldwin needs 3 GP to reach his 350th pro game. C Justin Dowling is 2 points away from his 100th career pro point. C Travis Morin needs 3 points for his 200th career AHL point and 3 assists for his 250th career pro assist. C Toby Petersen needs 4 points for his 450th career pro point. LW Mike Hedden is 4 points shy of his 150th pro point. D Maxime Fortunus is 1 goal away from his 50th career AHL goal and 8 GP away from his 700th pro game.


Stars Week 25 & 26 Transactions

April 3 – DELETE – Alex Chiasson (RW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 3 – DELETE – Matt Fraser (LW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 3 – ADD – Colton Sceviour (RW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 3 – ADD – Curtis McKenzie (LW) – Signed to ATO.
April 3 – ADD – Jordie Benn (D) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 3 – ADD – Matt Fraser (LW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 3 – ADD – Alex Chiasson (RW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – ADD – Bretton Cameron (RW) – Signed to SPC.
April 2 – DELETE – Bretton Cameron (RW) – Released from PTO.
April 2 – ADD – Brock Montgomery (RW) – Signed to ATO.
April 2 – ADD – Cameron Gaunce (D) – Loaned from Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – DELETE – Colton Sceviour (RW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – ADD – Francis Wathier (LW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – ADD – Kevin Connauton (D) – Loaned from Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – DELETE – Matt Fraser (LW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – ADD – Reilly Smith (LW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – DELETE – Tom Wandell (C) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 2 – DELETE – Tomas Vincour (RW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL) and traded to Colorado (NHL).
April 2 – ADD – Tomas Vincour (RW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
April 1 – ADD – Brett Ritchie (RW) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) from Niagara (OHL).
April 1 – DELETE – Francis Wathier (LW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
April 1 – DELETE – Hubert Labrie (D) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) to Idaho (ECHL).
April 1 – DELETE – Josh Robinson (G) – Returned on loan to Idaho (ECHL).
April 1 – ADD – Toby Petersen (C) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
March 30 – DELETE – Toby Petersen (C) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
March 27 – DELETE – Reilly Smith (LW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
March 26 – DELETE – Austin Fyten (LW) – Released from PTO, returned to Idaho (ECHL).
March 26 – ADD – Joe Morrow (D) – Loaned from Dallas (NHL).
March 26 – ADD – Reilly Smith (LW) – Returned on loan by Dallas (NHL).


Texas Stars Team Leaders:

Games Played: Toby Petersen (65)
Goals: Matt Fraser (33)
Assists: Colton Sceviour (26)
Points: Matt Fraser (46)
Plus/Minus: Jamie Oleksiak (+20)
Penalty Minutes: Antoine Roussel (107)
Power Play Goals: Matt Fraser (17)
Short Handed Goals: Colton Sceviour (4)
Game-Winning Goals: Justin Dowling & Colton Sceviour (4)
Shots: Matt Fraser (182)
Shooting Percentage: Matt Fraser (18.1%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (723)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (18)
GAA: Cristopher Nilstorp (2.27)
Save Percentage: Richard Bachman (0.920)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (4)

The Texas Stars continue their three-game home stand on Friday April 5th against the Oklahoma City Barons for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at Cedar Park Center. Friday’s game against the Barons is another Texas Lottery Lucky Section Night, a $3 Beer Night and the fifth Texas Stars Player Magnet Giveaway. 2013-14 Season Tickets are now on sale. Put your deposit for 2013-14 season tickets and receive priority for both Texas Stars 2013 Calder Cup playoff tickets and 2013-14 season seat selection. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.

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