Texas Leads Western Conference with Four Weeks RemainingMar 25, 2013
STARS WEEKLY (WEEK 25)
Stars Make Final Trip to Houston Tuesday, Host Grand Rapids Saturday
2012-13 Record: 37-17-5-6, 85 points (17-9-2-5 Home, 20-8-3-1 Road), First Place – South Division
Week 24 Recap:
Texas won two of three games in their home stand in Week 24, keeping pace with the Syracuse Crunch in their battle for the AHL’s top spot. The Stars briefly took over first place overall after Friday night’s win over Rochester, but were leap-frogged by the Crunch on Saturday night following Texas’ loss to Charlotte. The Stars began the week with a thrilling 4-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage at Cedar Park Center. Matt Fraser scored twice and Colton Sceviour had a three-point game to spark a wild third period comeback from a 3-1 deficit. On Friday night, goaltender Richard Bachman turned in a sharp performance with 29 saves on 30 shots and Luke Gazdic returned from injury to tip-in the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over the visiting Rochester Americans.
Saturday night against Charlotte started off well as Taylor Vause scored in the first period to put the Stars ahead 1-0. Texas might have felt they should have scored more in the first two periods, out-shooting the Checkers 17-7 in the first and 17-12 in the second. However, Riley Nash scored early in the middle frame and Brett Sutter gave Charlotte the lead nine minutes later. Zach Boychuk made it 3-1 Checkers with nine minutes left in the third period and under two minutes later Nash found the net for his second time, scoring Charlotte’s fourth straight goal. With 65 seconds left to play Vause found the net for the second time in the game, his first career multi-goal game as a pro. Luke Gazdic and William Wrenn assisted on the goal to extend their point streaks, but it was not enough for Texas, who lost 4-2.
Week 25 Preview:
The Stars are down to just 11 games and four weeks left in the 2012-13 regular season. Texas has five remaining home games and six more road games, although only two require a trip outside the state. The Stars head down to Houston for the sixth and final time this year on Tuesday for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff at Toyota Center. Texas then returns home to face the Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday, March 30th at 7:00 p.m. at Cedar Park Center. Saturday’s game is another Family Four Pack Night and is the Stars Magnet Photo Frame Giveaway Night.
Right wing Colton Sceviour (18-25-43) leads the team in assists and shorthanded goals (4), is tied for the team lead in plus-minus (+19) and game-winning goals (4), ranks second in goals and points and has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and a +4 rating in his last five games. Center Taylor Vause (4-11-15) has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +3 rating in his last six games. Defenseman William Wrenn (2-4-6) has two assists and a +3 rating in his last two games and five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +5 rating in his last seven games.
Week 24 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)
Tuesday, March 26 – 7:05 p.m. – Toyota Center – Houston, TX
vs. Houston Aeros (33-22-4-5, 75 pts.)
Third Place, South Division
• Team Notes: Houston is 6-2-0-2 in its last ten games and is on a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1). The Aeros find themselves in fifth place in the Western Conference, four points behind fourth place Charlotte and just one point ahead of sixth place Rochester. Houston lost to the Americans in its last game 3-2 in a shootout at Toyota Center on Saturday. Chad Rau and Zack Phillips each scored in the game, but Rochester answered back both times and then scored three times in the shootout to get the win. The Stars and Aeros have met 10 times already this season, but have not faced each other for 42 days. Houston won four of the first five games of the season series, followed by four straight wins for Texas. The Aeros edged the Stars 2-1 in a shootout in their last meeting on February 12th at Cedar Park Center. In that game Patrick Nemeth scored his first AHL goal in the first period and the Stars out-shot the Aeros 26-9 over the final two periods, but Carson McMillan tied the game with a shorthanded goal in the second period and Matt Hackett out-dueled Cristopher Nilstorp, stopping 36-of-37 shots and 3-of-4 shootout attempts. On Sunday Minnesota, who faces Dallas twice this week, recalled Darcy Kuemper and Jake Dowell and sent Matt Hackett and Jason Zucker back to Houston.
• Leading Scorer: Justin Fontaine (RW) – 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) and +9 in 52 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Darcy Kuemper (G) – 1.78 GAA, 0.937 save pct., 13-7-0, 4 SO in 20 GP.
• Who’s Hot: C Mikael Granlund (9-18-27) ranks fifth on the team in both assists and points, is on a seven-game assist streak (8 assists) and a 10-game point streak and has 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) and a +3 rating in that span. RW Justin Fontaine (17-26-43) leads the team in assists and points, ranks second in goals and has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) and a +2 rating in his last six games. D Brian Connelly (5-25-30) ranks second on the team in assists, fourth in points and has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) and a +1 rating in his last six games.
Saturday, March 30 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (36-22-2-3, 77 pts.)
First Place, Midwest Division
• Team Notes: This will be the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between Texas and Grand Rapids and the first since December 1st, 118 days ago. The teams split their previous two games at Van Andel Arena, and the Griffins defeated the Stars 4-1 during their only other trip to Cedar Park Center back on November 3rd. Grand Rapids is currently in third place in the Western Conference and trail first place Texas by five points. They and Toronto are tied with 80 points, but the Marlies hold the tiebreaker with one more regulation-plus-overtime (ROW) victory. The Griffins play an extended Texas Triangle schedule this week and next, at San Antonio on Thursday, at Houston on Friday and at Texas on Saturday, with a rematch at Houston next Tuesday. Last Saturday Grand Rapids snapped a four-game winless streak (0-2-1-1) with a 5-4 overtime road victory over Lake Erie. The Griffins lead the Western Conference in scoring, averaging 3.22 goals per game, and trail just Syracuse for the highest goals average in the AHL. Grand Rapids sits near the bottom of the league in penalty killing at 80.4% (27th), but boasts the AHL’s sixth-best power play (19.2%). On Wednesday March 20th, leading scorer Gustav Nyquist was recalled by Detroit for the fourth time this season. Nyquist is tied for the AHL-lead in points (60).
• Leading Scorer: Gustav Nyquist (RW) – 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) and +10 in 58 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Petr Mrazek (G) – 2.33 GAA, 0.916 save pct., 21-11-2, 1 SO in 35 GP.
• Who’s Hot: LW Tomas Tatar (22-24-46) is the team’s active leading scorer and has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his last six games. RW Francis Pare (19-18-37) has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last six games. D Adam Almquist (9-18-27) became the third defenseman in franchise history to record a hat trick in Saturday’s win against Lake Erie, and added an assist to post a career best four-point performance.
Week 23 Game Results:
March 19, 2013 San Antonio 3 @ Texas 4
March 22, 2013 Rochester 3 @ Texas 4
March 23, 2013 Charlotte 4 @ Texas 2
Stars Player of the Week: (Week 24)
Luke Gazdic – LW – #34 2 GP, 2 Points (1 G, 1 A), +1, 0 PIMs
Texas Stars left wing Luke Gazdic returned to the lineup from injury and made a big impact in Week 24. The Toronto, Ontario native missed nine games due to an injury suffered on February 23rd at Lake Erie. In his first game back, Gazdic scored the game-winning goal to beat the Rochester Americans 4-3 Friday night. He then tallied an assist on Saturday vs. Charlotte for his first point streak of the season. Gazdic has nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) and is tied for second on the team with 68 penalty minutes in 48 games played this season.
Stars Quick Hits:
• DON’T COUNT THEM OUT – Texas once again rallied from a third period deficit, erasing a 3-1 San Antonio lead to win 4-3 on Tuesday night at Cedar Park Center. The Stars are now 6-16-2-0 when trailing after two periods. Their six wins tie them for second overall in the AHL for most third period comebacks.
• CENTENNIAL – LW Matt Fraser recorded his 100th career professional point with his 31st goal of the season on Tuesday against San Antonio. The Red Deer, Alberta native hit the century mark in his 137th professional game and has 69 goals and 31 assists in 139 pro games (135 AHL, 4 NHL). Thanks to his first NHL goal scored this year for Dallas, Fraser needs one more point to reach his 100th career AHL point.
• HOLD THE LEAD – Texas has shown an incredible affinity for winning games in which they have scored first. The Stars are 19-2-0-5 when scoring the first goal of the game. Saturday’s 4-2 loss at home to Charlotte was just the second regulation defeat all season when the team found the net first.
• BIG MILESTONE, BIG GOAL – LW Luke Gazdic played in his 250 professional game on Friday against Rochester and scored the game-winning goal in the second period. The Toronto, Ontario native has 56 points (28 goals, 28 assists) and 459 penalty minutes in 251 career pro games. Gazdic needs five games played to record his 250th career AHL game.
• CHECKERS SUCCESS – The Stars have been very good against the Charlotte Checkers this season. Saturday’s loss at Cedar Park Center was the first regulation loss Texas suffered this season against Charlotte. The Stars are 4-1-1-0 in six games against the Checkers, with two more regular season games remaining, both at Time Warner Cable Arena in North Carolina.
• ONE HUNDRED TIMES TWO – RW Scott Glennie hit milestones on back-to-back games this weekend for the Stars. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native played in his 100th career pro game on Friday vs. Rochester and then notched his 100th career AHL game on Saturday against Charlotte. Glennie has 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists) and 38 penalty minutes in 100 career AHL games and no points in his one career NHL game.
• ANOTHER CENTURY – RW Bretton Cameron recorded his 100th career pro point with an assist on Friday’s game-winning goal over the Rochester Americans. The Red Deer, Alberta native has 41 goals, 59 assists and 304 penalty minutes in 178 career pro games, including 18 career AHL games.
• APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES: LW Matt Fraser needs 1 point for his 100th career AHL point. LW Luke Gazdic is 5 GP away from his 250th career AHL game. LW Mike Hedden is 2 GP shy of his 250th career pro game and 4 points shy of his 150th pro point. D Gord Baldwin needs 3 GP to reach his 350th pro game. D Maxime Fortunus is 2 goals away from his 50th career AHL goal and 10 GP away from his 700th pro game. C Toby Petersen needs 4 points for his 450th career pro point. C Justin Dowling is 6 points away from his 100th career pro point. D Hubert Labrie is 10 GP shy of his 100th career pro game.
Stars Week 24 Transactions
March 25 – ADD – Josh Robinson (G) – Recalled from loan to Idaho (ECHL).
March 25 – DELETE – Tyler Beskorowany (G) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) to Idaho (ECHL).
March 23 – ADD – Jack Campbell (G) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
March 23 – DELETE – Richard Bachman (G) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
March 22 – ADD – Alex Chiasson (RW) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
March 22 – ADD – Jamie Oleksiak (D) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
March 21 – DELETE – Alex Chiasson (RW) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
March 19 – ADD – Mike Commodore (D) – Signed to PTO.
March 19 – ADD – Richard Bachman (G) – Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).
March 19- DELETE – Jack Campbell (G) – Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).
Texas Stars Team Leaders:
Games Played: Toby Petersen (64)
Goals: Matt Fraser (31)
Assists: Colton Sceviour (25)
Points: Matt Fraser (44)
Plus/Minus: Jamie Oleksiak & Colton Sceviour (+19)
Penalty Minutes: Antoine Roussel (107)
Power Play Goals: Matt Fraser (15)
Short Handed Goals: Colton Sceviour (4)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (4)
Shots: Matt Fraser (177)
Shooting Percentage: Matt Fraser (17.5%)
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 head to Houston on Tuesday March 26th for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff against the Aeros at Toyota Center. Texas returns home on Saturday March 30th for a 7:00 p.m. showdown against the Grand Rapids Griffins at Cedar Park Center. Saturday’s game is another Family Four Pack Night and the Stars Magnet Photo Frame Giveaway Night. 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.